I learned to do it as a child, and now I am being pushed by Mike Marshall to do it again. How I have gone about it.
Drill on the flash cards on Mandozine.comDid the first couple of exercises in Marylinn Mair's book.Picked a simple tune from the Fiddler's Fakebook.
Point 1: teaches you the notes on the staff (if you don't already know them from Every Good Boys Deserve Fudge type mnemonics) and more importantly where they lay on the fretboard.
...of songs I know or once could play before one of my recent hiatuses from playing. Count is up to 41! So why do I have such a hard time remembering a tune at a jam?
So my biggest deficit is in numbers of tunes. Well, today's lunchtime walk to the 5th String Music store has helped fix that. I just got a copy of Dix Bruce's Parking Lot Pickers Songbook, with over 200 tunes. Its commonly used at the slow jams here in Berkeley so it will be especially helpful when I'm out here for work. Should keep me busy for a while.
Whoa, I see the version on Amazon has 225 songs! Apparently there is a new edition
So, given the suggestion of downloading Four Track (an app for my iPhone) as one way to easily multitrack record my mandolin, and avoid the quagmire of GEARITIS, I decided, what the hay, its cheap. I had low expectations given the sound quality of my videos recorded on the iPhone, but I have to admit, the first pass with this software has exceeded my expectations! Here is a quick clip of Blackberry Blossom, my first attempt to multitrack. Its not perfect (there is a little timing issue early on)
From a post in the musical theory forum, re: listen!
I'm working through Bluegrass Up the Neck right now, and its proving to be a complete musical workout. Working just from tab leads me to play the notes like what Don Steirnberg has elsewhere called a "sewing machine". Listening to Niles and Eric on the CD, there is a bounce to the playing that I can only work out through hearing it, internalizing it, and playing it until it sounds right.
This book is a
If Star Trek can reset an entire universe's continuity, I can reset my dedication and focus to the mandolin, right? Right?
Work kept me hopping through the summer and fall, but I have regained some control over my schedule. I have picked up my mandolin again in early December (interrupted by two weeks vacation on Maui--it really lives up to all the hype), and have now rebuilt my callouses.
I have Blackberry Blossom under my belt (am playing the O'Brien version from
...but not on the tune front.
I've assumed some more responsibilities at work, and have taken up a hobby small business (to fund MAS of course!), and have been picking somewhat intermittently as a result over the past month and a half. I've returned with more dedication in recent days, and my newly set up mandolin has been playing so nicely that I realized today I wasn't thinking about how much better a thinner neck would be. I was just enjoying the tunes.
So, this year's goal of adding in some serious tunage, and the related technique required to play them, is well underway. I'm working Billy in the Low Ground and Salt Creek up to speed (topping out around 180 bpm before it all falls apart). Next up will be two more standards: Cherokee Shuffle and Blackberry Blossom. All from the Steve Kaufman book I bought from him after his Calgary workshop. Thanks again Steve!
Meanwhile, the discussion I raised about having too many things to work on at once
Tunes it is. I'll get as many as I can this year.
Its the 8th of January, so I learned a simple little version of it today. Came nice and quick too!
[Paste from my post in the Theory forum]
I want to critically examine my practice regimen and make serious headway this year. Practice time is basically an hour a day.
Right now I start with playing the Aonzo scales through three times at 90, 115, and 140 bpm, then pick up two tunes I am getting to speed (Dusty Miller and Japan) and work on those up to 180-200 bpm, then go to a new tune I am working on learning and playing faster (right now Billy in the Low Ground--the