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The Fifth Course

Thoughts on playing mandolin family instruments, both acoustic and electric varieties.

  1. Studio Log: More Than a Little Guitar, ch. 1

    A couple of weeks ago I finished a 10 day recording session for my new CD which will carry the title More Than a Little Guitar. At the outset the goal was to make a folk/singer-songwriter album framed around the mandolin as primary rhythm and lead instrument.

    To record a song, I would sit in the studio with mics on playing the song as though I was performing it. My producer, Brooks Williams, and my engineer, Chris Pepper, would find the tempo and create a drum track that suited ...

    Updated Aug-30-2013 at 2:57am by Daniel Nestlerode

    Recording Sessions
  2. Working Up a Set

    I used to be a singer/songwriter. Time was when I could access my emotional state at the drop of a hat and pour my guts out with a pen, a piece of paper and a guitar.

    Things changed as I got older. Music became a hobby rather than a serious endeavor, so I turned from songwriting to more social forms of musical expression.

    I found Bluegrass, not because I am deeply enamored with the style of music, but because Bluegrassers welcomed me.

    The reason I played ...
  3. Greetings from the Edge of the San Joaquin River…

    [Reprinted from the April 2010 issue of Stanislaus Connections]

    The annual Tule Fog Fete is a fundraising event for Modesto, California’s Great Valley Museum. Held outdoors at Caswell Memorial State Park, the child-centered event includes live animal exhibits, docent-led walks through the park’s many riverside paths, snacks, silent auctions, and live music.

    As a local amateur musician, I volunteer my services every year to the Great Valley Museum and the Tule Fog Fete. ...