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Thread: it's weird going back to guitar now -

  1. #26
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    I actually enjoy playing guitar more now that I play mandolin, mainly because of the contrast. Back when all I played was guitar, it just sounded like a guitar. But when I get it out now, after sitting behind a mandolin, it flat out roars (I play a dread). And the same thing happens when I go back to mandolin from guitar: the contrast is there and makes it more fun. YMMV.
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  3. #27
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    Agree. It's fun to play guitar now. It helps that folks ask for me to play guitar. In addition, am starting to play backup guitar at contests, too. All of it forces me to concentrate more on what I do. Rather than cruise through things on autopilot.
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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    In recent years I've moved from playing heavily guitar-centric music like Blues, "American Fingerstyle," and Brazilian Jazz, into very non-guitar-centric music like Irish/Scottish trad. So I play more mandolin melody now than guitar. But I still keep my hand in, with occasional strummed backing and a few fingerstyle arrangements of slower Scottish melodies. I''m now fairly comfortable in Drop-D tuning for this music, which I never messed with back in the Blues/Jazz days.

    We have some friends coming over this evening for dinner and tunes, and I'll probably do some guitar backing. I don't get to do that at pub sessions, because there is almost always a guitar player already present at public gatherings. More than one backer doesn't work well with this music. With a private by-invitation house session, I can make sure I have a chance to play a little guitar.

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  6. #29

    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    Interesting the processes that move us among our various paths. I guess usually it's the music that compels us to one instrument or the other. Although in my own experience there have been flat-out exceptions (i took up accordian simply because they're often available quite inexpensively).

    I think I went through some amount of crises when I quit guitar - took a few years before those misgivings finally abated. But it's a long, varied path to discovery; guitar *music* took back seat to more exotic forms. I'm still primarily a strings player, but I've noticed they don't have frets anymore ... going less for polyphony these days, but rather other things..

    *Listening to guitarist Thomas Viloteau remark on the usual approach - playing many different styles on same instrument...I'm struck by my own shortcomings here and my almost serial pursuit of different styles *on different instruments.* WRT gtr, I had no dearth of varied inspiration and studied from Bach to bert jansch. Yet I had to break out of gtr *concept* - even with interests in Egberto Gismonti, Pierre Bensusan, Michael Hedges...there were still sounds I couldn't get with gtr (unless it's pedal steel). Anyone else suffer unassailable instrumental urges? It's like cowbell - only one thing will satisfy..
    Last edited by catmandu2; Dec-08-2017 at 5:29pm.

  7. #30
    Registered User David Beavers's Avatar
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    At first, when I started mandolin and switch back to guitar, I was amazed how large the frets on the guitar seemed! Now I switch between the two more naturally, though I am more proficient at guitar.

    I found that taking up mandolin improved my guitar playing cause it forced my brain to rethink approaches to music and learn new techniques which i found apply to guitar as well. The neatly stacked 5ths on a mandolin also made it easier to apply some music theory concepts which then made it over to my guitar playing. I also come from a rock and blues background (and I'm the worship leader at my church), so picking the mandolin up sparked a passion for traditional styles. My experience with the mandolin has been broadening and deepening.
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  9. #31
    bass player gone mando
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    Quote Originally Posted by David Beavers View Post
    At first, when I started mandolin and switch back to guitar, I was amazed how large the frets on the guitar seemed! Now I switch between the two more naturally, though I am more proficient at guitar.

    I found that taking up mandolin improved my guitar playing cause it forced my brain to rethink approaches to music and learn new techniques which i found apply to guitar as well. The neatly stacked 5ths on a mandolin also made it easier to apply some music theory concepts which then made it over to my guitar playing. I also come from a rock and blues background (and I'm the worship leader at my church), so picking the mandolin up sparked a passion for traditional styles. My experience with the mandolin has been broadening and deepening.
    That is very well said.
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  10. #32
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    Hi Steve / Jill - Thanks for 'your thoughts on guitars'. I'n full of good intentions regarding my playing. I've had 3 times as many guitars as banjos & mandolins put together,& i'm still not really competent. The one instrument that i really should start playing,is my long neglected banjo,which i haven't even looked at since May !. It's pretty soul destroying when you've been playing for 54 years & spending maybe 50 of 'em playing by & for yourself. You get to a point where you really do have to ask yourself if it was worth it.

    After 13 years of mandolin playing,during which i've spent approx. 23,000 hours in practicing,& having only played with other musicians for maybe less than 12 hours in that time,i'm getting to the same point that i arrived at on banjo - is it worth it ??.

    Only my love for Bluegrass music keeps me wanting to play any instrument at all - so i'll carry on '' bedroom pickin' '',
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  11. #33

    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    I'm learning fiddle tunes on my guitar right now so I can lay down some loops for improv practice. It is hard to overcome the ingrained mandolin fingerlings, but big fun nonetheless.
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  12. #34

    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    As I started branching out from guitar, I think new instruments offered new perspectives.

