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Thread: Classical made simple

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    Well if you have heard me in some of the other topics you know i am one of those blugrass mountain kind of folks. But i have a very conservative side about me.

    Anyway i am a big fan of clssical mandolin but i am not really dont have enough knowledge to understand everything about it. I always lurk around this classical forum but i never can post because of my lack for understanding.

    It seems like in this music or any kind of classical that everything is very complicated and has big names and numbers and what not. If i look on the back of the cd i can get confused.

    Anyway the point is i love classical mandolin and i appreciete all of you folks that play it. I might not be as smart in this music but i love it. Well thanks for lettin me run my mouth.

    By the way i play classical mandolin but as you know my stuff is a little more simple.

    Any suggestions or help or advice anyone could hand me i would love to hear it.

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    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Mike, consider getting a decent bowlback. They aren't too pricey, and the sound is way different, and the scale isan inch shorter so they're easier to play, too.

    I came to classical becasue I was getting tired of listening to myself, and I thought it'd be a good idea to rip off some riffs by some dead white guys, who would be in no position to complain. It was a good idea, and has made me a better player.

    If you read music, you have a leg up. If you don't, don't be discouraged, it only takes some practice to get the hang of it, and it opens a whole world of goodies.

    Pick a few simple-sounding pieces that you like, and give it a try. And be aware that thereare huge databases full of free downloardable and printable public-domain classical music. I've been working on some free Bach and enjoying it, but frankly parts of it are still beyond me. But when I finally get them down, it will have been worth the effort.

    And don't worry about understanding. I have no idea what I'm doing either, but I can always ask, and folks hereabouts are glad to help me out.

    Y'all come back, hear?

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Coming from the fiddle-tune tradition, I can relate to many of the classical pieces in that way. For instance, lately I am playing the A minor Vivaldi violin concerto which has parts that resemble many fiddle fiddle tunes (only longer i length) most notably a ection which spounds like a minor Devil's Dream.

    It is not too far fetched. Some of this more baroque stuff is based on dance tempos. At our level, it is also important to maintain the fun aspect of it. I will certanly not become a concert-level professional at this.

    Jim
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    I will certanly not become a concert-level professional at this.
    No? Well, that depends on what sort of concert hall you're aiming at

    I'm no great shakes at playing ditties by Johnny Batch and his buddies (yet) but my little pipe dream is to eventually play in my local Mandolin Orchestra (even as "Fifth Mandolin" - I'd be happy, I don't need to be the star). There's one wee snag to this plan though... there isn't a Mandolin Orchestra in my locality... but if I started one, I'm sure to get a seat

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    [QUOTE]"....there isn't a Mandolin Orchestra in my locality... but if I started one, I'm sure to get a seat."

    That's right, MandoJon, THAT's the spirit!

    I agree with all the above; the term "classical", often —and wrongly—#used in a stand-offish manner, has done much to actually damage classical music, by dissuading and discouraging people from trying their hand at this repertoire. Yet there is absolutely no need to continue a bad tradition of discouragement.

    Go for it!
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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    [QUOTE]"....vkioulaphides
    I agree with all the above; the term "classical", often —and wrongly— used in a stand-offish manner, has done much to actually damage classical music, by dissuading and discouraging people from trying their hand at this repertoire.

    I think Victor is absolutely correct here. But really I don't know who is to blame (if anyone). I know I have heard many mandolin players saying "I don't like that classical stuff, and I ain't good enought to play it"....... but the truth is they have never tried. As reported elsewhere here, our recent mandolin residential where "Classical (in the widest sense) met Celtic" was an outstanding success. "Classical" players attended Celtic Workshops and vice versa......... and absolutely everyone loved it. What was even more impressive was when all 32 people came together as an orchestra at the end of each night, with performances in an orchestral setting of Celtic and Classical Music....... stunning!

    Similarly our recent teachers residential with teachers from classical, celtic and even banjo backgrounds,was a resounding success with everyone having an input and exchanging teaching methods and ideas. Finally Barbara (The wife) who is a teacher from a totally classical background, has learned so much from Nigel Gatherer (Celtic Background)and vice versa.

    So I think the answer is.... be open minded, try everything and anything. and lets try and loose this.... as Victor says.. "elitist" "stand-offish" image that "classical" mandolin seems to have.

    Best wishes to all,
    Ian

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    I always thought of Bluegrass as "Classical Folk", and figured it would be way too hard to play. Am I right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by (MandoJon @ Mar. 08 2005, 06:45)
    there isn't a Mandolin Orchestra in my locality... but if I started one, I'm sure to get a seat
    That's what I used to say, too, before DMO took off with both feet running. One of these days I might actually get to be a two-bit player with 'em (if I can pass the stringent 'dola requirements... Me? Wear a BOW TIE? In public?!? # )

    -Allen.
    Dayton Mandolin Orchestra: http://DaytonMandolin.net/
    Midwest Mandolin Quartet: http://DaytonMandolin.net/MMQ/

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    You guys are reminding me...

    I play several different types of music and I used to have a complex about "classical" music, pretty much inherited from my conservatory days. For some reason I had been made to feel that it was a different, exclusive type of music, and that one was not worthy of approaching it unless one adapted a very specific, mechanical approach and passed through a certain hierarchy of technical excercises and etudes. I had been really traumatized by this notion, but later in life I was lucky enough to come across a mentor who told me "just think of classical music as another kind of folk music." He taught me just to love the music, hang out with it, and work at it, with no baggage attached, and I have been liberated ever since.
    Adam

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    Thanks for all the help. I just learned notation for mandolin last weekend. I already new how to read music but i had to learn all the notes on the mandolin. I am doing a good amount of tab of classical stuff. I am doing fairly simple stuff so it is classical but enjoyable to play. I have looked into bowlbacks but if i play classical i still want to have my own sound and my same type of mandolin. Again thanks for all the help. But down the road you will probably see me pickin with a bowlback.

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