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Notes from the Field

Its a tonic I recommend.

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
I sat down the other afternoon, with my mandolin, just me and myself, and played and played and played. Missed dinner and played until bed time.

The rip-snorting great time I had took me far away from the issues of the day, national, local, social, political. It transported me way beyond whether Sierra Hull can be considered a bluegrasser, or whether or not one should be admonished for using a capo, whether an octave mandolin is a mandola or a tenor mandola or a tenor mandolin, or whether a $35 dollar pick is better than 140 picks at four for a buck.

I just made musical sounds that surprised and delighted me, for a little more than several hours.

I solved nothing, became no more, or less, certain about my prejudices within and without the mandolin world. I managed to avoid getting angry, or even, or frustrated with anyone, any person on the whole planet.

I recommend it. It’s a tonic for the times we live in.

Next morning I looked again at the world, and for a brief moment I couldn’t imagine why everyone is so contentious.

Quickly enough the world’s context reasserted itself and after just a day or two, I am as prejudiced and irritated as I ever was.

Time to play some music.

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Comments

  1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
    Very well said! Very well said.
  2. Paul Statman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe
    Very well said! Very well said.
    Seconded. Well said, that man!
  3. FrontRangeMando's Avatar
    Amen, brother.
  4. Steve-o's Avatar
    Indeed. We could all use some of that tonic. Thanks Jeff.
  5. goose 2's Avatar
    Perfect. I am convinced that if all the world leaders went to Winfield each year and jammed together then there would be world peace!
  6. Jim Garber's Avatar
    YES! Thanks, Jeff!
  7. Bertram Henze's Avatar
    If that tonic could be sold in pint bottles...
    Well, it's probably better the way it is: available for free to everybody in their right mind.

    That right mind is probably the most precious thing money can't buy these days.
  8. Ted Eschliman's Avatar
    (Warning: Music Theory Humor...) Sometimes I feel like a Tonic in a Dominant obsessed world.
  9. JRG's Avatar
    What goose said x 2
  10. wildpikr's Avatar
    Agreed, Jeff! People ask me why I still play; I tell them it's my therapy...for all the reasons you mentioned and then some...
  11. Ryk Loske's Avatar
    Great post .... thank you!

    Go to your room Ted.

    Ryk
  12. JAK's Avatar
    Music THERAPY!
  13. Bertram Henze's Avatar
    Quickly enough the world’s context reasserted itself and after just a day or two, I am as prejudiced and irritated as I ever was.
    I know what you mean. But repeated and regular doses of The Tonic have more of a longterm effect, and those short vacations the human soul takes from the intellect gradually open up into a permanent retirement.
  14. bradlaird's Avatar
    JeffD:

    You hit on something very powerful. And powerful things can be frightening. I don't disagree with your discovery that making "musical sounds" can transport us away from the mundane grind and idle chatter. I would only like to suggest that there are more things, as I am sure you know, which can do the same thing.

    I, for one, spent the weekend just past with 250 Cub Scouts on a camp out and, without a mandolin, the same thing happened. So, it may hinge more on doing something else rather than doing something else with a mandolin.

    Trust me. 250 Cub Scouts is also a cure. Heck, 5 or 6 would do the trick. My point is simply that the mandolin is just one slice of the world and sometimes doing without is healthy.
  15. mmukav's Avatar
    Sorry, almost missed this post 'cause I was playing my mandolin....
  16. Trav'linmando's Avatar
    Beautiful statement. Jeff, I Enjoy your posts for just this type of stuff. You are a cerebral guy. Thanks. Larry
  17. Bill Snyder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bradlaird
    JeffD:

    You hit on something very powerful. And powerful things can be frightening. I don't disagree with your discovery that making "musical sounds" can transport us away from the mundane grind and idle chatter. I would only like to suggest that there are more things, as I am sure you know, which can do the same thing.

    I, for one, spent the weekend just past with 250 Cub Scouts on a camp out and, without a mandolin, the same thing happened. So, it may hinge more on doing something else rather than doing something else with a mandolin.

    Trust me. 250 Cub Scouts is also a cure. Heck, 5 or 6 would do the trick. My point is simply that the mandolin is just one slice of the world and sometimes doing without is healthy.
    Brad, I am sure that for a few spending a weekend with 250 scouts would be anything BUT the "tonic" Jeff describes.
  18. bradlaird's Avatar
    Bill:
    Well, in terms of sonic bliss, you are correct sir.
  19. mandolindude04's Avatar
    This is the best description here on why I "pick those old guitars and drive them old trucks". I've always been partial to cowboy tunes, and bluegrass. It's kind of funny though how that happened. My Dad is from Germany, and I was born in Munich, my Mother is from Oklahoma. My Dad's mother was a classically trained pianist, and according to my Dad, they would often play folk music with his brothers and his mother on the piano. Most of the tunes were classical in nature, and I grew up listening a lot to classical records as a child at home. But when my Mom and Dad were gone, I listened to the country music radio stations. This evening I'm going to hear the Bill Hearne trio at Swallow Hill music here in Denver. Looking forward to that. To me music is kind of like what I read once about the people who build houses for Habitat for Humanity. The people who are on a build sometimes have all kinds of different religious views, political views, etc. But there isn't a Roman Catholic way to swing a hammer, or a Lutheran way to use a paint roller, or a Baptist way to tamp down the dirt for a concrete pathway.