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Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-12-2013, 10:47am
Well...I'm back in Argentina now after having a wonderful Thanksgiving in the US with my family. While I was there I accepted delivery on my new Eddie Blevins F5 and I thought I'd take the time to show it of a bit in these two videos.
I filmed these on my mini Ipad in bad lighting but I just wanted to say that I'm really happy with how this mandolin has turned out. I changed the initial set up that it had an lowered the strings just a bit. I can already hear it beginning to develop some nice woody sounding mids and a full chop. This is the first mandolin I've owned that's had a radiused fingerboard and I can definately say that I'm sold on radius fingerboards as opposed to flat ones...I really find them easier to play. I hope you guys enjoy the videos as this is the first mandolin I've owned in several years and I'm really excited about playing the mandolin again:grin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I9jxWo83R0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUwyBHou8HTGt1D8rxO3J80w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g00D7NNME9k

Jim Garber
Dec-12-2013, 11:39am
Nice Eric. Sounds good and it looks like your son likes it too. Congratulations. BTW You sound quite good for someone who hasn't played in awhile.

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-12-2013, 11:53am
Thanks Jim....yes my little boy he likes to come up and grab my picking hand when I play or touch the fingerboard. He is used to my fretless banjo and never seen a mandolin before. Thanks for the comment, I've been practicing quite a bit, the first few days when the action was high were awkward but then it was like everything clicked and things started coming back. I still need to build up some speed eventually but for now I'm pretty happy....and the new mandolin is so easy to play!

Clef
Dec-12-2013, 10:20pm
Cool you finally got it. I remember reading a post of yours a while back about this mandolin. It's great to hear it turned out excellent.

almeriastrings
Dec-13-2013, 1:22am
Excellent, Eric. Well worth the wait, then!

I like that darker finish and understated look, sets off the woods nicely... organic looking. Should age very well.

DataNick
Dec-13-2013, 3:18am
Congrats Eric!

Looks and sounds great; and your playing: nicely done!

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-13-2013, 7:56am
Thanks guys! The first few days it was a bit awkward but then when I fooled a bit with the set-up it was like riding a bike certain things started to click and I'm really enjoying it. The action I think is just right right now at this point so I think I'll leave it. The more I play the mandolin the more I like it and it's starting to develop it's own "personality" so to speak....and of course I'm getting back into the flow of things. I like the understated look as well. It's really what I wanted in a mandolin and I think it will also age well as well. It's developing some nice mids and seems pretty balanced so far. It doesn't have really overbearing lows or highs but just seems nicely balanced. It's new, pretty green so still a bit "tight" sounding but I can already hear it beginning to loosen and open up a bit the more I play it. The radius fingerboards, I don't know how you guys feel about those, but I'm completely sold. I'm trying to remember if I ever played a mandolin in the past that had radiused fingerboards but I wish I had....it really does make playing, especially with the left hand much much easier. I will try to post some more vids and comments as time goes on.....it's nice to be playing something with a scroll again!

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-17-2013, 7:53am
Here is a couple of more videos of me playing the only instrumental I ever wrote. It's called "The Owensboro Boogie" in honor of Owensboro Kentucky where I have alot of family living. It's a bluesy Monroe style number in "A" and pretty simple and straight forward. Hope ya'll like it in spite of my 1 year old son screaming and yelling LOL!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR60TNJcyRg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVFbeNBszKQ

Perry Babasin
Dec-17-2013, 1:41pm
Nice! Sounds great, nice sweet and full sound! I like the Boogie, and your lead singer has some set of pipes!!

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-17-2013, 2:44pm
Nice! Sounds great, nice sweet and full sound! I like the Boogie, and your lead singer has some set of pipes!!

Tell me about it! He has some super pipes.....especially when he doesn't get his way! He loves music though, he was complaining because he's been sick with a bit of fever due to teething. Normally he dances and sings when his daddy plays....he's my little man!

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-19-2013, 9:08am
Last night I recorded "East Tennessee Blues" in the key of "C" I remembered it by ear although I added a few licks.....I'm really enjoying being back in the saddle playing the mandolin!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgk4BeAGhzA
My wife aptly pointed out that I'm doing some weird stuff with my pinky...it's all over the place. I need to work on that!

Mandobar
Dec-19-2013, 9:22am
Eric, your left hand looks a little tense, hence the pinky stuff. Is the neck profile bothering your hand? Or are you just nervous in front of the camera?


It took me a long time to learn to relax while playing, and my left hand would do all kinds of weird stuff and I'd end up with cramping in my fingers. Matt Flinner's class, which I cannot recommend enough, really helped with that.

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-19-2013, 9:32am
Eric, your left hand looks a little tense, hence the pinky stuff. Is the neck profile bothering your hand? Or are you just nervous in front of the camera?


