View Full Version : I met Chris Thile last night!

Feb-19-2004, 5:53pm

hehe... yay!

Nickel Creek did an unanounced concert at a tiny club in L.A. last night, and it was AWESOME... I got to chat with Chris after the show about the mandolin symposium, which he seemed very excited to talk about! #He was all, "We're not gonna hold back!" #hehe #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif #But anyway I asked him if there was anything specific I could do to prepare myself before, any songs I should familiarize myself with or anything, and he said, "Learn songs." #haha... and then he basically said to just familiarize myself with a lot of songs, and get to where it's easy for me to play stuff either by ear or from reading the music, but preferrably by ear 'cause most of the stuff at the symposium is going to be by ear. #He also said to make sure I'm playing cleanly, and not to speed anything up until I can play it cleanly... which is something my teacher is ALWAYS getting on me about because I have a very "MUST PLAY FAST!" mindset... but maybe now that Chris has told me, it'll sink in. Anyway he was VERY friendly and happy to sign autographs and take pictures... the guy just plain loves his job, you can tell. #I have never seen anybody do so many crazy dance moves onstage, hehe... anyways the concert was phenomenal, hands down the best concert I've ever been to (and I've been to a lot!) At the risk of sounding cheesy, you can literally FEEL the emotion in their music while they're performing. It's absolutely amazing. And I just love how real they are, I mean they totally improvised a lot of the set...and they just interract with the audience, take requests, they sang happy birthday to Sean onstage (while Chris did the funniest dance I'd ever seen; he like grabbed his ankle with one hand and his neck with the other and brought his elbow to his knee over and over.. the audience was laughing hysterically...), they told us the stories behind a lot of the new songs that they'd written... oh, man... it was just incredible. If you haven't seen them in concert, please do!

Feb-19-2004, 5:55pm
... almost forgot! ;)


Feb-19-2004, 6:03pm

sounds like you're on a high! congratulations! nice pic of you too, by the way,
What type of mandolin is that you have? (don't tell us Chris gave you his Dude.)

Feb-19-2004, 9:41pm
Wow!!!! You are very,very lucky!! I'm going to see Nickel Creek on March 26th and at MERLEFEST! I hope to have a similar experience...happy picking http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif


Feb-20-2004, 1:18am
man you are so lucky!! you dont know how jealous i am, if i had known, i might have gone to it. i just live a little ways away in riverside, socal. well im glad that you had such a good time! i know what you mean about the play fast mindset too, thats my biggest struggle.

Feb-20-2004, 2:23am
That was cool, happy for you. Where was the gig?

Shucks and we were home last night.

Feb-20-2004, 8:47am
Is it just me or does Thile look like a young Rick Danko?

Tom C
Feb-20-2004, 1:07pm
I met him after a great workshop he gave at Grey Fox where he brokedown a John Reischman tune. It was over 95 degrees and Chris was wearing a black turtle neck sweater. It was funny when my friend and I saw somebody who looked very much like Chris and he said "boy doesn't he look like Chris?" I said it has to be his brother
as he was wearing a grey turtle neck sweater.

Christine W
Feb-20-2004, 1:42pm
You mean you let him write on your mando? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Sounds like you had a ball!

Feb-20-2004, 3:27pm
Now how cool is that!
can't wait till they get back to the NYC area.
cheers gal!

Feb-20-2004, 5:00pm
Congrats dixiecreek....what a great experience. I would guess the "unannounced gig" was at Largo? I know Sean and Sara play there pretty regularly when they're not on tour -- the "Watkins Family Hour" is what they call it...

I'm going to the symposium too -- and a little alarmed at Chris' s "play by ear" instruction....yikes! most definitely not my strong point....guess I have five months to work on it though.....

Feb-20-2004, 5:27pm
thanks for all the replies, guys! #My name's Hannah by the way... it feels strange having everyone call me dixiecreek, hehe... anyway -

levin4now - hehe, yes I am on a bit of a post-concert high! #My mandolin is a Sonata... I'd always thought it was kinda an obscure brand, but Chris said he'd heard of it, so there ya go! #and yeeeahh LOL about the Dude... I can dream, right?

greenmando - it was at a club called Largo in L.A. #Sean and Sara play there every month, and Chris pops in unannounced from time to time, too.

Christine - yes of course I let him sign my mando! #my mando alone probably cost less than his mando case... one day I hope to get a nicer model... but this one is special to me even if it is cheap, hehe

Tom - ya know, I bet it was his brother, 'cause Chris introduced his brother to us after a show back in September, and they look a LOT alike!

carolyn - Thanks! #Yes the gig was at Largo. #They had it listed on their tour schedule as a Watkins Family Hour show, but Sara hinted at last month's show "a mandolin player might be joining us next month", so the place was packed, probably due to word of mouth!

Feb-20-2004, 10:03pm
Nice pics Hannah! Sounds like a great gig and it must have been great to talk mando with Chris. I really hope Nickel Creek come to England this year, I'd love to see them.

