it pays off

  1. kristallyn
    I got my mandolin about 5 or 6 weeks ago, and have been practising ever since, I practise my ears, but also play scales, do my chopchords daily and play melodies from standard notation and/or tab
    I try to improvise using the scales I practised, with cd s
    so yesterday, I decided , during rehearsal with my band that is was time for me to just TRY how it would work with a live band
    we played something stupid ( frank and nancy sinatra duet) and I did the whole thing on mandolin, and Oh my gosh, it sounded great!! the practise pays off
    even my tremolo s sounded good, and the tone was great..this is so much fun!

    when was your first time you discovered the hard work payed of?
  2. Christy
    That's great news! I am not good enough yet to play that well, but I have had fun playing duets with my teacher. I have only had 2 lessons so far. It sounds like you were having so much fun!

  3. KyleBerry
    I had something similar to you kristallyn. Last Sunday after Church, Tracy and I were jamming off in the corner while people were eating. Everyone is talking so loud so nobody can really hear us unless you are up close. Well all of the sudden we had an audience. They were clapping after we finished each song. And I realized then all the practice I have been doing has really payed off.
  4. Phil Sussman
    Phil Sussman
    I've started taking my mandolin to a slow jam session and playing along. Good way to work on chords, and I even attempt some solos.

  5. kristallyn
    great to hear those stories, it s so much fun, because when you start out on your instrument sometimes you get these moments thinkin, OH MY GOSH am i ever going to be able to play ANYTHING on this thing? not even mentioning playing with others,..but than all of a sudden you rise to the occasion
    played with my other band yesterday, and improvised on several songs, did the intro on joan osbornes st theresa that I sing..
    and with my band "sugarbeat" I am now playing the mandolin on "across the borderlin"( the willy deville version of it) and I m not doing half bad..I also think that I learn so much more from playing with others
  6. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    So where are these people now? I recognize kyleberry but not one else.

    This is the oldest Newbies post I see on my phone.
  7. NDO
    It looks like “no recent activity” for any of them when I click on their names.

    I’m just reading the OP and seeing 5-6 weeks to already playing chop chords, tremolo, and lead solo improv with a live band! That’s an overachiever right there
    I thought I was coming along well but that’s pretty amazing!
  8. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    I'd say there's at least one other instrument in that person's past.
  9. HonketyHank
    That's funny. I started reading the thread and said "who ARE these people?" Then I saw kyleberry's name and "Wow, He's BAAAAAAACK. Is it really him or is it a zombie?".

    Then I saw the dates. You sure had to dig deep to find this thread!
  10. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    Henry, like I said, that's the oldest Newbies thread I found and decided to check it out. Glad it caught your eye.
  11. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    I'm curious as to how many of the people who come and go from the Newbies group stick with mandolin. For the ones who didn't study an instrument earlier in life, the learning curve is very steep. (Even a few years of clarinet or piano as a child leave you with an understanding that will help later.) Do they get frustrated and bail? Does perfectionism get in the way? Do they not succeed in finding people to play with, and therefore lack context for what they're doing? Get busy with jobs, spouses, kids, and drift away from it?
  12. NDO
    Great question Louise! I know even though I came to it late at 55 (now 56), I don’t anticipate giving up mandolin... music is a passion that I don’t intend to give up, and playing a stringed instrument has elevated it way beyond my expectations.
  13. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    I've been listening to the early editions of Brad Laird's podcast and he talks alot about why people quit, avoiding the development of bad habits, good practice routines and so forth. In the last one I listened to (#4) he talked about progress in the first year by an ideal student and a student with poor learning habits. I guess I'm not ideal, but I'm not at the other end either; but I've made nowhere near the progress the ideal student achieved after a year. I try to focus on the fun, which is nothing to sneeze at, but I do get frustrated at times. In fact, I am at one of those points right now. I think it's because of my age. Firstly, starting in your sixties vs. as a kid or even twenties, I don't think most of us have as much dexterity of fingers or mind. Secondly, when you are young, you see what looks like limitless time stretched out in front of you - you have "all the time in the world". In my sixties, I feel like I only have so much time left to get to where I want to be, which is hanging out with people, playing music and having fun (with more than a small handful of tunes ready to go).

    I don't ever plan to quit, though. Despite the above, it is too much fun and my life has already been substantially enriched.
  14. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    An awful lot of us around these parts have some grey hair. That's the time when the nest has emptied, the career is what it is, and we come to realize that putting off things we want to do isn't a great idea. Patience with ourselves comes with age, also helpful when wrestling with learning something new. So does a general lowering of standards—I'm not ever going to play like Thile, but so what? I can still play and enjoy it.

    Many years ago, I went to a friend's 50th birthday party. (I was still only 39 at the time—quite a bit younger than the birthday girl.) My friend's partner, a few years past 50, said at dinner, "When I got to 50, the list of things I just didn't care about anymore started getting longer and longer." That one comment, expressed in somewhat saltier terms than what's quoted here, completely changed my view of aging. When the items on the "over 50 list" include being the best in the class, having to get a gold star for everything, and living up to other people's expectations, it frees up a lot of mental real estate better used for learning the mandolin.

    Sue, don't forget: Laird's "ideal student" was the kid everyone else wanted to beat up on the playground when we were little!
  15. SOMorris
    An awful lot of us around these parts have some grey hair and some of us don't have much to get grey!

    I can tell you from experience that starting to learn to play mandolin with absolutely no prior experience on any instrument is indeed a steep learning curve. Having a wife who is a musician has kept me from giving up in frustration. She told me earlier this week that despite what I think, I am a musician. That statement made an impression on me! I will always be in the Newbie group, though, because my playing is like a newbie. I don't care. I'm still having fun!
  16. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    I quit once after playing for a short time. One of the great regrets of my life. I still get discouraged sometimes, but there are also moments of exhilaration.

    Louise, how much are you playing your violin?
  17. Southern Man
    Southern Man
    Quite the reading. I am now 3 years in and some of the time I feel like a complete beginner. At 51, I still have some time, but it is so slow. I am eager to go back to jams and play more with other people.

    I almost started a thread asking if other people ever felt like throwing their mandolin away...I went and saw a band last night and the mandolin player was so, so good. I could see what he was doing and even, sort of, what patterns he was following, but it was so freakin' fast and so accurate at that high speed. I'm never sure if that is motivating or demotivating, but I'm gonna practice this morning before going out and seeing more music.
  18. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    If you can see what he is doing, that is progress and motivating, IMHO
  19. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Sherry, when things got serious with the pandemic, all my violin/viola commitments—and there were a bunch last spring—went away in a flash. It looked like we might be locked down for, what, six or even eight weeks? I decided to use the time to take a short vacation from bowed instruments and work on mandolin. I bought my Pava and settled in to work on some specific challenges. More than a year later, I'm embarrassed to admit how few times I have had a violin or viola out, but I'm playing mandolin daily. My baroque group is starting to begin to talk about getting together now that most of us are vaccinated, so I guess I may fire up the bowed instruments again!

    Southern Man, I love this line from a review of a concert by the English guitarist Chris Newman: "Guitar players applauded and went sadly home to burn their instruments!" We have all felt that way.

    For all of us, being able to play more often with other people will be welcome. The only non-solitary playing I have done the last year is a mandolin trio, every couple weeks. Thirteen months ago it was a rarity that I didn't have three or more rehearsals every week with various groups.
  20. NDO
    I’ve been blessed... even through the worst of the lockdowns some of my bandmates and I kept playing, albeit less frequently than normal. We even played an outdoor concert and a few house parties where we could set up outside. That kept my harmonica playing mostly on track. And once I got up to a couple of dozen songs on the mandolin I started playing outside at the local brewery, joined about half the time with a guitar player or two. So even though it hasn’t been “normal” by any stretch, our local scene has maintained some sanity and we’ve kept playing with others. I’m very thankful we’re vaccinated now and can do it more comfortably.
  21. Southern Man
    Southern Man
    I did get to play a little bit with a guitar player yesterday, just a guy who was at the same day long show I was at. During one of the breaks between bands I took out my mandolin and he got out his guitar. Was able to follow him on some of his own music. Fun day.
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