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  1. KyleBerry
    Welcome all newbies. I just started playing and wanted to get all the newbies together in a group to help us learn off of each other.
  2. Carolie
    I have just started playing also. I have no idea what I'm doing. I've done three things to start.

    Because I acquired a used mandolin, I put new strings on it.

    I've also bought some gripmaster things to help build up the strength in my fingers, hands, and wrists because I have a spinal cord injury.

    I have started playing C major scales.

    From there, I'm not exactly sure what I should be doing.

  3. KyleBerry
    Welcome Carolie! I started learning chords and tablature first. You can find some chords here

    Here are some good websites:
  4. Carolie
    Thanks. I have a couple of Mel Bay books with chords. It's tough changing chords when your hands don't work right. Looking forward to talking with everybody more.
  5. KyleBerry
    Good that you got those books, I have them too. Yeah I am having the same problem with chord changes. It just takes practice, practice, practice and some more practice.
  6. Carolie
    The C chord is giving me some trouble. It has such a buzz to it. (It's also backwards from a guitar E, which makes it harder to remember).
  7. KyleBerry
    Are you doing the two finger C chord?
  8. Phil Sussman
    Phil Sussman
    This is my first post on this site. I've been playing mandolin seriously for about two months now. I've played guitar for many years. I had an old cheap mandolin for a long time that was only playable up to the fifth fret, so I only knew 2 1/2 chords on it. If finally fell apart so that gave me the excuse to get a playable instrument. I got a Kentucky KM 150 to learn on. This site is a fantastic resource!
  9. kristallyn
    just landed safely in the mandolin cafe, and into this group
    I ll shortly introduce myself, I m kris, I live in the netherlands, have been playing the guitar for several year, studied music twenty-some years ago (vocal studies) started on the banjo two months ago, but discovered the mandolin on a bluegrassfestival I visited and fell in love with the instrument, my husband gifted me we wit a lovely kentucky km 505 with a fishman pick-up in it. and I purchased a book by mel bay (mel bay's complete mandolin method) and got started, I am a total newbie to the mandolin, it helps that I do play the guitar and understand theory of music. but the mandolin is whole new deal..
    hope to find help, support and new friends here
    kind regards, kris
  10. JCLondonUK

    I've been lurking on this site for a while now, but this is my first post. I have played guitar for years, and also play banjo and a bit of piano (badly), but have recently got into the mando family of instruments. I got a mandocello a few months ago, and then a mandolin a couple of weeks ago. They are wonderful instruments, and I'm really enjoying finding my way with them.

    Thanks for setting up this group. It'll be nice to have a place to chat to fellow newbies. I'm looking forward to joining in.

