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Thread: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the start...

  1. #26

    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post
    AND...this is really important - I know you are not into it (now), but please develop some singing chops so you can front your own band(s) and thus have control of the material you'll perform and not be at the mercy of someone else. And I know you've got good tastes in music/records -cos I'm you. (Believe me!") [/I]

    Good Luck"

    - Your future self
    You nailed it with this part!

    For years, I told myself "I can't sing" because some girl in junior high school told me I sang out of tune. Well, I took a few lessons recently and do well enough to front my own trio playing the songs that I choose. I just wish I had done that 30 years ago. Taken lessons, that is.
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  2. #27
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    It took a long time to realize that 30 minutes everyday is worth so much more than a three hour session once a week.

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  4. #28
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Unlike most everyone else I don`t think I would change a thing, I like what instruments that I have always had, I like the style that I play and the band members that I have had down through the years, IF there is one thing that I would have liked to have been better it was that I didn`t push hard enough to get my band booked at some great places. maybe would have sought out an agent to do it for me...It`s been a fun ride and with many more years to go, I hope...

    Willie

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  6. #29

    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Dang, I knew I was in love even before I started, why didn't I just borrow/steal a thousand bucks way back then?

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  8. #30
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Well you're already ahead of me because you're starting out here on mandolincafe. I started mandolin by accident from a violin and guitar background. I was able to start playing the second I touched my first mando. But I wasted time and money on low cost and low quality instruments. But I did find the cafe and I started playing with other people right away. I eventually got some great custom instruments. I also ended up improving a lot on guitar and fiddle as a result of playing mando.

  9. #31
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    Well you're already ahead of me because you're starting out here on mandolincafe..
    Isn't that the truth.

    There are so many resources out there. The problem used to be getting information, the problem now is entirely different. It's sorting which information you can trust.

    When I started a friend showed me enough to get started. There was nothing else. When I discovered Mandolin World News I really thought I had hit the mother load. Four times a year the window would open a crack. I would suck the marrow out of each issue. Imagine if you could only get on Mandolin Cafe four times a year. The first F style body I saw was in that magazine.
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  10. #32

    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    The best advice I received was "How can you learn if you don't play?" So I give that advice to others.

    Another good advice I got was that first you have to have the music inside you before it can come out your fingers. A friend of mine doesn't even try to play something until he's got it "in his ear bones" first. His advice is to listen first.

    I found that doing both works. I mean, when you're new, you really have to play the darn thing even if you suck at it. Just don't forget to listen, and play what you hear. I also believe you should leave out stuff so it's simpler and fill it in as time goes on, because the rhythm is more important than getting every single note in. An outline of the tune with good timing is better than stuffing every note in there and not being able to stay in time.

  11. #33

    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    I'd learn how to pick correctly. Mandolin being my first instrument, I was a bit timid and awkward with the picking hand. I'd finish the stroke with a flick of the wrist, more up and out of the strings rather than through it. It took me almost a year to notice it, then the good part of a year to correct. That, and playing more with others out of the gate.
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  12. #34

    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    ... I also believe you should leave out stuff so it's simpler and fill it in as time goes on, because the rhythm is more important than getting every single note in. An outline of the tune with good timing is better than stuffing every note in there and not being able to stay in time.
    Yup. Agree completely.

    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    ... Another good advice I got was that first you have to have the music inside you before it can come out your fingers. A friend of mine doesn't even try to play something until he's got it "in his ear bones" first. His advice is to listen first. ...
    Yes, that too. Certainly seems easier that way, anyway.

  13. #35
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    I don't know if I would do anything differently. I started piano at 7, then switched to guitar at 12, then fiddle and mandolin at the same time at 24 and stayed with those (except piano) to this date and threw in other frets like various basses, banjos and ukes. I am now 67 and don't regret any of it.

    Same with the explorations of different types of music: classical, rock, jazz, swing, choro, Italian, old time, all at different times and emphases.

