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Thread: Rookie looking for guidance...

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Default Rookie looking for guidance...

    Hey all,

    Firstly, I have no real music background to speak of. I took up mandolin almost a month now, I can play the basic GCD chords, and a few scales. My major problem is that I don't have ANY instructors with in a reasonable distance from me. So I'm mostly going off of Youtube right now (Mandolessons). That fellow seems to be true gentleman and starting my next paycheck i'm gonna start giving to his Patreon. But it still is difficult not having an instructor there to show you what and how you're doing things wrong and how to fix it. I'm eager and willing to learn but its frustrating without someone to give you direction and feedback. I'm open to suggestions, are there any online courses i ought to check out? does anyone know of a Skype teacher (and how good of a medium that is to learn music through)?
    Thanks all for any and everything.

  2. #2
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    SKYPE works fine for an online teacher student lesson. There is a small delay in transmission but that doesn't impact a lesson much at all. Check out the list of instructors available on the Café Home page. they are listed under the Classifieds button in the Lessons file. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  3. #3
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    First of all, welcome to Mandolin Cafe -- glad to have you here.

    And I am glad you found Mandolessons.com, where I, too, have learned so much.

    Re Skype lessons, I have heard that they can be very effective and satisfying. But just like in-person lessons, much depends on the 'chemistry' between you and the instructor. So dig around on the Cafe and you will find recommendations for various instructors via Skype. But if you don't hit it off, it is not a bad mark against you or the instructor - just try a different one.
    New here? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.
    Or click "Learn/Listen", then "Social Groups", then find "Newbies".

  4. #4
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    You don't say what kind of music you're interested in ... there are certainly mandolin players in your neck of the woods although I'm not sure about teachers. I know one in Bronxville (classical), but that's off the Island and over into Westchester. You might check out Retrofret since that's a bridge or two away from you in Manhattan, they might have a list of mandolin teachers. I know a couple of ITM mandolin/banjo players out there, I could ask them if they know any teachers.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    Randi, thanks very much I'd appreciate a quick ask to your people if you don't mind. I'd be very much obliged. Also what is ITM?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    Quote Originally Posted by paleosteveo View Post
    ... what is ITM?
    ITM = Irish traditional music.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    Look up Buddy Merriam, he's in Sound Beach.

  8. #8
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    Haven't been a Long Islander since long before mandolin, BUT ...

    - The Café does have a Long Island social group that could be helpful.
    - There is at least one Long Island bluegrass society: http://bcliorg.wixsite.com/bcli.
    - And a (just past) bluegrass festival in Babylon each summer: https://www.babylonarts.org/bluegrass-festival
    - Big time bluegrasser Buddy Merriam is in Sound Beach. Don't know if he does lessons, but his website certainly point to several bluegrass/mandolin upcoming performances. http://www.buddymerriam.com/

    Even if you're not really into bluegrass, each of these could be an opportunity to meet enthusiastic folks and get some direction on lessons.

    And, hey, no bridges needed to get to RetroFret: they're in Brooklyn and well worth the visit. Probably get some leads there, too. For me, used to be a short subway ride from lower Manhattan! (BIG article on them in Fretboard Journal 5-6 years ago.)

    Good Luck!
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

  9. #9

    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    You might consider something like artistworks. You can gain access to a ton of content and can upload videos of yourself playing and get feedback from Mike Marshall on your playing. He has a ton of great content gear towards beginners that isn't covered by most instructors. Getting access to one of the best players in the world for $30 a month is a pretty good deal.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    I asked a local guy that I knew as a friend who plays mandolin to just have an informal meeting with me so I could ask him for some tips. Not really a lesson, more like I asked him if it would be okay to talk shop about playing mandolin and if he'd help me with some things that I felt I was stumbling over. If there's any kind of a jam in town, it might be helpful for you to join it and try to make some friends who can help you. If you find a jam and it still takes 10 years before you feel like you can ask somebody to help, in the mean time you can watch them play and learn a lot that way.

  11. #11
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    Whoa! Just saw that Barry Mitterhoff is doing a 10-week bluegrass jamming class in Bellmore (that's Long Island!) in Oct. - Dec. Since the minimum requirements are fairly low (ability to switch between some basic chords, maybe a G & D scale) this could be a golden opportunity. AND since he'd be on Long Island (he's from NJ), might be a chance to take some private lessons. Wow!
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

  12. #12
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    I'm betting there are good mandolin instructors closer than you think. Check out the Long Island Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra.

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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Rookie looking for guidance...

    Dude,
    You're in Long Island. There's mando teachers there. They may be hard to find, but there are mando teachers there. I live on an island in Alaska with around 12,000 people on the entire island.

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