    Last year playing open G cittern, GDAD octave mando, GDAE mando, CGDA mandola, open D weissenborn, and standard tuned guitar really started to mess me up. I would grab the wrong chord form for the instrument!

    There's always a trade off between breadth and depth but for now its GDAD or GDAE only!

  13. #35
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    For me learning and playing mandolin rekindled my general musical skill/interest. I'm now much better at both guitar and fiddle after getting into mando. If you like a guitar's range but don't love the standard tuning, you can retune in 5ths (I recommend using 5 strings C, G, D, A, E). Or just take the plunge and get a mandocello. You know you want one...

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  15. #36

    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    Ivan i came to banjo via loving open tunings on guitar. In a loss of discipline, i Thought a banjo might be fun.

    You know ivan, i bought a lovely banjo, 2 actually, in august, (one due to an impossibly low ball ebay offer being accepted while i bought another, different type, on line) and love it. Most fun since my first electric guitar, and surprisingly expressive and nuanced. Unlike you, while i play a lot bluegrass because of mando, and ease of acess via jams, it is not my favorite genre at all.

    Ivan, were all made up differently. Im not an entertainer, but i love to play, and in the past few years, sing. Playing with others is daunting at sometimes troublesome, but is another aspect of self development. If you fancy, give it more than a try. It may frustrate, but it rewards greatly too.

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  17. #37
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    Hi Steve - Many thanks for your thoughts. In my case,it's very likely that even though i had a great love of ''music in general'' from an early age,if i hadn't had my grandfather's Uke-banjo, & if i hadn't met a guy at work who became one of my greatest friends, & who played Uke-banjo at work to practice the 'Country & Western' songs that he & his wife performed,& who taught me how to play Uke-banjo - i'd never have 'done it for myself' = a fortunate set of circumstances. The next one along was actually hearing Bluegrass for the very first time at age 18 at a friend's home. It totally blew me away & it still does.

    Wanting to play Bluegrass banjo was a collosal 'drive' for me. From the very start when i got a proper banjo - albeit with no frets,it took me only 3 years to learn to play well enough to get a band together. During the 1960's Folk Music era,there were lots of musicians around & Bluegrass,being an 'acoustic' music form,was seen as very much a part of Folk music.

    For me - Bluegrass music is still 'the' thing that drives my wantng to play. I listen to it & play it on mandolin every day. My wife's away for a few days this week,so,this morning,i'm going to clean & re-string my banjo,& for the next few days,try to remember how to play it. It should be fun trying to remember how to play tunes on the banjo that i transfered from banjo to mandolin,
    Ivan

    PS - Zip along to 7.30 in this clip & listen very carefully !. Me on banjo,my Dublin Irish friend Enda Donnelly on his 'Fraley' mandolin,& the guy who single handedly began the entire UK Bluegrass Festival scene off,Steve Read on guitar.
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  18. #38
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    I had to perform a few songs this weekend, first time playing out in about two years, and I didn't practice my guitar chops as I should have. It was a bit of a train wreck. I did OK on Remember Me Willie Nelson style, but was unable to do my flatpicking and had trouble with some of the changes on Jimmie Rodgers' My Rough And Rowdy Ways. Likewise, on Margaritaville I couldn't even play the simple opening & closing licks, but that song was requested; at least I got the chord changes right.

    I decided to go to the mandolin then, and was able to get across two tunes, Mr. Bojangles and Just Like A Woman.

    I still love the guitar and playing the guitar, but obviously there needs to be more time spent with the guitar. Trying to learn stuff on the mandolin has dominated my waking hours most days in the past couple years, and guitar skills are suffering. I didn't let the problems rattle me though, and one up side is that a few people in my circle may now begin to view me as a mandolin player

    Like many others in this thread, I think it's time for a tenor guitar! I also want a mandola now.
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  20. #39
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    Well,i did as i mentioned in my last post - i cleaned & re-strung my banjo,tuned it up & played it - or tried to !!. It was hard going. I honestly thought that my banjo playing days were over,however after an hour of waggling my fingers around,i finally got to where i could actually hit the strings i wanted with my right hand fingers. The weird part is how slack the strings feel under my left hand fingers after playing mandolin. It's almost as if there's nothing there.

    I'll spend another couple of hour on it today,but it's really driven home the fact that i need to keep in practice. It's a false belief that i can leave it alone & come back to it after 8 months & still be ok - after 54 years,i should know better than that !,
    Ivan
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  21. #40
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    Default Re: it's weird going back to guitar now -

    When someone asks if I still play my guitar, my wife always says she 'loved' to hear me my play guitar. Pretty sure it says more about my mandolin playing than my guitar playing

    It's cool to play guitar with a pick now. The neck seems HUGE tho

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