    I understand staying away from guitar to some extent to get the subtleties of mandolin, but I honestly think that each instrument adds a bit of different flavoring to your musical soul. I switch around and love the variety. I amy never be a virtuoso, but neither I am ever bored.
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  15. #36
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    If I take the question seriously, this is about amnesia, isn't it? If I had to start again, it would be because I forgot everything. I would not even know I once played mandolin family instruments, so I'd have to arrive at the correct choice first. How grisly is that?
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  16. #37
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    I'd have started before learning guitar. For some reason I thought guitar was a better start instrument.
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  18. #38

    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Naw, ima firm believer in everything comes in it's own time. Life experience, and making the time. I don't know if it's because I started later (relatively) in my thirties, it seemed like I had a knack/affinity for fiddle and mandolin. To affirm this, I learned piano in my fifties. I mean I actually avoided piano until then. While it was probably more like a few months, it seemed like I was playing chords and singing in few days. But I had the experience to know what I wanted to do, so I went straight for it. And luck! I was lucky to find friendly, supportive people to play with very early on. Sure there's better pickers/players. (just about anybody) But what was the question again?

  19. #39
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis View Post
    I'd have started before learning guitar. For some reason I thought guitar was a better start instrument.
    Having said that, I wonder if I'd hae been as good learning before internet, and not having access to players like Grisman, Burns, Bush, Steffey, Skaggs, etc... (I had access to Monroe, but out of context, it was meaningless...)

    Hmmm... I thank the internet, especially here, and Ted Eschliman for all you do and did.
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  20. #40
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Not sure I would change anything. Maybe it would have been better if I had stuck with the false starts on mando I had years ago. But too much of my time of the last 25 years has been spent playing guitar and trying to be dependable on that. So I didn't really have the spare time to invest in learning another instrument.

    Plus, and this is probably more important, it was only after joining my current band and listening to the other mandolin player that I realized his style of playing for this music needed to be preserved. And I was now at a point in my life where I can devote the time to learning to play mandolin.

    So, even though I've been playing mandolin (this time) less than a year, it is going to stick.
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  21. #41
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    I didn't start until I was 63 1/2 years young ! No musical background either ! I should have started at a MUCH younger age ! But, I didn't so I practice/play a couple of hours per day for the last 7 1/2 years and love it !! No talent just dedication and the love of playing !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  22. #42

    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    I would not use tabs, but learn by ear as much as possible. I'd have read the flat picking essentials series to learn the theory of improv.

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  24. #43
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    Back in the day there weren't as many mandolin players. I remember I was the only mandolinner in my local jam for years and years, and when another mandolin would show up, we had to get to know each other. Like immigrants from the same small town in the Carpathian Mountains, meeting by accident in Spokane.

    There were articles in I think Mandolin World News or somewhere about mandolin seeking its own voice, justifying its own place in the musical world, and avoid trying to be a fiddle on the one hand or a guitar on the other. That meant a lot to me.

    I remember learning fiddle tunes in Scotland. I was at the Edinburgh festival many years in a row, and I would jam all afternoon and evening, with my cassette recorder with me, and then late at night back in my b&b I would transcribe all that I had recorded and play it till I could play it. When the sun started to come up I would catch a couple of hour of sleep, get breakfast, (8:00, 8:15 and you missed it), and then drowse and sleep the morning away till the jam started again that afternoon. I must have seemed like a druggie in the mornings and early afternoons.

    So, when I think back, the relative lack of resources kind of limited my mandolin obsessions a bit, which turned out to be a good thing. If the mandolin resources we have today were available back then I easily might have slipped my leash and abandoned what has become I good and fulfilling career in engineering.
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  26. #44
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    Default Re: If you had to begin your mandolin journey again from the star

    We are lucky to have a world of resources about stringed instruments. In 1968 when I was 13 there was no way to know my yard sale mandolin needed a setup. Horrible string action... There were no local music stores involved with folk music or repair people. Not many musicians except for people playing rock, classical or jazz. No educational materials either. Dark days for the beginning mandolinist. Things got better about 5 years later.

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