  11. Daci
    I'm also a newbie. I got my mandolin in Jan. of this year. It's second hand and I got it from a musician who was offering it for sale cause another person did not want it.
    It's a Fullerton and sounds great,except for one high note that's off in Home Ruler.
    I'm self taught on several instruments,guitar as a teen, and as an adult I've learned the mountain dulcimer,penny whistle,American Indian flute,and my all time favorite instrument,the hammer dulcimer.
    I'm in the SCA and as much as I love the hdulcimer,I really hate lugging it around to events,although I will play if asked....I've always liked the perky,cheerful sound of the mandolin,so finally decided to get one, as it weighs a LOT less than a hammer dulcimer!
    I play by ear and don't know any chords yet.
  12. KyleBerry
    Thanks for joining the group. If you have any questions or comments just post a new thread.
  13. rgray
    Newbie here. Been playing just a couple months and have been a Cafe member just a bit longer. (I did like many and used the Cafe for purchase advice.) Though only playing for awhile, I already have two mandos. First is a Morgan Monroe Bean Blossom from eBay that I snatched on a Buy It Now option. A-style, f-holes, all laminate, spruce top, mahogany back and sides. At $65 I figured to take a chance to see if I liked playing. I liked everything but the fingertip pain. Bridge adjustment made no difference and this particular mando was not worth the expense of a professional setup. My plan was to eventually buy a good mando and sell the Bean Blossom on eBay. So I kept at it until I saw another great eBay deal on a Kentucky 160 and won that auction. When it arrived I noticed that it had been misadvertised using the specs of the current model even though it was about 20 years old (laminate and not the solid I was expecting). I was able to return for a full refund but not before noticing how easy it played compared to my Bean Blossom. I read up, bought a $5 welding torch cleaning kit, filed the nut, and suddenly had an entirely different playing mando. After the Kentucky 160 experience I swore off eBay and bought a new KM-505 from The Mandolin Store. I LOVE IT! But I decided to keep my Bean Blossom at work for lunchtime practice. So I am already on the road to MAS. I am currently taking professional lessons with a local professional musician, enjoying sitting outside picking away, and just trying to get good enough to join some local jam sessions.
  14. Bill Daniel
    Bill Daniel
    Hi All: I am a newbie as well. Tried guitar years ago but found it difficult. I love the sound of the mandolin and that it is small and compact. I have a Korean Epiphone MM-30 A-Style about 15 years old. It's got great sustain and intonation, but buzzes a bit. Sooo...I decided that I wanted something not as chopppy. I work for Kaman Corp and today they just had the last employee sale before the move, (Fender bought them) so I picked up a brand new Ovation MM-68 made right here in CT. $1500 but got it with case for $500. I heard mixed reviews about them but I got it home strummed out the 3 chords I learned (lol) and it sounded exactly like I wanted. I plugged it into my son's Marshall practice amp and it sounded even better. The only hitch with it is that it appears that someone tried to scrape off a glue drip on one of the inside braces and took a small nick out of the brace. It wasn't sold as a 2nd but they pointed it out. It wasn't structural and a black marker did a nice cover up job, (the inside is painted flat black).
    I bought Mel Bay's "You Can Teach Yourself Mandolin" and have found it really great and easy. I am curious if anyone else has tried that book and has made it all the way through and can give their thoughts.
    Thanks, Bill
  15. mandron
    I had a Rover RM-75 mandolin for awhile and then purchased The Loar LM-600-VS hand carved mando. I love it and the sound is unbeleivable the craftmanship is really good for a mando < $1,000.00. Now that I have the new mandolin and it's all nice and shiney...I don't want to chance doing damage to it when traveling, so I bought an "A" Bean Blossom with "F" holes for $50.00, someone must have done a professional setup on it because it sounds GREAT and the action is really good! I'm having a hard time explaining to my wife (non-musician) why I didn't start with a $50.00 mandolin....I have just recent developed MAS and am needing advice!!
  16. Frank Johnson
    Frank Johnson
    Howdy! As a lurker and reader of the newbies thread, I figgered I'd join and add another name to the members list. If this particular thread was available when I first joined the Cafe it would have helped me a lot, and I hope all the new players out there consider joining. I'm really interested to see how well everyone is doing. We can learn a lot from each other.

    I won't repeat all the stuff I've posted in other threads, but I've been playing mandolin since Jan of 2009. Now that Spring has sprung I don't have as much practice time as I had when the snow was blowing, if you knowhutimean.

    I'm not growing in leaps and bounds like when I first started (I've not "hit the wall" as much as "don't have time") but I still pick the mandolin up each day, even if I only have 15 minutes or so.
  17. Christy

    I am excited to be learning how to play my mandolin and can't wait until I find a decent mandolin to play. Mine is more of a 'toy' really, and it grates on my ears. I got my mandolin a couple of summers ago to keep my mind and emotions distracted while my father was battling lung cancer. I am now finally getting a chance to take lessons - I've had 2 lessons so far.

    Glad to 'meet' you all!

  18. Daci
    Nice to meet you Chris.
    I'm basically teaching myself mandolin and enjoying it .
  19. Frank Johnson
    Frank Johnson
    Hate to hear about your dad, Christy. I feel the same about my mandolin ("It's more of a toy") and was have a real hunger to upgrade, but have been holding off.
  20. Frank Johnson
    Frank Johnson
    Hate to hear about your dad, Christy.

    Like you, my mandolin is more of a toy. I have a real hunger to upgrade, but the mandolin doesn't make any money for me so I've been able to hold off buying another.
  21. Christy
    Thank you, Frank. It is still a hard loss for me. My mother died just 3 weeks after my father and I miss them both terribly.

    I can't stand my toy. I will never make money with my mandolin -there just aren't enough years for me to get that good. But the joy of making music is worth more than money to me so I'm saving my pennies to buy a mandolin that sounds as pretty as I can make it sound. There is something so soul satisfying in even holding a well made instrument, not to mention playing it. I need a new laptop, but then I'd rather use that money for a decent mandolin.

    I am justifying my mandolin purchase this way:

    Soul healing
    Happiness value
    No new computer- I would rather have a mandolin
    1200 divided by 12 = 100 divided by 4 = 25 or one meal out a week, I would rather have a manodlin.

    Lots of rationalizing :-)

  22. David Casal
    David Casal
    sometimes live is hard, but i dont know why there is something inside that keep us going on...surviving instinct...
    have to find your own melody to your parents (if you think you need to) and make it public to the rest of the world so their souls will be allways floating on somewhere while someboby is playing the tune
    it is just an idea
  23. Frank Johnson
    Frank Johnson
    That's a good idea, Dave. I like the way you think!

