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Thread: Need Help Progressing

  1. #1
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    Default Need Help Progressing

    Hi, first time posting here been lurking for a while. I hope Iím posting to the right category. I just purchased a The Loar LM-590, and so far I really love it! The only thing is I canít find videos that do my playing any justice. Iím an extremely fast learner and I play by ear. The videos Iíve been seeing are either too slow in pace or are just utterly boring. Is the best thing to do in this case just listening to songs and trying to transpose them or should I be slowing down and taking my time. Iíve been playing other instruments for about nine years and most things Iím seeing as far as chord videos are things Iíve already thought about (like movable shapes). Does anyone know of any good apps or where I can find more material? Iím just at a loss of where to go. Iím already able to play songs with just chords, but I really love the playing styles of Sierra Hull and Chris Thile and genuinely wish to play like that already. I realize that these people have been playing for forever and a day and are masters of the instrument. I need to figure out a pathway of stepping stones to that though.

  2. #2
    Registered User peterleyenaar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    Sleep at night with a good mandolin book on your head and in the morning you can play all the tunes like Chris Thile

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  4. #3
    Registered User peterleyenaar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    Actually, there are many good websites to get a person going on the mandolin: Peghead Nation, Mandolins heal the world, to name a few, The Roland White book is very good, Pete Martin has a plethora of good instructional material at very little cost, and many others.
    Just dig around on the internet and you'll find it.
    Playing like Chris Thile, well, that could take a while, you probably should have started when you were 5. but nothing wrong with setting your objectives high (very).

  5. #4
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    I'm not trying to come off as rude, please dont take this wrong...

    But, you should slow down. Take learning seriously and go at an easy pace as to not form bad habits. Practice a lot... but also practice the right way by learning proper techniques.

    Be realistic about who you are. Striving to play like Thile, Hull, Marshall, Dawg... or even Monroe (or others) is great but dont get your hopes up if you dont ever attain to their greatness.

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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    Thank you Peter! Iíll be sure to check out those books/websites! Zach no worries! I donít mind criticism at all so youíre not being rude, Iíll be sure to practice a ton and slowly. My obsessive personality should help with that haha. Guitar has become second nature to me and Iím trying to get it through my head that though tuned similarly to a guitar the mandolin is a different beast. Iíve only had it for two days and itís been in my hands for the majority of that time! Iím currently figuring out Jessamynís Reel, and itís a blast!

  7. #6
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    A very helpful book is Don Julin's Mandolin for Dummies. I think you'll find it both interesting and challenging. Playing with other musicians, practice, education and listening to a lot of mandolin recordings are the most productive things for me.

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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    Thank you, Jon! Iíll be sure to check it out!

  9. #8
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    Mandolessons.com is a good resource for learning tunes... especially for learning to play by ear. And, although I recommend donating, its free!

    Not trying to be too critical... these things are sometimes hard to write/read/interact over the web.

    Good luck!

  10. #9
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    "Need Help Progressing"

    Don't we all?

    I hope your two days will become two years, then twenty. It's a fun little instrument and for some, addictive. Your enthusiasm is to be commended! There is a link in my signature if you can see my signature on your device, titled "Advice For Beginners" or something like that, it's an article that contains some links to free materials to help you get started. Hopefully you won't find them too slow or boring. There are hundreds of other ways to get started as well; google search is your friend if nothing we post here tickles your fancy.

    Welcome to the cafe!

    P. S. : Absolutely, in my opinion, transcribing stuff you like is a great exercise. Definitely do that.
    Last edited by Mark Gunter; Jan-06-2019 at 7:08pm. Reason: P. S.
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    Registered User Green Arces Music's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    You should check out banjobenclark.com, he is amazing, and teaches a lot of different music styles.
    Valerie J.


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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    It is a darn lot of fun to learn new tunes and it is easy to let that become the primary focus. But I have, from time to time, come to the realization that my basic skills are lagging behind as I learned new licks. It has really helped me to put away the tune of the month (or the week) sometimes and focus on timing, scales, scale interval exercises, etc.

    Run through the scales. With the metronome. In du-plets. In trip-ul- ettes. In quad-roop-ul-ettes. Bump up the metronome and repeat. Do your intervals like this too.

    A few days or a week focusing on stuff like that refreshes my backslid skills and notches them a bit forward as well; and it makes learning new stuff easier and faster. And more fun.

    And as you gallop past me, don't forget to wave!
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    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

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    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    congrats on your intro to mandolin and your enthusiasm! And on setting the bar high!

    I'll also caution you to slow down, though. Not because enthusiasm has a tendency to wax and wane, because you already know that, but because what appears "utterly boring" or "too slow" may just be perception. Being a fast learner and an ear learner gives you advantages in picking up tunes/chords, but it doesn't help with things like proper fretting, clean sound, proper fingering and basic technique. So all that boring stuff needs to be in your quiver as well as your good memory for tunes. No one says you need to play arpeggios or learn a dozen scales to play music or have fun, but it will help your ultimate goal of advancing. And slowing down is also good discipline -- and discipline really will be necessary if you want to advance. If there's one thing all your mandolin stars share, it's discipline -- learning hard stuff, learning boring stuff, learning genres different from where they started, spending hours upon hours on exercises and skills -- it all adds up. Skills are cumulative. Depending on your age, that might not be what you want to hear, but even musical genius has to know its basics before it can take off.
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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    To play like anyone, transcribe their recordings and learn to play those. You'll learn a TON. Transcribe and learn the back up as well as the solos.

    The answer to all questions is on the recordings. Best of luck!
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    Emando lover David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. (Henry Ford, attrib.) If you want to progress your playing by playing by ear, and learning more difficult parts, then do so. After a while, you may find that learning other skills improves your playing more. Just play.
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  18. #15

    Default Re: Need Help Progressing

    All good suggestions, isn't the mandolin fun! Check out Chis Thile's DVD, it was made when he was young...ger I've heard its a goodin'. I'm finding an endless stream of things to work on, I have a list of tunes to learn that I'll never finish, for the tunes I know I'm perfecting them, working on breaks in a different octave, throwing in improv, and playing in different keys to get more familiar and flexible with the mando fretboard.

    Take a few tunes you know and develop new breaks, play the B part first, or try in another key on a new place on the fretboard. I find this incredibly fun when it's not completely infuriating...

    Have fun!
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