View RSS Feed

Notes from the Field

Sometimes my enthusiasm for this little eight string marvel just boils over and I have to tell someone. I figure this is a safer way to do it, than to yet again bore my friends.

  1. Kerman mandolin and the end of MAS

    Hey everyone. I played a Kerman mandolin the other day. And it has taken me a little while to absorb the experience. Actually, Jacob Reuven, before a rehearsal for FMCM VII let me play his Kerman.

    I knew already that it is one of the greatest mandolins in the world. What I didn't know, if the one I played is typical, Kermans are the greatest mandolins in the world.

    The experience was characterized by two things. Amazing sound and amazing responsiveness.

    The ...

    Updated Oct-21-2016 at 10:42am by JeffD

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  2. Everything I Know Might Be Wrong!

    Elsewhere I wrote about the hierarchy of hard. I think I can explain at least one of those hierarchies better.

    I have this idea that one of the reasons many folks pursue technical excellence is that it is easier to pursue than musical excellence. Yes, easier. It’s easier to pursue playing at blistering speeds in all keys up the neck, with intricate double stops and four finger moveable chords, than it is to learn to play beautiful music beautifully such that it moves people.
    ...

    Updated Jul-18-2016 at 8:48am by JeffD

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  3. Uncle Charles and the Root Beer

    I knew him as Uncle Charles. He wasn’t my uncle. He had no nieces or nephews. Everyone just always called him Uncle Charles. He was in his mid 80s when I knew him, and he lived with his wife Elizabeth, in an earth bermed house that you couldn’t see from the road. You just had to know where to turn. The easiest way was to drive to the T intersection at the end of the road, turn around and drive back exactly 1.8 miles. Exactly.

    You
    had to take this long unpaved driveway down and around ...

    Updated Jul-17-2019 at 10:55pm by JeffD

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  4. MAS This

    A recent thread about MAS inspired my thinking a bit. But I didn’t want to go on about it in the thread, and sound like I was “justifying” or “defending” what could be looked upon as conspicuous consumption.

    In terms of numbers I do not have as many mandolin as some of the real accumulators out there, but I do have a few. I have more mandolins than I can play at the same time, and I don't think it’s a crazy number. As you read this you will, I hope, realize that it is even kind of ...

    Updated Apr-14-2016 at 7:13pm by JeffD

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  5. Hierarchy of Hard

    It seems there might be a hierarchy of hard, and being human we get stuck at one or other rung of this ladder. But, wanting to be "doing something" we keep at it. And, like a marble in a bowl, we are active but not productive.

    And perhaps I am totally mis-reading some of this.

    A classic example I experienced while exploring electric mandolin. I have met a lot of adult electric guitar enthusiasts and it really hit home when one of them showed me the most beautiful ...

    Updated Jun-02-2016 at 4:09pm by JeffD

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  6. Every Day Carry

    I guess this is something of a social phenomenon. Folks prepared for everything. Folks making videos of all the stuff they carry in their EDC bag, and the stuff they carry in their Grab n Go emergency bag, and the justification for every item. Not to mention all the videos about the virtues of their chosen bag.

    Some of it borders on creepy, in my opinion, like folks prepared for the eminent end of the world. I have some friends into this, and I sometimes think they are maybe a little ...

    Updated Mar-29-2018 at 11:23am by JeffD

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  7. Are you lucky enough?

    We sit around in a big circle, maybe twenty of us, likely more. I was one of two mandolins. There was one fiddle, one auto-harp, a stand-up bass, two banjos, and all the rest were guitars. Some very very nice guitars.

    A microphone on a long free standing boom is handed around. Whoever has the mic picks the song, usually some great old country music song, Jimmy Martin, or Roy Acuff, or some obscure Johnny Cash or Hank Williams. Some old time gospel songs, and some folk/rock from more ...

    Updated Sep-08-2018 at 12:44am by JeffD

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  8. Electric Mandolin - A Different Culture

    Wow. My explorations of the electric mandolin have led me to some surprising conclusions (well surprising to me anyway). It’s not what I thought.

    I got a four string electric, and an amp, and have gotten past messing with the ookie noises I can make with the settings on my modeling amp and figured out how to get from how I sound to how I want to sound. For the most part. I have lots to learn, but I am on my way.

    I can play loud angry fiddle tunes. I have figured out a
    ...

    Updated Apr-26-2016 at 8:52am by JeffD

    Categories
    Uncategorized
  9. Change is Good

    My 40 year old jam just moved to a 185 year old tavern. I played old time tunes and music from 70 years ago and even earlier, on a 93 year old mandolin, with friends I have been jamming with for over 30 years.

    The newest thing was the bourbon, and it was rather old as well.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  10. What does one do with a mandolin?

    I mean in terms of activity - what does your mandolinning consist of?

    Let me back up.

    Lots of threads about practicing, and how much time should be spent practicing, and how to parse the practice time out effectively – exercises, working on specific difficulties, working on new tunes, maintaining old tunes, learning some music theory – all that stuff.
    And the discussions are all very good, useful and informative, and even entertaining.

    I think, ...

    Updated Jul-09-2015 at 11:41am by JeffD

    Categories
    Uncategorized
Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast