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Thread: New to mando.

  1. #1

    Default New to mando.

    Hi everyone; I found out about this forum while researching what kind of newbie mando to get. I had an inexpensive Fender about 15 years ago, lerned the obligatory 3 open chords and strummed for about a month, put it back in the chipboard case and forgot about it. I recently got the itch again and bought a Kentucky 252 from Elderly's last month. I 'm impressed how nice it sounds. My calluses are back quickly, and I've learned how to hold a pick so it doesn't fly away. I've been fingerpicking on a guitar for years and this is quite different. More precise. Less forgiving. I'm learning she'll be coming around the mountain,Arkansas traveller, Cripple creekand forked deer. I hate having to start at the bottom, or should I say beginning but I really want to get it right, mening I want to learn how to play not just noodle around. As much as I hate I do it, I will. I can't read music but I can understand tab somewhat. I'm using a metronome to better understand quarter and eight note timing. I went to order something from Cumberland acoustic and spoke with Steve Smith this afternoon. Although he had just gotten back from a show and was unloading his unsold he was a standup guy and even got the order shipped out.
    Long first post, sorry about that. Love this forum, Quite a bit differnet from a lot of the others. OK I'll shut up now. Thanks for having me.

  2. #2

    Default Re: New to mando.

    I can't recommend Tabledit software enough. The trial version is free, and teaches you to play along with the tune, which you can adjust to any speed you like. The tablature is all written for mandolin (of course).

    http://tabledit.com/

    At the tablature link you will find other sites with hundreds of popular songs in different genres.

  3. #3
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    Welcome to the bunch, Jay.

    Good decision to go back to basics and reboot. If you restart at the beginning, you get to see progress almost every day. If you don't, you see a lot of frustration. At least that's the way it has been with me.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

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  5. #4
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    Hi Jay - Welcome aboard. I'm a banjo finger picker,& the same on guitar. Me & picks do NOT have a natural afinity for each other !.
    It literally took me weeks to get to the point where i could hold one for more that 10 minutes at a time without it departing from my vicinity - i stuck with it & now i'm fine. Playing banjo,i use finger picks of course (a stack of Nationals bought back in 1963),but after doing most of my practicing with bare fingers,getting used to finger picks was like playing a piano wearing boxing gloves.

    I played banjo for over 30 years before buying my first mandolin.I learned a bunch of chords,most of which i don't use,but then began transfering my banjo tunes over to mandolin. I uploaded a bunch of my Bluegrass CD's to my PC & used them as 'pick along' tunes. It took me a while,but eventually i got to where i could find the 'sounds' on the fingerboard & to the point where i could easily find them if i was learning a song / tune. 13 years on,& i can pick up a tune very easily as long as the melody line isn't too complex. A lot of that is down to the fact that i was an 'ear player' on banjo ever since i kicked off.

    Use TAB along with learning to play by ear,but don't overdo the TAB to the point where you can't play a tune without it - i've come across too many musicians like that. The TAB is ALL they know,& their improvisational skills are zero.

    The best of luck with your new instrument.You'll find it very logical in learning the fingerboard,so relax,play & understand what you're doing & enjoy it,
    Ivan
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  6. #5
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron McMillan View Post
    I can't recommend Tabledit software enough. The trial version is free, and teaches you to play along with the tune, which you can adjust to any speed you like. The tablature is all written for mandolin (of course).

    http://tabledit.com/

    At the tablature link you will find other sites with hundreds of popular songs in different genres.
    Seconded! As I said before Tabledit was the "best advice I never had". I started using it a few weeks ago and it's revolutionised teh way that I learn new tunes.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    Welcome back to mandolin. Picking tunes can be kinda addictive. If you're curious there is a ton of mandolin and music info and advice to explore here on cafe and internet beyond. You will have to sort out what's best for you and have some fun with it.

