Update on MMC study

  1. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Hi folks, this group membership has been slowly, steadily growing since its inception, that's cool

    I haven't gotten round to posting Lesson Seven yet, and the reason is that the business my son and I are building has had us swamped with work of late. I already know how to approach this next lesson. It will be titled "Chords by the Numbers" just like the section in Mandolin Master Class, but it will differ from the material Brad has written, and it will also introduce the idea of diatonic harmony of the major and minor scales. Diatonic harmony in that regard just simply refers to the chords that are built within a major or minor key - and not nearly as daunting as it may sound.

    In the meantime, I am wondering if any of our members are actually working through any of this material. I know that HonketyHank is, to an extent, because Hank (and Brad Laird) have been the ones who have commented on lessons in the past. It would be good for me to know if anyone else is actually getting anything from these lessons. If you're working through these lessons, or if you've tried working through any of them, I'd like to hear your thoughts about it. Sometimes a little feedback makes the effort worthwhile. Regardless, I plan to continue the lessons because of the benefit to myself as a student of them. But it would be great to hear from some of the other members whether or not you're working through the program, or have used any of the material in any of the lessons. Consider posting here to let me know, and for the newer members, consider introducing yourself in the thread about ... you guessed it ... "Welcome, Introduce Yourself", or something to that effect.

    Shucks, you can even write, "I hate music theory" if the spirit moves you

    Happy mandolinning

    Peace, Love and Mandolins
  2. HonketyHank
    Just to get things started, I'll mention that I'm still here and am grateful for the leadership. No problem with the interlude. If there is a way I can help spread the load, PM me and we'll work something out.
  3. choctaw61
    I'm still here as well.I have to admit haven't had time to work on material much. Family things have kept me busy ( Mom fell broke hip,dad in 4th stage of Alzheimer's, I've been tending to them). I work on material as much as I can.The interlude as Hank mentioned has been in perfect time for me.Looking forward to getting back into a regular schedule. If that exist!
  4. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Thanks for checking in, guys! Choctaw, good on you for taking care of mom and pop. Best wishes to you.
  5. belorsch
    Heya Mark, I'm going to be returning after 3+ months of MIA. I had a coworker go out with a bad back in
    late May and work got very intense. That coupled with the summer goings on is my bad excuse.
    I got me a new set of strings for the mando I just need to get my rear in gear.
  6. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    belorsch! Good to hear from you again. It has been over a month since I posted lesson 6 ... coming up on two months soon. But I have plans to get #7 out soon, and Hank has offered to follow with #8 after that. I'm looking forward very much to these next two lessons. We're glad you expect to be back in the saddle here. Hiyo Silver!
  7. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    I don't know about others here, but I definitely enjoyed Hank's lesson on Pentatonic scales.

    I'm having trouble with making my own lesson videos, because of the limitations of my equipment and software. All I've had to use is an iPhone for both video and sound recording, and Windows Moviemaker for video. My setup is limited for using screenshots with voice-overs, etc. which I feel are necessary for discussing chords by the numbers and diatonic harmony. Also, my time has been severely limited of late, but I hope to experiment with other software and purchase a new mic soon to try and solve the limitations.

    The most important aspect of this project though is to actually work through the Master Class material and discover how it can inform my mandolin playing, and this continues to be a huge success. I can only hope that others are getting as much from it as I am.
  8. HonketyHank
    Mark asked me to help out again with another lesson. Flattery wins out over common sense, so I agreed.

    I'll be putting together some videos on material covered in pages 22-26 and we'll call it Lesson 9. That is kind of a big chunk, but I think it is manageable. It will depend a great deal on understanding what a pentatonic scale actually is, so now is a good time to complete Lesson 8 if you haven't already done so. The Lesson 8 videos on fretboard diagrams are not essential to Lesson 9, but the others do relate directly.

    The material in pages 22-26 is pretty heavy stuff, so it wouldn't hurt to read through it at least once while I get my act together for a few videos.
  9. bradlaird
    I have so many irons in the fire that I don't often read (or watch) everything over here but I still slink by and do a little lurking.
  10. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Brad, thanks for the recent Facebook post promoting this study group!

    I enjoyed Henry's coverage of lesson 9, because it is a snapshot of how one mandolinist is beginning to grow by making the effort to a) study and understand the material, and b) pick up a mandolin and "test" the theory being taught. The simple pentatonic "licks" that Henry worked out over the chord progressions just faintly scratch the surface of what can be done with this. Kudos to Henry once again for tackling this project.

    A few words about Brad's post from the Lesson 9 thread:

    Brad has quite a few free and paid video lessons that come with PDF's as he has mentioned in that post, and they dovetail nicely with the MMC materials. For that reason, I began collecting many of those lessons some time ago. I found that they are excellent materials that give me what I want: Concise, clear explanations and examples of technique as well as note-for-note teaching of great standard tunes. Most of these lessons could be had for a measly eight bucks - even less if you take advantage of discounts regularly posted in his newsletter. So I find them a great bargain, a way to support a great teacher, and a tool to help me become a better mandolinist. So far, I have collected the following video lessons (in alphabetical order here):

    Barre Chords & 7th Chords
    Chop Chords For Small Hands
    Chords By The Numbers
    Mandolin Improvisation
    - 1 Pentatonic Improvisation Basics
    - 2 Pentatonic Improvisation 2
    - 3 Pentatonic Improvisation 3
    - 4 Turnarounds
    - 5 More Turnarounds
    - 6 Moveable Blues Licks
    Mandolin Songs 2
    - Cripple Creek
    - Laird's March Duet
    - Muddy Roads
    - Red Haired Boy
    - Sitting On Top Of The World
    - Whiskey Before Breakfast

    Moveable Major & Minor Chords
    Pentatonic Roadmaps Part 1 (Amazing Grace)
    Pentatonic Roadmaps Part 2 (Amazing Grace)
    Soloing in Moveable Positions (Nine Pound Hammer)

    I plan to get more of Brad's stuff as I go along, and I do have other of his written materials as well - the list above represents video lessons!

    Now, some of the material covered in the lessons above is material I had a good grasp on before I purchased it - not all, not even much of it, but some of it. So why did I purchase it? Because there is always something to learn from a fellow musician who has spent 40 years playing in bands - and because I want to see what I can recommend to the mandolin newbie, to help folk learn things more quickly than the research, trial and error, rinse & repeat method. I do highly recommend any of this material, so if you see a title that you think may answer some questions, don't be afraid to get it.
  11. bradlaird
    Thanks, Mark! Again, I have been kinda busy so I have stopped by here in a while and I realize I have a lot of reading to do to catch up.
  12. B381
    I'm still in there when I get spare moments.
  13. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    I'm still here, Mark. Failed the chapter 2 self-test miserably, so I need some work there. Moving slowly here since I'm also working on Pete Martin's double stops and preparing for a January 20 recital duet with a violin student - Faded Love (I'm trying to add double stops) and Thanksgiving Waltz (so beautiful!) And, of course, there are my 2 or 3 tunes for the weekly jam session.

    Thanks for all you do, Mark. It doesn't get said enough.

    Once again, I seem to have offered more than what was asked for. :o(
  14. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Sherry, it's so great to get an update from you! When you get back to the lesson, please don't hesitate to ask questions about any part of the music theory that gives you any trouble. We're here to help each other
  15. Kback
    Hello everyone,

    I’m thinking of starting to work through this series after the new year, but not sure I’m ready. I have a few starter songs I can play through, though they are not technical. Wondering if this will be jumping in the deep end to early? My son plays upright and electric bass and can help me work through some things.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks all,

  16. HonketyHank
    I don't think it is too early. There isn't really anything technically demanding, at least not up thru the most recent lessons. It's good to be able to recognize the structures of various types of tunes - I think it actually makes it easier to learn them.

    And heck, nobody has laid down timelines and due dates. Nor even required completion. If you find it heavy, take a break of indefinite length. You'll come back when you feel like it. The material in the course is really kind of funny. It could be dreadful if it was a required course. But it is quite a lot of fun as an elective. I think all of us are moving through this at his/her own speed so as to maintain the fun aspect of it.
  17. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Hear, hear! I like what HonketyHank wrote about maintaining the fun in fundamentals!

    Kback, my thinking is, "the sooner the better" - and I'm talking about starting the course, not finishing it. You can start this class at square one at any time you want, and go through it at your own speed. It's a whole lot of material if you're just starting out in music theory, so take your time and have fun. Some of it can be real work - like the man said, "The material in the course is really kind of funny: It could be dreadful if it was a required course. But it is quite a lot of fun as an elective."

    The "work" is well worth the effort as long as it holds your interest, and if you get to feeling swamped with anything, take a break and come back at any time. Also, we are here to help when you post in a lesson thread, and Brad Laird also has a thread here where you can post questions for him. No pressure, no way to lose, gain what you can use from it.
  18. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Since my practice time is limited and filled with other commitments right now, I think I'll study the materials without the mandolin in tow. I know this isn't the ideal approach, but at least I'll be moving forward.

    Keith, I'd love to have the company! I'll be revisiting chapter 2, so maybe you and I can do this thing together.
  19. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    I am way overdue, and long past ready, to get back to MMC study. My tripod broke and I've ordered a replacement in order to make video again. I'll post the missing and long-overdue lesson 6 as soon as possible, then start moving through the rest of the text.

    Also, I plan to add some studies on technique (hammers, pulls, slides, etc.) and rhythm (muting & chopping, etc.)

    I hope to create some studies of actual songs for showing some technique and rhythm studies as well. These probably won't be bluegrass (maybe a couple bluegrass tunes could make it, but I'm such a bluegrass newb, sorry). I have in mind tunes like:

    Mr. Bojangles (NGDB)
    Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (Dylan)
    Santeria (Sublime)
    Just Like A Woman (Dylan)
    My Girl (Temptations)
    Girl From The North Country (Bush)

    Or maybe some fiddle tunes like:

    Loch Leven Castle
    Santa Ana's Retreat
    Bonaparte's March

    Let me know if you're interested in any of those, or others.

    Hope to have some new studies posted soon.
  20. HonketyHank
    They all sound like good tunes to work on from my perspective. You know, being of a certain age. Or vintage.
  21. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Ah yes, vintage!

  22. choctaw61
    Ahhh,yes. Is it vintage or Antique?Either way sounds great.Looking forward to it.Love those ummmm OLD nooo,Nostalgic tunes.thats it.
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