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  1. Hi Jeff. I was just admiring a friend's Vanden A5 a couple of weeks ago. Probably the nicest one I've ever seen. Gorgeous sunburst etc etc and ran up the first string and tripped myself up when I noticed he had the dot marker on 9 instead of 10. Couldn't believe it. I'd have to change that, not that I play past 7th fret that often.

    Is it just the luthier having a 'guitar head' on when doing this ?

    Jimmy Powells
  2. Hey Jeff! You planning to make Zoukfest by chance? Carolyn? I am leaning towards attending, would be neat to see you all there.
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    JD - just found this site w/ some very cool Fraley. Is it my imagination or did he make it a point of being 20 cents flat on purpose? Sorta like the classical composers @ A336 or 8 instead of A440.??? Any way thanks for turning me on to him (and his wife) - you're battin 1000.
  4. Jeff: Just read your "funny stuff", etc. in your signature line. Good pictures/mando references and funny! Enjoyed it. Got to go, time to play the mandolin at the old folks home. Regards, Mandolinlee. (Lee H.Bayliss)
  5. View Conversation
    Jeff, Thanks for turning me on to Wild Rose of the Mountain and 1050 Reels and Jigs. My cup runneth over at the moment because of these two finds from looking at your posts/blogs. Bob Grieco
  6. Thanks Jeff. I don't want to part with it because I'm sure it will break my heart when and if i do but needs must sadly. Them's the breaks I guess. Thanks for replying though, this is my fist time on the Mandolin Cafe site in all these years. Good isn't it !
  7. I alway thank everyone for the kind words, and earnestly hope they are kept in mind if and when I manage to torque folks off sometime in the future.
  8. Hey, Jeff....just a short note to say you help me a lot with your insightful and often articulate (sometimes controversial) comments and deductions. I look forward to your comments when I post and you are among the 4 or 5 replyers that I go looking for in a post. Don't get all "puffed-up" with this, eh....(wink)....Canadian, Duane.
  9. Thanks again for the feedback! This is one journey where I'll definitely have to "stop & ask directions!"
  10. Where are you in up state? I went to college in Canton (way up state) and live over in WRJ VT.
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About JeffD

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About JeffD
Been playing mandolin longer than I have been gainfully employed. Been fishing longer than that.
Upstate New York
old timey (N&S), celtic, classical/quartet, medieval/ren, contra, bluegrass, fiddle tunes
unrelated to music, or fishing for that matter


Having something to say is highly over rated.

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View JeffD's Blog

Recent Entries

Light in the Dark

by JeffD on Jul-09-2019 at 10:35pm
We all go through grey and dark times: Being alone when I did not want to be, being with people I’d rather not be. Not having what I want and having a lot I don’t, not being who I want to be by this time, or worse, having to ask myself, as did Peggy Lee: "Is that all there is?"

Being caught in a lie, or worse, being caught in a truth.

And darker times.

Losing friends over ridiculous arguments far less important (or informed) than was the friendship.

Read More

Updated Dec-03-2019 at 11:01am by JeffD


Bragging Rights

by JeffD on Feb-01-2018 at 4:37pm
There is a syndrome, in my experience much more common among some guitar players, where bragging rights accrue to getting the absolute cheapest most beat up instrument possible. I think it has to do with resolving the cognitive dissonance of playing blues, down and dirty blues, on a guitar costing a couple months pay, or more, at a good job. Authenticity, or something like. But whatever the reason, a fellow carrying a guitar that looks like it was found in the men's room of the New York City Port

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Updated Mar-05-2018 at 9:34pm by JeffD


The Mandolin Life

by JeffD on Jan-29-2018 at 12:29pm
In various threads about getting better you will hear complaints about how little time is available for mandolin. Working two jobs, keeping three kids fed, negotiating four ex-wives, only five days of vacation… I hear you.

This is not a “priorities” lecture, I am not going to tell you that you have the same 24 hours in a day that everyone does, this is not going to be a time management tips and tricks discussion.

My experience is much more gradual and organic. Mandolin

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Updated Jan-29-2018 at 12:54pm by JeffD


Getting More Betterer

by JeffD on Jul-06-2017 at 10:00am
Getting More Betterer

I have been reading “The Inner Game of Music”, which I highly recommend. It’s not a religion or philosophy, though it can be. One or two ideas from that book can really make a difference.

Anyway, through some of the thinking in that book, and lots of coffee chat afterword, and being tired of struggling with technique for its own sake, I have a useful perspective I can finally put into words. It applies to most of us, but perhaps not all.

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Updated Jul-07-2017 at 9:42pm by JeffD


Acts of Defiance

by JeffD on May-29-2017 at 2:06pm
Hang on folks this is important.

Every year I throw a large music party at a local state park pavilion. At times we have had as many as 65 or 70 attendees. Once or twice we had three simultaneous jams, old time and traditional, hard core Irish traditional, and one for old country and western songs.

Mandolins, yea, but banjos too, fiddles galore, two or three cellos, maybe an accordion and a clarinet, one or two autoharps, and many guitars.

Been doing this for

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