Mandolin lesson #2 : Horpe’s Reel

This is the second in a series of posts where I will share details, tab and recordings of some of my favourite tunes to play on the mandolin. These mini-lessons will help you build up a repertoire of tunes that (I hope) are challenging but fun to play. For this lesson, I’ll be covering Horpe’s Reel by Hawktail.

About the tune

Horpe’s Reel comes from Hawktail’s debut album, Unless, a stunning recording that features four of the best instrumentalists in old-time, bluegrass and new acoustic music – Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert, Jordan Tice and Dominick Leslie.

Horpe’s Reel, the third track on the album, is a laidback, guitar-led tune with three parts. The melody has a few tricky twists and turns, but it meanders along at a gentle, sedate pace, making this tune achievable even for less experienced mandolinists. If you do feel the whole tune is beyond you, I recommend at least learning the third part – an excellent arpeggio workout which will provide good practice for playing in F.

Lesson resources

Here’s a video and tab/notation of the basic melody. You can use this as a foundation on which to build your own variations and even improvise. Have fun!

Download the notation and tab for Horpe’s Reel here (PDF).

Got any questions? Get in touch and I’ll be happy to help!

Comments are closed.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

Create your website at
Get started
%d bloggers like this: