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Thread: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

  1. #126
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Suppose this is a good a place for first post as any other.

    Instrument progression for me has essentially been Clarinet -> Piano -> Guitar -> voice -> Fiddle -> Mandolin -> Tin whistle & Mandolin. There has been overlap though. Clarinet and piano are the only ones that have been more or less completely abandoned.

    If I go anywhere else "after" mandolin it would be back to learn a bit more from the piano.

    My first calling was to the violin, but I was handed a clarinet instead. Then I lusted after a guitar, but got sat down at a piano instead. Then I got a guitar gave up on the future and joined a band, but didn't realize I could sing and write until the band was gone. Boy did we suck, it was amazing and great fun looking back.

    Then I finally got a violin in my 30s, but only ever really learned to fiddle it. Then I realized that guitar + fiddle = mandolin, with a wide range of musical style and expession, sing along-ability, and seemingly less "baggage" than piano, guitar, fiddle or violin.

    Realizing that I still also desired something loud, rousing and a little obnoxious I briefly thought "pipes!", but after spending some time on the chanter, seeing the cost of entry for actual pipes and then checking my bank account I instead thought "whistle!"

    There's been a few other minor diversions along the way also I guess. This spans 30 some odd years, from roughly 3rd grade to current. Longest was 6 string guitar, for ~25 years on and off I guess. The ones i have played in a group setting are clarinet, fiddle and guitar.

    At this point all have been pretty much set aside for time being, with exception of mandolin & whistle. There's still two fiddles, an acoustic 6 string guitar, a Gibson SG and 2 x 12 amp in the basement that call to me once in a while though.

    I would say my musical journey has been more of an effort to find an instrument that won't lead to another. I feel like I could pick up pretty much anything (with some obvious exceptions) and get mediocre with a few months or less of dedicated practice and perhaps a little guidance around the pitfalls. It's really just a matter of finding the inspiration and dedication to make the time needed to get better than mediocre. Ultimately I guess I'm just trying to achieve a satisfying level of enjoyment, ability to express, and feeling of accomplishment.

    Perhaps finally recognizing a few decades late that unfortunately one is not likely to ever change the world by making a bunch of different noises, I'm committed to just trying to enjoy the journey and focus whatever time and energy I can muster on mandolin & whistle at least until I feel like I've developed more musical ability through them than through prior instruments. Can't say I wont pick up old toys when mood or opportunity strikes though.

  2. #127
    bass player gone mando
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    As a kid, I played piano, guitar, bass and drums, and there was a mandolin in the house as well. I eventually concentrated, in "phase I" of my musical life, on bass guitar and guitar, and was a fairly proficient gigging musician on both.

    Enter ... the raising of 3 kids. I had to put gigging aside for 20+ years. The week our youngest flew the coop, I auditioned on bass guitar for what is still my main band, and got the gig. But I decided to put guitar aside pretty much completely, and take up both upright bass and mandolin. Figuring there are a lot of guitar players out there, but with upright bass, bass guitar and mandolin as my instruments, I'd get my share of calls to play gigs.

    That was 10 years ago. I've been taking lessons on both upright bass and mandolin since, as I've had to catch up on those two instruments. But the basic idea was correct - I get my share of calls to play gigs, on all three instruments.

    Not planning to move on from mandolin, just trying to get better at it every year!
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  3. #128
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???


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  5. #129

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    I enjoy playing for animals. At one place where I perform there's one of those large bird habitats- like 7 or 8 feet tall/wide - once I start with the free reeds the finches and others immediately start singing loudly and gathering at the end near me.

    *I played for my dying dog last year. It seemed to help her.
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  6. #130

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    ... *I played for my dying dog last year. It seemed to help her.
    So sorry for your loss. The soothing music surely made her transition easier for her.

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  8. #131

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by Seter View Post
    Welp ordered one today, should be here in a week or so. I'm hoping my dulcimer playing skills transfer over fairly well. I'm getting a six string Yamaha acoustic electric, should be nice. Some of the ones listed are missing strings, so beware of that if any of you decide to venture down the taishogoto path. I'm sure replacement strings can be tracked down, the ones I have seen are fairly expensive though. Since you're not actually touching the strings, they should be more like piano strings and last a long time.
    Here is a quick video of my new taishogoto, I filmed it using my new Zoom Q2n which I am still getting the hang of


  9. #132

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Cool - a plucked hurdy-gurdy.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Frost View Post

    I would say my musical journey has been more of an effort to find an instrument that won't lead to another.

