View Full Version : Playing mandolin while walking on a treadmill

Dec-03-2005, 12:52pm
I've thought of buying a treadmill for winter exercise, but I'm worried about getting bored and giving up on the treadmill.

Is it possible to get in some mandolin practice (tremelo practice, maybe?)while walking on a treadmill? Or is the motion too jerky, or the motor too noisy?

Dec-03-2005, 1:37pm
Is it possible to get in some mandolin practice (tremelo practice, maybe?)while walking on a treadmill?[/


To avoid injury, you need to keep both hands on the handgrips. It is too easy to get thrown off if you are distracted. You're better off practicing the mando while riding a stationary bike

Dec-03-2005, 1:50pm
depends. if you are walking i would say go for it. if you are running/jogging i would say be careful. the motion won't do anything, but if you are running and playing and some how "eat tredmill" the only thing in between you and the tredmill is your mandolin, not to sweet. but wawlking is fine i would say. i walk around my house all day while i am playing.

Dec-04-2005, 10:30am
Maybe skateboard? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

John Flynn
Dec-04-2005, 11:18am
I posted on this a long time ago. I called it "Mando Johnny's Mandolin Workout." I should have an infomercial! I play my beater mando every time I am on the treadmill, which is three times a week, 20 minutes at a time, at brisk walking pace, about 3.3 MPH. OK, fitness freaks, I admit I'm not training for the Olympics, but at least I am doing something and I'm doing it consistently. For the record, I also do weights and interval training, but of course I don't play the mando then. I don't agree that you need to have your hands on the handgrips on a treadmill. If I weren't playing the mandolin, I would be swinging my arms in a natural walking/running motion or even using my hands to hold a book I was reading.

Here is what I have learned about doing this over many months:

> It works at a brisk walk, not running.

> I always use a "dead man" safety tether.

> I do not look the the mando, ever! I have to keep looking straight ahead. If I look down, I get disoriented.

> I have a full strap over the left shoulder that is attached very securely. I have to be able to quick-react and "abandon" the mando at any instant. So if I let it go to grab the handrail, it will not drop. Attaching to the headstock is probably the best.

> My walking pace becomes kind of a metronome. My most comfortable playing speed will be some multiple of my walking speed and it will not be as fast as I generally play.

> I use a beater mando. The potential for the mando getting banged is high, even though I have been able to avoid it so far.

> I start with the mando strapped on and ready to go. Trying to get the mando set up while the belt is moving does not seem to work.

> If I need to do something other than just walk and play, like retrieve a dropped pick, set the mando down, adjust the strap, etc., I pause the treadmill to do it. I learned not to try and "John Wayne" it while the treadmill is moving.

> It really is good practice. If I can play a tune on the treadmill, I really know it!

> Playing on the treadmill is much more diverting than watching TV, reading or listening to music. The time just flies by for me.

> Playing mando on the treadmill safely takes some practice and learned concentration. I had to start with just 5 minutes and work up.

Disclaimer: I am not either discouraging or recommending this. I am just relating my experience. If you try it, you are on your own!

Dec-04-2005, 8:47pm
get a recumbent bike. that way you can sit and pedal for hours while you play!

Dec-05-2005, 1:18pm
It sounds risky to me. There are numerous injuries to people on treadmills without a mando. Some are fairly serious. It's not worth the risk. Also, you may develop a bad habit: walking off the front of a stage while playing. That's not good!

Dec-05-2005, 2:54pm
And heaven forbid, throw out that gum!!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

John Craton
Dec-05-2005, 5:43pm
The real question is, Can you drink beer and play mandolin at the same time? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Dec-06-2005, 4:22pm
Have you seen those Beer Helmets at baseball games? Of course you can drink beer and play...but then you HAVE to go work out and that brings us full circle...tee hee

Dec-09-2005, 4:31pm
I don't know but I've seen a lot of fat & happy mando players...lol!
Me included...

mando bandage
Dec-10-2005, 10:22am
The real question is, Can you drink beer and play mandolin at the same time?

I've concluded that this is the best reason for the right shoulder/one shoulder strap technique: you can swing the mando away and drink behind (not over) the instrument!


Dec-10-2005, 2:17pm
Now to try those old Richard Simmons-Jethro Burns Workout tapes! (Sheesh! Talk about multi-tasking.) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif