Quick hi

  1. EricG
    Hey everyone,

    Just wanted to say hi and introduce myself. I live in San Antonio (although my heart is still in Alaska) with my wife in a newly ďempty nestĒ. I played the piano and cello into my mid-teens, but I remember very little about playing. Now Iím 50 and feeling a little silly for just ordering a mandolin from The Mandolin Store. I donít know anyone else that plays one, but Iíve always loved the sound, and after stumbling across this website I decided to order one and give it a try. I ordered an Eastman MD505 and it should be in tomorrow afternoon. I appreciate all of the great information Iíve found here. If anyone lives in the area and knows of a good mandolin instructor, please let me know. Thanks.

  2. HonketyHank
    Welcome to the bunch, EricG. And good choice on mandolin - coming from the Mandolin Store, it should be nicely set up, too. In-person one-on-one lessons are really beneficial if the student and instructor hit it off well, but while you are trying to find that matchup, there are internet options ranging from one-on-one via skype to zoom kind of lessons, to scads and scads of individual lesson videos.

    I started out with Baron Collins-Hill's basic lessons at www.mandolessons.com and I continue to get material and ideas from his website. His material is all free unless you want to donate a bit to help out with his expenses.

    Brad Laird is out there, as is Banjo Ben Clark; both have inexpensive video download lessons on a variety of aspects and/or tunes.

    We've all got our favorites here so I bet others will mention theirs, too.

    I do recommend a free ebook by a MC member, Rob Meldrum. You can search for "meldrum" in the main forum and find details on how to get it emailed to you. Even if you do not intend to do your own setup work I think everyone should know what all the adjustments are and what they do (and how to do them).
  3. EricG
    Thanks for the welcome and the information. I’ve watched a few of the beginner mandolessons and will start there. I’ll take a look at the others that you mentioned. I also sent an email off for the ebook. Looking forward to getting started with the mandolin this weekend.


  4. TTT
    Hi Eric! I am (counts fingers) 6 weeks ahead of you. I went with an Eastman as well - 504. Great little group here, and very helpful to us newbies. Looking forward to hearing about your journey!
  5. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    Nice to "meet" ya, EricG.

    If you like printed reference material, I really like Duke Sharp's Garage Band Theory and Don Julin's Mandolin for Dummies (which is most assuredly not just for dummies). Brad Laird's podcast is extremely informative and entertaining (I like it enough that I signed on as a supporter). I listen while I'm cooking and preserving. In the year and a half I've been playing, I haven't been able to have any in person instruction, but I have signed on with Mike Marshall on ArtistWorks.

    You must be so excited for your mandolin! I remember clearly the sense of anticipation for mine. You were smart to go with something good out of the gates. I skimped, and it lead to an early and severe case of MAS
  6. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    You'll be surprised at what will come back to you from cello and piano. It will help.

    There are probably a number of mandolinists around San Antonio. Local music stores often keep a list of who in the area is teaching—stop by a couple and see what you can find out. Any idea what type of music you're interested in?
  7. EricG
    Thanks for warm welcome everyone. Sue, I’ve used a “…for Dummies” book multiple times over the years, so I’m glad to hear that there is one for the mandolin-I’ll order one this weekend. Louise, I listen to a lot of Americana type music, Grateful Dead, and have started to listen to some Bluegrass. I really enjoy the music of Mandolin Orange (although their name has changed).
  8. Southern Man
    Southern Man

    Welcome. I'm 51. I've been playing for about 3.5 years. Not sure I have too much to add but you need to get over that idea of feeling a little silly. If I can do it, you can too. The kind of music you are interested in is also directly up my alley. Grateful Dead, jam band music, some bluegrass (which was all through Garcia and Grisman, but is much more extensive these days), and a lot of Americana of various sorts.

    I'm starting a Grateful Dead ensemble class in a few weeks.
  9. NDO
    Welcome Eric! You have definitely come to the right place. I felt equally unsure a little over a year ago and now I canít keep my hands off the mandolinÖ errÖ mandolins that are littering my house. Two of them are Eastmans (a 605 and a 415), you definitely wonít regret that choice and my favorite setup is still the one I got from The Mandolin Store. I havenít tried any interactive lessons but have had a blast just tinkering away on my own. And I love your music genre choice, donít be afraid to just start learning to play the chords of your favorite songs and singing along. Thatís pretty much what I still do
  10. Ellsdemon
    Welcome EricG. Don't hesitate to ask questions and also, don't be afraid to do the song of the month and post, either video or audio. It's a great way to build confidence in your progression.
    I'll tell you what I'm working on and I think it helped a great deal in my fingering, it's a b*tch to play smoothly, but it's FfCP. You can get the tabs at http://jazzmando.com/ffcp.shtml. Go to about middle of page click on the PDF, labled "FFcP exercise"

    It really helped me get my fingers use to the fret board and I could(still am) work at my own pace.
  11. EricG
    It’s good to hear that others share my taste in music! Southern Man, I’d love to hear more about the ensemble class. Any advice on where to find tabs/music for the genre we like? NDO, it’s nice to hear such good things about the instruments that come from The Mandolin Store. Mine arrived last night and I’m itching to get it out of the box. My kids came home from college last night for my daughters birthday, so I didn’t have the chance to get it out. I’ll be unboxing it in just a few minutes! Ellsdemon, thanks so much for the link to tbe exercise. I seriously appreciate all of the advice and introductions. Now if only I could find someone to drive to Houston with me next Friday to see Dead And Company!
  12. SOMorris
    Welcome to the forum, EricG! I have an MD505 that I purchased from The Mandolin Store. I like it and hope you like yours!
  13. Southern Man
    Southern Man

    I'm a big advocate for in-person lessons, so I've taken 3 mandolin specific courses, and this will be my third ensemble course from my local roots music school. My last ensemble course was for The Band. I'd take a Dylan or Paul Simon course if they had those, too. Maybe they will, as they rotate what they offer.

    I have some good news and bad news on the tab front. The good news is that there is abundant material on Grateful Dead songs (you can get complete chords form the Jerry Garcia fakebook) but the bad news is that very little is mandolin specific. I mean, I have some fairly complete mando tabs for Friend of the Devil, Dark Hollow and Rider, but that is about it. I'm happy to share what I have if you Private Message me. There are some helpful tutorials on the mandolincafe in the Rock sub-forum from Andrew Hendrix as well. But generally you are going to have to gain a little bit of music theory knowledge and pick out your own melodies and translate some guitar-based resources. Which takes a lot longer then just starting to hammer away on pre-made tabs, but in the long run, this is what you want to do anyway, since what you want to do is play an improvisational style of music.

    The story is largely the same with a lot of Americana, but maybe with a lot less guitar based resources, depending on the specific song and artist. Bluegrass has abundant resources for all sorts of music. Luckily learning bluegrass is both fun on its own and provides and excellent base for learning some theory and improvisational skills while learning enough to pick out your own dead tunes. Which makes sense since Jerry was a Folkie and bluegrasser.

    I've seen Dead and Co maybe 8-10 times but gave them a miss this tour. Didn't work out with our other music adventures, but I'm trying to hit everything I can while it is still outdoors, because we've already had a number of cancelled shows for this winter. Maybe its better further south.
  14. EricG
    Thanks for the info Southern Man. Yeah, I definitely want to take some in person lessons as soon as I can. I figured it wouldn’t be easy to locate mandolin music for the artists/groups that I like, but it will be a while before I’m at a point where I can play songs anyway. I started playing around with my mandolin on Saturday and am enjoying it so far. So far I’m just using Mandolessons.com to get started.
  15. NDO
    Southern Man, I’m sending a PM to see if I can get a copy of those tabs… I’ve been wanting to learn those ones.
  16. Ellsdemon
    Not to turn away from Eric's post, but I'm a Deadhead, and I can't dive deep with Dead and Company. I don't know what it is, but I lean towards just not enjoying John's voice. He's never been kind to my ears. They played here in St. Louis not to long ago and I could have gone, should have, but I just wasn't excited about it. Just got the new box set from Dave's Picks, St. Louis 71, 72 and 73 and I'm more excited about that then I have for any D&C's stuff lately.
    Sorry to veer off on the topic at hand.
  17. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    Ellsdemon, do you like Billy Strings? I'm not a deadhead, but I have listened to their music some (and went to a concert once a long time ago). It seems to me there is some overlap in fans between Billy's band and the GD fans. I saw Billy Strings in NH this summer, and it was quite an experience.
  18. TTT
    OMG I got choked up watching the "In the Morning Light" video. Thanks for the recommendation Sue
  19. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    Me too. Lotta talent for a 29 year old kid who came from a really tough upbringing.
    (I say kid, cause he's the same age as my daughter )
  20. EricG
    Ellsdemon, I agree with you about John’s voice. However, he’s a great guitarist and I can get over his voice to hear the music live again. But, I can’t get to the concert today. On a good note, I am going to see Mandolin Orange tomorrow night in Austin.

    Also, I’ve been playing my mandolin all week and have a question. Since I ordered it from “The Mandolin Store”, I am assuming that it is perfectly set-up. However, I can rarely play a fretted note on the G string without buzzing and don’t really know how to tell if it’s my technique (most likely), or an issue with the action. Thanks in advance for any pointers.
  21. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    Eric, this may not apply to your case, but I have been experiencing buzzing on my F2 when I play chords. It has a slightly longer scale length and heavier strings than my Strad-O-Lin. I'm working on Don Julin's version of Arkansas Traveller, and the rhythm part has a lot of chord changes in the B part. Like every measure. I'm finding that my finger's aren't always landing exactly in the right place, and it takes more pressure to fret cleanly anyway. I can make it sound good just concentrating on one chord at a time. So to make a short story long, in my case, it's me.

    If I were you, I'd try holding down each fret with my first (strongest) finger, and see how that sounds.
    That said, I have a mandola that came with a loose brace on the bass side. The C string buzzed like crazy. But your mando is brand new, so I highly doubt that's your problem.
  22. Southern Man
    Southern Man
    I love me some Billy Strings. Getting ready to do a three night run with them in a couple of weeks, then another show a couple of weeks after that. Jarrod Walker is a heck of a mandolin player. Interesting match for that band, as he came up playing almost solely traditional bluegrass without any of the jamband background they incorporate so well.

    I'm not crazy about John Mayer's voice, but he is a terrific blues guitar player. My favorite GD songs are the blues based stuff and he tears that up. I've enjoyed my times seeing them, and I'll see them if they are close and convenient, but it isn't good enough to chase. There is other music that I would rather travel for (such as the Billy Strings mentioned above).
  23. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    I saw a video somewhere, maybe instagram, of Billy and Jarrod in an airport terminal, waiting for a flight, jamming away. it was pretty cool.

    Billy has a pretty good bluegrass background, too. Have you seen this video of him and his stepdad, Terry Barber? I like this alot.

  24. Ellsdemon
    I enjoy Billy Strings as well, if I ever see him playing near me I'll for sure go. I like it when he plays with his stepdad, it's got that vibe I like.
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