    Perhaps finally recognizing a few decades late that unfortunately one is not likely to ever change the world by making a bunch of different noises...
    Me too. It took lots of experiments/experiences for me to find where I am, but it is a process of refinement.

    On the second, studying music from traditions around the world inevitably facilitates more learning about arts and cultural traditions. It never occurred to me that I'm only just making different noises

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  11. #133
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Ronroco!

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    Should be an easy instrument to pick up for a mandolin or guitar player.
    If you check out this performance by Gustavo Santaolalla of De Ushuaia a la Quiaca from the Motor Cycle Diaries soundtrack, I think you can agree to the beautiful sound of this instrument

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  13. #134

  14. #135
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post

    - - - Updated - - -


    ...

    On the second, studying music from traditions around the world inevitably facilitates more learning about arts and cultural traditions. It never occurred to me that I'm only just making different noises
    Good point, thank you. While it is a bunch of different noises, it isn't just a bunch of different noises

  15. #136
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by soliver View Post
    I've been toying with the idea of learning clawhammer banjo, but I fear my wife do terrible things to me in retribution.
    This is what I always feared. Then I inherited a cheap banjo from a friend who upgraded. I mostly play mandolin but 4-5 times a week I play some clawhammer, usually when nobody’s home. But when I do play it with my wife around, she can’t tell the difference. Whether I’m fingerpicking some John Hurt stuff, playing bluegrass or a fiddle tune on my mandolin, or butchering some old-timey clawhammer banjo, she refers to it as “playing your guitar.” It doesn’t sound like Sinatra, or Mozart, or Kanye, or even the Beatles, so it’s all the same thing. The one advantage to having a wife for whom traditional rural American music of all kinds is utterly alien.

  16. #137

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Banjer. There's a whole nuther exotic world to explore...start with the 10- or 20-page online compendium of varied tunings, go deep into the high-lonesome, and explore the vistas of tonalism/modalism. Old time.

    My interest in the two instruments I'm currently studying primarily - oud and guzheng - derived from my banjoisms: nylon-strung fretless led my ear to oud; the timbre of low-tension metal-strung leading ultimately to old-form wire-strung zheng. These are ancient sounds.
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  18. #138
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Oud?
    Yes indeed. Oud. Sounds alien coming from a couple of Celtic musicians.

    Lute may figure in there somewhere too.
    A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

  19. #139
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Yes indeed. Oud. Sounds alien coming from a couple of Celtic musicians.

    Lute may figure in there somewhere too.
    Lute? Heck, why not go all the way to Theorbo?




    I'm Theorbo-curious, but they must be horribly expensive, and I'm sure it would end up just a conversation piece leaning in a corner.

    I've also been curious for years about the Latmandola that Ale Möller plays. Seems a good fit for Celtic music. Or heck, just a 5-course Cittern to get some extended bass range. But either one would probably suffer a similar fate, unloved and sitting in a corner. As it is, I don't play my OM as much as I should.

  20. #140

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Yes indeed. Oud. Sounds alien coming from a couple of Celtic musicians.

    Lute may figure in there somewhere too.
    I'm quite interested in that epoch/geopraphy - Occident/Orient - where early lute (oud) intersects with European forms. Here's a little estampie with more "western" tonality. (Scuse the imperfections - just got this 58cm oud last week, and I'm accustomed to arabic scale. Strings are brown they're so old!)

    https://youtu.be/2YyWs10EQgg

    If you folks are fiddle players, you might try (fretless) oud. And of course it's akin to mndln what with plectrum..
    Last edited by catmandu2; Mar-20-2018 at 1:03pm.

  21. #141

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post

    ...Latmandola that Ale Möller plays. Seems a good fit for Celtic music. Or heck, just a 5-course Cittern to get some extended bass range...
    5-course cit is the only "mndln" I still get out periodically - i use it mostly for scand fiddle tunes when breaking from fiddle. Nice sound. Those bass courses are quite useful for solo playing, and particularly evocative for dark timbre drones in scand music.

    Seems like theorbo was the ultimate/tech for plucked strings then. However it wouldn't come without logistical challenges.

    *But aside from that...that renaissance/baroque lute repertoire knocks me out, being a cl gtr guy most of my life. I've bemoaned no longer being in that..i'm sure I'm not the only ex/gtr player here with a penchant for that. Oud assuages that gtr thing a bit - especially the flamenco - and it's a cool medium between mndln/gtr.
    Last edited by catmandu2; Mar-20-2018 at 3:22pm.

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