    Both my parents are still here, but they're having problems. I'm travelling down that path Christy has already travelled.

    I totally understand about not liking your "toy", and like the way you justify the purchase, too!

    When I'm playing, my wife will often jump up and start clogging, so I know I'll keep playing, but am taking my sweet time about upgrading. It would be quick and easy to get one over the 'net but I want to personally touch feel and hear different ones. It's possible (not probable, but possible) that I'll stumble across something at one of the local festivals this year.
  24. Christy
    Frank, you are in Hocking Hills, right? What local festivals are you familiar with, especially those that might have mandolins available?

  25. Christy
    "Both my parents are still here, but they're having problems. I'm travelling down that path Christy has already travelled. "

    It is so hard. You can prepare yourself all you want, but the reality is still hard. The best advice I have for everyone is to spend as much quality time with your aging parents as possible, and make sure they know that they are loved and cherished. Of course, that goes for everyone you love because we never know how long any of us are going to be walking the earth.

    Glad to hear your wife enjoys your music, too!

  26. Frank Johnson
    Frank Johnson
    Been off the net for a spell. Had a SURPRISE!Father's Day deal when four of five sons showed up with their families. We knew one was coming in, and found out later that it was set up that was so they would be sure we would be home that weekend. They came from the UK (Air Force), New Jersey (Air Force) and Missouri. We spent time with them and their young 'uns and pretty much forgot all about getting on the computer. Imagine that!

    Yeah, we're in the Hocking Hills. Nearly every little festival around here feature bluegrass. The little Washboard Festival just ended, but when we went downtown we spent all of our time in the area with the kiddie rides. The festival has stages set up all over the place and I didn't see a singe set... but I had more fun than a barrel of monkeys!!!!

    Although ma is in the hospital and dad is far away in a different state, ma got to spend a little time with her great grandkids. She's still talking about everyone walking in on her, and started to give me a hard time because I didn't tell her they were coming in. She got a kick out of ME not knowing they were coming either, so all was quickly forgiven. Heh heh heh.

    It's difficult to deal with losing loved ones, and we're at the age that it seems like the older generation is starting to pass on at an alarming rate. It's hard to believe that my brothers and I are the grandparents and great aunt/uncles!

    I work evenings and miss out on most of the good stuff, so I dunno when the next shin-dig is.
  27. fabulousjacqueline
    Just joining in, here. I am very new to the mandolin. My uncle gave me an old bowl-back mandolin that someone gave him. I was lucky enough to have someone tune it up for me on the street that day. And now I tune it myself! I'm learning from a book and haven't played any instrument before, so it IS daunting. I used to sing opera, though. It's been a few weeks since I started practicing and I am excited to get to the point where I can play basic chords and sing a song (O sole mio). My performance is comedic at the moment, but it has future hope.
  28. Frank Johnson
    Frank Johnson
    Thanks for joining in, and welcome to the Newbie area!
  29. Christian Flanagan
    Christian Flanagan
    Greetings, All

    I started learning the Mandolin about a year and a half ago. We have a great folk music school in Denver, Swallow Hill Music. I took their beginning mandolin classes and have been practicing diligently in my living room since then. I need to get out of the living room and start playing well or poorly with others soon. As a first step, I joined the Song-A-Week social group. I'm thinking that's a good place to get my toe in the water and start playing in a slightly more public setting and learning more tunes. At Swallow Hill, the focus is on American Folk and Blue Grass tunes. I picked up a book of Irish tunes and really enjoy learning those. After a year, practice started to feel a little like a chore. Broadening my exposure to different styles of music is one way of keeping my interest strong.

    Couple of books I'm working from:

    Mandolin Technique Studies by Matt Raum - I picked this up from a vendor at a Celtic Fair in Albuquerque. Great book. No tunes. Lots of good left and right hand finger exercises with a dash of music theory.

    Irish Mandolin Playing by Philip John Berthod - He really takes the time to provide background information on the different types of Irish tunes--Hornpipes, Jigs, Reels, etc. Also, comes with a CD. My first book with a CD. Love books with CDs. I use a free software package called Audacity to rip the files from the CD and then slow them down to make learning easier and quicker.