  8. #7

    Default Re: New to mando.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron McMillan View Post
    I can't recommend Tabledit software enough. The trial version is free, and teaches you to play along with the tune, which you can adjust to any speed you like. The tablature is all written for mandolin (of course).

    http://tabledit.com/

    At the tablature link you will find other sites with hundreds of popular songs in different genres.
    I'm intrigued by this software, and have been looking for something like this for a while. Are you able to transpose up or down with this? What sort of filetypes does it read, ABC notation or MIDI?

  9. #8
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyPicker View Post
    I'm intrigued by this software, and have been looking for something like this for a while. Are you able to transpose up or down with this? What sort of filetypes does it read, ABC notation or MIDI?
    Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Though transposing might not be possible in the free version (haven’t looked). The full version is the best $60 I ever spent on my Mando habit.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

  10. #9
    Registered User
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    Quote Originally Posted by jayridgerunner View Post
    I hate having to start at the bottom, or should I say beginning but I really want to get it right, meaning I want to learn how to play not just noodle around. As much as I hate I do it, I will.
    I can relate. It's a steep climb early but I found taking small steps kept it fun. Don't take on more in a practice session than you can easily accomplish. Like learning four measures of a tune and working that instead of trying to grind thru the whole thing in one setting.

    Check out mandolessons.com for tune lessons and fundamentals

  11. #10
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    Welcome! I'll also drop the obligatory note to check out Mike Marshall's video on how to hold the mandolin. It's not just a smaller instrument than a guitar, but your fingers are in a different position, more like a fiddle/violin than guitar. It's easy to forget that there is an ergonomically correct way to hold most instruments, and learning the right way now will help enormously once you get up and running, not to mention helping short-circuit things like carpal tunnel or arthritis or tennis elbow or whatever. And I don't know your situation, but if you could get a beginning lesson or two from a mandolin player (as opposed to a guitar player who also noodles on the mandolin), you can get off on the right foot whether you teach yourself or take long-term lessons at some point.
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  12. #11
    Registered User Tim N's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    I'd just like to pick up on the "I can't read music" thing. I'd have said the same myself a few months back, but have found that as I learn to play tunes I have picked up the ability to read music, albeit slowly. Basically , I learn tunes off by heart, which I can't recommend enough, but it's helpful to be able to refer to the music, or play along with it slowly to check things out. The advantage is that it's simpler than TAB, and you are sharing a common currency with fiddlers or other melody instrumentalists. Once you know the melody line, and know your finger positions for the key, you dont really need TAB, which seems to take up so much paper. To be fair, I've never even begun to get a grip on TAB - the very sight of it scares me, so maybe it has it's role in the scheme of things. But really, I thought I'd encourage you to become more familiar with the basics of reading music, because it'll be more useful to you in the end. But best of all, learn to play without reading anything, and get the feel for the instrument, and enjoy that sense of freedom. That's what I'm trying to learn to do -only a few months in, but really enjoying it, especially when I know I'm making progress. Like you say, there's only one way to do it properly, and you can't rush it... seemingly.
    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

  13. #12

    Default Re: New to mando.

    Hi Jay. There are a lot of experienced pickers here (I'm not one of them!) that can and often do offer fantastic advice and help. Enjoy the journey!

  14. #13

    Default Re: New to mando.

    Thank you all for the warm welcome, and the great advice. The bit with tab is I use it to learn the song. Once I have the basics I can then noodle. I don't have a gerat ear but it works some of the time. Randi, good call on Mike Marshalls video? I look forward to learning great things here.

  15. #14
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    You'll find that the more you use your ear, the better it will get. Knowing how to read tab or standard notation gives you access to vast libraries of music.
    1988 Reno mandolin, Trinity College mandola, Kentucky KM 272 oval hole mandolin, a few bowed string instruments and some stray woodwinds

  16. #15
    Registered User Cochiti Don's Avatar
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    Default Re: New to mando.

    Yes, welcome. The cafe has been especially kind and beneficial to me since I started 8 months ago. I’ve learned a whole bunch and I even found a new friend!
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