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Thread: When you learn something important

  1. #51
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    From JeffD - "Keep the mandolin leaning a little forward of vertical.". A fellow UK Cafe member up in Scotland bought a Tonegard a couple of years back & he e-mailed me on how good it was in helping him hear what he was playing. Understanding the basic principle of the item,i did exactly as JeffD posted,& yes,it worked,i heard 'more' of what i was playing - however,i do play with my mandolin at 45 degrees to my chest for exactly the same reason (i think ?) & with the same results - i hear more. It doesn't make chords easier to reach though.

    As i mostly play sitting down & need to lean backward to reduce my back pain,leaning the mandolin forward on it's edge isn't an option - it's far easier holding the mandolin as i do.
    Ivan
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  2. #52
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    I find it easier to play without looking at the fingerboard than looking at it. The frets are actually a distraction to me. On the other hand (pun intended), looking at my picking hand sometimes helps me pick more cleanly, especially on intricate passages. But the way to throw myself off is to look at my left hand. I find it more reliable 95% of the time to just rely on spacial and tactile perception.

    bratsche
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  4. #53
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    well this has been 5 minutes I will never get back

  5. #54
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    Reading this thread led to a deep insight into my own lack of advancement. For the past three months, I have not played a mandolin, not eaten pizza, and not drank a beer. That problem was addressed last night, and my playing has improved dramatically!
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  7. #55

    Default Re: When you learn something important

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    Reading this thread led to a deep insight into my own lack of advancement. For the past three months, I have not played a mandolin, not eaten pizza, and not drank a beer. That problem was addressed last night, and my playing has improved dramatically!
    Your colleagues in this forum are always here to help
    Play it like you mean it.

  8. #56
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    Quote Originally Posted by bratsche View Post
    ...But the way to throw myself off is to look at my left hand.
    Have you tried to look at your left hand in a mirror?
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  10. #57
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    Quote Originally Posted by dadsaster View Post
    I play in the dark sometimes. It's an informative exercise. I just haven't been able to get the fretting accuracy I need to play cleanly without looking. I find slides particularly disorenting.
    I learned the mando after I was an accomplished fiddle player...and I instinctively knew that I needed to work the finger board without looking. I spent lots of hours playing exercises without looking. Now, 20 yrs later, I can play for hours without a glance...but when I step outside my comfort zone and go up the neck,the side dots are all I need to see, just for a glimpse, to get the shift. If I look too long it messes with my coordination and timing. It creeps me out to see my fingers flying on fast pieces.
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
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  11. #58
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    It creeps me out to see my fingers flying on fast pieces.
    Visual perception is much slower than aural or tactile. Temporally distorted feedback of what we do can cause funny things. There was a time when looking at my fingers could cause sudden fits of seasickness, but I somehow have learned not to follow every move.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  13. #59
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    Have you tried to look at your left hand in a mirror?
    Yes, but that doesn't bother me quite as much as directly looking down at my left hand does. Maybe it's because the mirror is far enough away for me to see the forest without being distracted by some trees...

    bratsche
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  14. #60

    Default Re: When you learn something important

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    I learned the mando after I was an accomplished fiddle player...and I instinctively knew that I needed to work the finger board without looking. I spent lots of hours playing exercises without looking. Now, 20 yrs later, I can play for hours without a glance...but when I step outside my comfort zone and go up the neck,the side dots are all I need to see, just for a glimpse, to get the shift. If I look too long it messes with my coordination and timing. It creeps me out to see my fingers flying on fast pieces.
    Another fiddle player here. In fact, if I want to catch a tune/melody faster, I have to look away from the player hands. Hands will fool ya. It's almost like my eyes are stealing valuable brain power from my ears. I don't close my eyes as that sometimes gives me vertigo. I go with staring a hole in the floor.

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  16. #61
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    I work on a computer for my job, so I have a lot of keyboard time under my belt. I always used to look at the keyboard when I typed. About 15 years ago, I wondered if I could type without looking. It was a little hard at first, but I was surprised that I could mostly do it without issue. After a transition period, where I would have to force myself not to look and would have to fix a lot of mistakes, I could type without looking.

    I never thought about this on the mandolin until about a year ago when I was taking lessons from Jordan Ramsey. He said something like, "the mandolin is a feeling instrument, so you don't have to look..." He was just saying it offhand, I can't remember the reason why. But for some reason that statement seemed really profound to me. The mandolin is a feeling instrument? It had never occurred to me to use my fingers to feel where I was on the fretboard. And I never thought about not looking. So I just started trying it. It was really awkward at first, but now I don't need to look if I am playing in first position. I do still need to look if I go up the neck, but that's because I never go up there. I probably need to practice more up the neck, while looking, and then eventually I wouldn't need to look there either.

    I guess my point is, I always thought I needed to look. On both the keyboard when typing and the mandolin. I never really thought about not looking, until I tried and I could just do it (after a transition period). It is important to point out that I had been typing a lot for several years before I made that transition. Same with the mandolin. It wouldn't work for a beginner.

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  18. #62
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    I wish I could type on a keyboard without looking, but all the keys feel, and even sound, the same...

    (As the squinting gets harder, one of these helps! LOL)

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

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  19. #63
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    My band has a weekly gig at a sweet pizzeria, with 12 local beers on tap. This is the biggest musical secret in the world...get a paid weekly gig, with free pizza and beer...you will become a better player, and will constantly have a great time gigging with you band mates!
    Brilliant!
    ever forward

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  21. #64
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: When you learn something important

    Don't be afraid / ashamed to glance at the fingerboard - most of the 'pros.' do !. I can play without looking at the fingerboard (too much),the side dots & the fret ends are all i need,but having pretty large hands,it's easy for me to louse up on my left hand fingering,& it's for that reason ie. not 'positional' playing that i do look at the fingerboard. Maybe that's why Adam Steffey also looks at the fingerboard while he's playing,he's got pretty large hands like mine,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
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