It took me a long time to learn to relax while playing, and my left hand would do all kinds of weird stuff and I'd end up with cramping in my fingers. Matt Flinner's class, which I cannot recommend enough, really helped with that.

Mandobar thanks for the comment. I don't think so, actually, quite the opposite. My left and right hand feels very relaxed. I think it's just a mental thing and being lazy. I didn't even notice it until my wife pointed it out. It's been quite a few years since I played mandolin. I've been playing clawhammer fretless banjo for the past couple of years so I dunno if that has anything to do with it.
Actually this radiused fingerboard is the first one I've ever owned and it's very very comfortable, probably the most comfortable mandolin neck I've ever played on. I think that now that I'm mentally aware of it, I'll just train it to relax a bit. I think it's still better than having the finger tucked under the neck.

Jim Garber
Dec-19-2013, 10:16am
My wife aptly pointed out that I'm doing some weird stuff with my pinky...it's all over the place. I need to work on that!

Nice playing Eric. It doesn't seem to stop you much but that poor pinky wants to play with the other fingers but I noticed on all the other videos that you never use it to fret at all. ETB could be played completely in first position but you avoid using the pinky and instead move up to second position. Did you injure your pinky at some time? Any reason to avoid using it? Hey, you play nicely so maybe it makes no difference.

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-19-2013, 11:03am
Nice playing Eric. It doesn't seem to stop you much but that poor pinky wants to play with the other fingers but I noticed on all the other videos that you never use it to fret at all. ETB could be played completely in first position but you avoid using the pinky and instead move up to second position. Did you injure your pinky at some time? Any reason to avoid using it? Hey, you play nicely so maybe it makes no difference.

Interesting....never injured my pinky. I use my pinky alot when I play boxed positions Monroe licks more than anything...or if I play out of the key of "B" "Bflat" or "C" I'm actually trying to learn to use more open strings between certain runs to create a fuller sound. I have been practising alot of cross-picking also. It's tru the pinky is wandering quite a bit and I need to not let it wander so much. If you noticed I used the pinky on a few notes...but the problem is it could mess up my timing if it's so far away from the fingerboard it has travel twice as far to hit a note....as opposed to keeping it steady and closer to the fingerboard. I'm going to make a mental note to work on this more.
Sometimes I even slide with my pinky when I want to...even though I know alot of teachers don't recommend it.

Jim Garber
Dec-19-2013, 12:59pm
I didn't see it used at all in the ETB video. I felt bad for that finger. I think it was waggling about because it wanted to play with the others. :)

I play fiddle and use my pinky for playing double stops on the same tone (like E on the A string doubled with open E). Not so much on the mandolin but I also play classical and you often need the closed notes.

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-19-2013, 2:08pm
I didn't see it used at all in the ETB video. I felt bad for that finger. I think it was waggling about because it wanted to play with the others. :)

I play fiddle and use my pinky for playing double stops on the same tone (like E on the A string doubled with open E). Not so much on the mandolin but I also play classical and you often need the closed notes.

Well on the bridge section I could have played alot of those notes in that "c" scale all closed....in the past when I used to play, I probably would have. However, I've just started playing mandolin again and I'm hoping to be able to learn and add some different things and change my style, which I'm guessing will change because it's been so long since I've played. I'm really interested in learning some Adam Steffey licks although Not his style of playing with the right-hand.....just some of the licks and scales he uses in his solos:mandosmiley:

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-23-2013, 7:22am
Here's a better video in better lighting of my new Blevins mandolin....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3XvxeVr9NY&list=UUwyBHou8HTGt1D8rxO3J80w

Jim Garber
Dec-23-2013, 10:35am
Hey, Eric: Ah I see some use of the pinkie! I didn't mean to make you super-conscious of that finger, just curious of its use or not. I have a friend who does play that way and if it works for you that is fine. Or you may find that using the pinkie is fine too in some cases. Anyway, keep up the good work.

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-23-2013, 10:52am
Hey, Eric: Ah I see some use of the pinkie! I didn't mean to make you super-conscious of that finger, just curious of its use or not. I have a friend who does play that way and if it works for you that is fine. Or you may find that using the pinkie is fine too in some cases. Anyway, keep up the good work.

Jim thanks....actually you had a very valid observation and I thought a little more about "East Tennessee Blues" and played a few things differently....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nAs6t03C2Q

lorrainehornig
Dec-30-2013, 6:37am
Hi Eric...that's a beautiful mandolin and some impressive playing. I didn't pick up on the pinky thing until you pointed it out. Have you tried finger buster exercises? I've been working on some to try to increase my reach and to "train" my pinky. That little digit is used to taking a pretty impassive role, so it's being called upon to pull its weight and is very resistant. Good luck! PS: Love the little guy in the background! Maybe someday he will be playing with you!