    Christian (aka DenBear)
  30. gerryo
    Hi all.
    Just got my mandolin yesterday along with Painless Mandolin Melodies by Wayne Erbsen and a chord chart from Mel Bay. And I am already playing MUSIC.
    OK, so I played a bit of mando about 55 years ago, but never seriously and only a few chords. This time is serious and I will eventually be concentrating on Celtic and Irish music.
    My mando is an Ibanez with a pickup so that I can hear the instrument. I am quite deaf and need the audio help. I'll be talk'n atcha. Thanx for being here.
  31. Frank Johnson
    Frank Johnson
    Hi to both gerryo and denbear. Welcome to the site! Are you totally new to music or is the mandolin simply a different instrument you're picking up?
  32. Christian Flanagan
    Christian Flanagan
    Totally new to music. I played trumpet and guitar when I was a kid. It's been 35 years since I've done anything with music, so it's really all new to me.
  33. gerryo
    Not new to music but it's been a few years since I played anything serious. Started with my Uncle on mando, banjo, guitar (spanish and hiwiian). He was killed in a car and tractor accident, and that's when I stopped learning. Messed around with guitbox for many years and finally gave it away because of my hearing problems. That was a mistake. Now I need to do music again, Tried the guitbox but with arthritis and all I just couldn't do it. Mando neck is smaller and a bit easier with only 4 strings. We'll see how it turns out. Looks promising from here. Irish is my life so i'll try that. Drinking songs especially, and a few good Irish wars for good measure.
  34. Frank Johnson
    Frank Johnson
    Since you've both played a bit, even if it was a long time ago, it isn't like the mandolin will be totally new. I understand what you mean, though. Having played SOMETHING will give you a good head start since you understand tuning, timing and stuff like that. I'm new at the mandolin but not new at music. I've checked out a lot of sites and this one (IMHO) is the best because I can come here and find just about any answer to any of my questions.... even stuff I didn't know I didn't know!

    Again, welcome!
  35. Garden Music
    Garden Music
    Hello everyone,

    It looks like many of you are now "yearlings" and not "newbies!" I got my Kentucky KM505 in May, 2010, and am enjoying it. I live in central Florida, and my musical background is in piano. I have found that the Cafe is a wonderful resource for both learning and encouragement. Nice to meet you!

  36. RonS
    Been looking and reading for awhile so thought I would introduce myself. My wife and I are retired teachers and started playing in Nov. 2009. I have a Kentucky 150 and she is playing the fiddle. She played piano before but for me it's totally new. We have been taking lessons since Nov. I have had to learn to read music but we are both having a blast!! Not sure we'll ever get good enough to play in public, probably started a bit late, but we are enjoying it.
  37. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    I decided to take a look at some of the original Newbies posts and ran across this thread. Some really interesting comments. Sadly, I don't believe any of these folks have posted since I joined the Newbies. Hopefully, they're still strumming.
  38. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Wow, I was surprised to see this at the top! I've read this thread a few times, it was the first post that Kyle Berry made after he started this group in 2009. No telling what happened to Kyle, he hasn't visited the cafe in years.
  39. HonketyHank
    Oh man. I just scanned through all the user names and did not recognize a single one. Maybe they all mastered the mandolin and moved on to a more sophisticated instrument. Like maybe the banjo.
  40. Tony Avitua
    Tony Avitua

    I have been a member of the Newbies thread for some years now, and like HonketyHank, I don't recognize any of the names here now. The members who used to be here are probably on the SOW thread now! I have too many toys, so get distracted and keep moving from one instrument to the other. As a result, I am a master of none...jeje! But, I am not a professional and do it as a hobby only, so I'm ok with that. I will attempt to visit more frequently and maybe post a video sometime. I suppose all of the videos I posted before are still here somewhere. Later!
  41. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Tony, thanks for checking in! And I look forward to your videos. How about a Faded Love? I started a thread earlier this month and hope to post something soon.
  42. MikeZito
    Given my very limited talent, I am of the secure belief that I will be a lifetime member of the Newbies Thread . . . . check back in 10 years - give me a shout in 15 years, and I'll still be here . . . .
  43. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Thankfully, we can't be voted out. Right???
  44. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    "Thankfully, we can't be voted out. Right???"

    No such thing, hallelujah.

    BTW, I think I've seen a few of the guys who posted above around the forum from time to time. Christian Flanagan recently posted a question about VII chords in tips and tricks forum.
  45. mwillis
    I am a newbie I tried to teach myself I learned a song called nonesuch but it seems I memorized the notes instead of learning to read them so I decided to take lessons I have taken four already I practice 1 to 2 hours most days and enjoy the frustration

  46. HonketyHank
    Hi, mwillis, and welcome. This is a good place. Glad you joined us.
  47. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Hi mwillis, welcome to newbies group! Have fun with your lessons
  48. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    I welcome you as well. This group is a great place to hang out.
  49. FredK
    Hello, mwillis. Welcome to the group. You've come to the right place.
  50. Bluegrasscal_87
    Glad to have you with us, mwillis!
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