Christine W
Feb-23-2004, 8:39am
It doesn't matter how much the mando costs. Mine wasnt' that much either but it is priceless to me. #The ear training thing is unnerving me a bit too. #I'm already nervous. 5 months to go time is flying by and I still stink. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Feb-24-2004, 1:41am
oh come on, don't be so hard on yourself! Just practice hard and do your best - can't ask for more than that. Besides, the symposium is for all skill levels!! Beauty, eh? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Yesterday I was playing all these random songs on my CD player over and over and over and just sittin there with my mando figuring out what keys the songs were in and then trying to pick out the melodies. It's hard for me, but I'm having fun. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Christine W
Feb-24-2004, 11:00am
I am hard on myself but I have goals! You know like the one where I was going to play like Thile in six months (kidding). If I only didn't have to work than I could practice eight hours a day and figure all this stuff out. Unfortunatley I have a mortgage ( or fortunatley depending on how you look at it). I'm going to commit myslef to three hours a day, maybe that will help. I have a very difficult time picking out tunes by ear. I just don't get it yet. It (ear training) seems to come easy to allot of people on this board, even begginers and it just leaves me frustrated. Oh well I do have some more time before the symposium, I do believe in miracles.

Feb-24-2004, 2:57pm
I hear ya! I'm in school full time, plus I work about 30 hours a week at a restaurant, so I'm on my feet all day, aka I'm freaking tired when I get home. Hehe. that's rad that you're gonna play 3 hours a day! I try to go for 2 hours. Sometimes I have a great mandolin day and I can't put the thing down, and like 4-5 hours flies by... other days I'm just not feeling it, and I struggle to make it through one hour. heh.

Feb-25-2004, 8:37pm
I had an sink or swim experience in learning to play by ear at music camp last year. The one and only secret? DO it. LOL It's something you MUST practice to learn. The more you do it the easier it gets. It really helps your playing overall IMHO... I get "into" a piece the best when I've learned it by ear. And it REALLY sticks in my memory.

Just work on playing something by ear every day, even if it's only a few measures, or one to start off with. It comes bit by bit. Get a slow downer app and work on one phrase at a time. I'd bet you'll be suprised how you improve. Knowing you scales really helps too. You can anticipate a bit easier that way.

(and congrats Hannah, what an awesome experience & pleasant suprise http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif )

Christine W
Feb-26-2004, 1:03pm
I have the same problem sometimes I get in the zone and it's fantastic and others it's like pullin teeth. I just keep plucking away.
oh yeah did Thile dye his hair brown or is it just the lighting? Just wondering (I"m an ex hairdresser ).

I'm gettting all worked up about the ear training thing. My teacher gave me homework last night to include eartraining as well as taking a song "blackberry blossom" and playing it in third postion so not only will I get ear training I'm learnign to play in third position. Mostly I play in first. #I haven't got a chance to work on it yet but will tonight.

Brian T
Feb-26-2004, 3:50pm
In my experience, ear training is like learning to ride a bike. I mean that once you learn to ride a bike you can ride any bike. Same with learning a song by ear. Once you learn one, then you can learn any song that way. The more you do it the easier it gets.

Feb-27-2004, 3:31am
Thanks Heather! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif #I agree with what ya said about learning the scales; it's very helpful in picking out stuff by ear. #So how was your first experience at music camp? #The symposium will be my first one. #I'd been wanting to go to one this summer since before they'd announced the symposium, so when they made the announcement I knew I had to go! #Hehe

Christine, I'm not sure if he dyed his hair or if it's just the lighting! #It is really dark in Largo, and my eyes are actually blue, but they look super dark in the picture. #And my hair's a lot lighter than in the picture, too. #So it could just be the lighting. #I didn't notice it either way during the show, but here's the band onstage being serenaded by a comedian called the Naked Trucker.... he sang happy birthday to Sean and it was freaking hilarious, LOL... http://im1.shutterfly.com/procser....0001610 (http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dc38b3127cceb8893f3619b80000001610) #

Brian, that sure is a relief! #I feel like I'm almost there as far as playing by ear goes. #I can usually figure out what keys songs are in, and I can pick out the melody on mando about 75% of the time.... I feel like sooner or later it's gonna click and I'll be there, but for now I'm still struggling along, hehe... #Once I get to where I can comfortably pick out melodies by ear, I want to start on figuring out chords to songs by ear 'cause#I have no idea how to do that. #Is there a certain method to it, or is it pretty much the same type of deal where you just practice it until you can do it?

AKUS fan
Feb-27-2004, 7:46pm
So, your name's Hannah, huh? I feel like I know you somehow. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif Congrats to my twin (again)!

Mar-01-2004, 9:20pm
Well hello there oh twin of mine! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Albert Whiting
Mar-13-2004, 12:10am
i think chris was 13 when he won winfield. which is just incredible

Mar-13-2004, 3:40am
Hi Hannah
Are you going to the Nickel Creek concert on 4/9 ? We already have our tics. The Largo looks like fun, do you work there also? If I can make a few sales we might squeeze in the Watkin's hour next time. We have had a guitar class on Tuesdays and could not go this last week.

Tom & Amy

Brian T
Mar-13-2004, 10:04am
Chord progressions definitely follow a pattern. If you listen to enough music, you'll be able to relate them. Listening is the key. Not just hearing, but listening.

Mar-17-2004, 1:35am
Hi Hannah
Are you going to the Nickel Creek concert on 4/9 ? We already have our tics. The Largo looks like fun, do you work there also? If I can make a few sales we might squeeze in the Watkin's hour next time. We have had a guitar class on Tuesdays and could not go this last week.

Tom & Amy
Hi Tom! Yep, I'll be at the show on the 9th! I'll be the one in the front row with a big ole' grin on my face, hehe ;)
Largo is a ton of fun. No, I don't work there, but I did think about applying for a job there 'cause I go there all the time anyway, and it's such a cool place! Sean and Sara aren't doing a Largo show next month 'cause of the tour, but they said they'll be back the month after that (May).
See ya at the Avalon!