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Dec-30-2013, 8:09am
Hi Eric...that's a beautiful mandolin and some impressive playing. I didn't pick up on the pinky thing until you pointed it out. Have you tried finger buster exercises? I've been working on some to try to increase my reach and to "train" my pinky. That little digit is used to taking a pretty impassive role, so it's being called upon to pull its weight and is very resistant. Good luck! PS: Love the little guy in the background! Maybe someday he will be playing with you!

Lorraine thanks for your kind comments...Yes...actually I recently printed out a fingerbuster excercise from Scott and also one from jazzmando.com with minor arpeggios and I have been practicing those quite a bit to build some dexterity back as well. I also just recorded "Red Haired Boy" recently as well....not sure what fiddle tune I will tackle next but I definately enjoy these arpeggios and other scale excercises. I usually only use my pinky when I play out of the "boxed positions"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Ckrz71C7s

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Jan-09-2014, 4:08pm
Hey guys....for anyone who's maybe interested:
I'm happy to report that my Blevins mandolin is sounding better all the time...I just can't get over how much I love the radius fingerboard on this mandolin. I'm definately a believer in radius fingerboards and any mandolins in the future that I buy ( if any ) will have the fretboard radiused. It's not the greatest video but I thought I'd post it. It's the fiddle tune "Squirrel Hunters" played mighty slow. I can still play mandolin but don't have much speed yet like I used to in the past. However in the past I think I tried to play "to fast before I was really ready" and didn't get a fully developed technique, like I'm going for this time. So just trying to build up a repertoire of fiddle tunes again. So here is the video of "Squirrel Hunters" I'm also working on "Liberty" as well and hope to post one of that tune this weekend. I'm thinking of keeping this thread open to post vids of my progress and to allow anyone that wants to ( or doesn't want to ) to comment about it....hope it doesn't sound a bit self centered! Yes that's my 1 year old son Joshua in the background...he's the frontman of our little duo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE1v3zdgCT8&feature=c4-overview&list=UUwyBHou8HTGt1D8rxO3J80w

Jim Garber
Jan-09-2014, 4:13pm
Very nice Eric. I don't mind playing or listening to a tune played slow as long as it has feeling/soul. Joshua does sounds a little like a squirrel. :)

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Jan-09-2014, 4:17pm
Very nice Eric. I don't mind playing or listening to a tune played slow as long as it has feeling/soul. Joshua does sounds a little like a squirrel. :)

Jajajaj he may be little like a squirrel but he punches and kicks more like a pro. He's very musically inclined though, he hums tunes, sings along with them and even dances....he can hold a tune pretty good....never seen a 1 year old that does it quite as well. Well since this video I've downloaded a tab of this "Squirrel Hunters" tune that is more along the lines of Hartford's version ( I think ) and I like it even better. I like what Adam Steffey said in his video "Its a marathon not a sprint" ....those are wise words. I'm thinking I need to start slowly, focus on the right notes and technique, right hand and gradually add speed. Before I went to jams and just started playing mandolin and hacking away as hard and fast as I could. I want to develop a more well rounded, cleaner technique this time around, at least as best as I can.
And since I live in Argentina....and am the only bluegrass picker within a 10,000 square mile radius of anywhere...I have plenty of time to sit her and just focus on how to play a mandolin, rather than how to hack away on one. I mean I got by in the past, I had a good steady tremolo and could play stuff, but I want a more mature technique this time around

Jim Garber
Jan-09-2014, 4:45pm
Not to change the subject, but have you heard much Argentine music? I know some tangos are very nice on the mandolin.

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Jan-09-2014, 5:40pm
Actually quite a bit of argentine music. I'm not as much a fan of the tango as I am the "Zamba" and "El Malambo" which is more Argentine folkloric music. Here is a video of a now defunct but famous folclore group called "Los Charchaleros" This is the Zamba typical of the norther central region of Argentina up near the Paraguayan and Bolivian Border.

The only mandolins I've seen here, just two of them, were both bowlbacks and the music that was being played was classical. Not sure if eventually I will learn any of this music on the mandolin but you never know.....the Brazilians seem to play quite a bit of mandolin...Bossanova and other styles.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEN9_RR7RRs

Tango is more of the music of Buenos Aires or "Los Porteņos" as the folks from BA are called.....it's very racy music, melancholic and full of infidelity and heavy sexual inuendos...it's almost completely sung in "Lunfardo" which is the slang spanish of Buenos Aires, now commonly used across Argentina

Ken Olmstead
Jan-09-2014, 8:47pm
Real nice sounding mandolin!!! Congrats!

Eric Michael Pfeiffer
Jan-10-2014, 7:32am
Real nice sounding mandolin!!! Congrats!

Thanks Ken....it ( the mandolin ) and me I think are getting better all the time. I'm having a great time with it!