View Full Version : Thile's When Mandolins Dream

Izaac Walton
Mar-17-2004, 10:20am
I've recently started working through and learning Chris Thile's "When Mandolins Dream". It is off of his instructional VHS/DVD - got the tab from Co-mando's Tabledit files. Lots of fun learning and playing it but pretty challenging in places for me - especially some of the fingerings - not to mention the speed he plays it at! Is anyone else working on it, or has worked on it in the past? Maybe we can share playing tips?!

John Zimm
Mar-17-2004, 10:33am
Hi Izaac,

I was working on that piece a few months ago before giving up with the realization that I am not yet at the point where I can play it. IMHO, this is one of the most beautiful pieces written for the mandolin, and if you can get it down and master it that is awesome.

I guess this isn't a very useful post. Anyway, I may pick it up again and see how it goes, so I'd be interested in hearing any advice anyone else has.


Izaac Walton
Mar-17-2004, 1:29pm

It has helped? - not sure if that is the right word! - me to see how Chris plays certain passages by watching the DVD. I sometimes view frame by frame to see how he does it, which fingers he uses, etc., and find myself having to work out very small passages at a time and then put them together. Lots of patience helps!

Mar-17-2004, 6:17pm
Izaac, I agree with you. I just got the DVD and it is much easier to go frame by frame and in slow motion. I have learned a couple of licks from the DVD that are not tabbed out in Red Haired Boy.

Mar-17-2004, 8:52pm
I learned it a while ago, and now it's one of my show-off pieces. Along with In Which Jesse Goes To Hualalai And Meets A Sea-Urchin and a few other Chris Thile pieces.

Izaac Walton
Mar-18-2004, 11:14am
ronlane3 - Yes, I too noticed that Chris plays Red Haired Boy a little differently than it is written in tab. The slow motion feature sure comes in handy.

AussieRoger - I'm jealous! Can you play it at the same tempo Chris does? Then I'm really jealous! You show-off! I can play the "A" part fine. The "B" part pretty well, then repeat the A section. The following transition part is throwing me though. The arpeggio section following that is not too hard. I work on the piece maybe 1/2 hour to 1 hour a day. I've been working on it for just over a week. How long did it take you to be able to show off with it?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Tom (Isaac Walton)

John Zimm
Mar-18-2004, 12:21pm
Alright, I am now inspired to pick up that piece again and try to learn it. My biggest problem, I think (other than my technical abilities) is that it is intimidating watching a master like Thile play a complex piece so effortlessly. I guess he wrote it, which makes it easier, but still...he rocks on that one.

I'll have to see if I can buy some patience off of ebay.


Izaac Walton
Mar-18-2004, 4:08pm
John - let me know if you find any patience on ebay...I'll try to outbid you! I definitely don't rock on that tune! More like a rocky road....I often go back to his video after not using it for several months and each time I know I've made progress. Things are easier than before....that's encouraging, but I know what you mean about being intimidated...


John Zimm
Mar-19-2004, 12:27pm
I got out the score from co-mando last night and played it a little. One thing that confuses me is that the song seems to be about half a beat fast for me-when I am playing the last note on a measure I feel like I should be starting a new measure. It's weird.

Last I saw, patience had a pretty high reserve. Better wait until they flood the market with it. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif


Izaac Walton
Mar-19-2004, 1:47pm
John - I think I know what you are talking about...it's hard to put it in words exactly, but that's just the way he wrote it. Once I've got the notes down I just try to play it as it sounds on the DVD without thinking about how it is written. Last couple of days I've been working on the sweet-sounding slow harp-like part in the middle of the tune.....what a workout for the pinky! If I didn't have calluses on my little finger, I'm getting them now!

Just checked ebay....no one is even listing patience....maybe I'll check "completed items" to see how much it has gone for in the past....Tom

Dru Lee Parsec
Mar-19-2004, 2:58pm
Since this thread started I went ahead and downloaded the TABL-edit file and printed it out. Oh My Gosh, I can understand the notes, but the fingering is awkward as hell. Yeah, I can see how you would need to freeze frame the DVD to pick up the fingering.

Albert Whiting
Mar-24-2004, 11:46am
some of the fingering is wrong on the comando tab. use open notes where you can.

Sep-18-2012, 7:54am
I know this is an OLD thread, but I figured it better to dig this up than start another new one. I found the tabledit file for this song, but the last comment here says that the fingering is wrong. Does anyone have a more accurate tabbing of this song than the tabledit file from mandozine?

Ethan Setiawan
Sep-20-2012, 11:42am
Does anyone know what recording this is on? Mandozine doesn't know
Thanks a bunch

Sep-20-2012, 8:19pm
I don't think it was on a recording, I think it was only on his homespun dvd and on a bootleg recording.

Jeff Budz
Sep-30-2012, 6:38am
Thanks for bringing up this necro-thread. I had never heard of this song, and wouldn't have if not for your post. It looks like a good one to work on to get my fingers thinking in a different way.

Dec-09-2013, 10:42am
I am the guy who did the transcription on co-mando. I did that way back in 2004 and, looking at it again, I see a few places where I could have changed the fingering. Like any piece of tab that was done without the cooperation of the artist, the fingering is merely a suggestion. I think the notes themselves are mostly correct and you can finger them any way you like. If you were given only the notes, as classical players are, you would have to come up with your own fingerings... so think of it as an exercise!