There are a few things that I can't help bringing to how I am learning mandolin.
Math: As a percussionist I have gone through uncounted variations of simple concepts. All possible handings for any given rhythm. switching parts between all limbs (feet as well as hands). Etc.
This pleases the mathematical side of my brain. :-)
Music theory: I have studied music theory and analysis for over 25 years. Scales, chords and progressions are my bread and butter. (But then