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Thread: If you only knew it back then...

  1. #1

    Default If you only knew it back then...

    What do you know now that would have made learning so much easier had you known it from the start?

  2. #2
    formerly Philphool Phil Goodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    1) That learning all song accompaniment in Nashville numbering system simplifys both learning and changing to different keys on demand.
    (I strummed guitar for 40 years without seeing the 1-4-5 relationships nor the circle of fifths series of chords.) I wasted lots of time.

    2) Mandolins exist.
    Phil

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  4. #3
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    The easy path will peter out. Work now helps prevent future backtracking or wandering.
    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 of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

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  6. #4
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Start hanging out with fiddlers earlier and more often.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Thanks... I will look into that!

  9. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Most important bit of musical knowledge to me: the rests in music are as important as the notes you play. The corollary to that is phrasing and dynamics are more important than playing lots of notes at top volume.
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Feb-14-2019 at 11:41pm.
    Jim

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  11. #7
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    I wish I had known more about how to practice efficiently.

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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Maintain a lighter touch with fretting hand
    Stay away from intermediate material until you master beginner material
    Begin sooner learning scales, arpeggios, notes of the fretboard. All the stuff that seems boring turns out to be keys to progress - which is fun
    I wished I had started out on my mandolin set up correctly. It wasn't until I upgraded that I understood

    The two things I did right early was:
    Lessons. Someone to point out my bad habits early and how to fix them. It was the best thing to happen to me along the way

    Joining a small group of other players. The push from weekly jams has kept my interest keen and prolly caused me to practice 10X more than I would otherwise

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  14. #9

    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    If I could go back in time to 1976 when I first picked up the mandolin, I would have taken lessons from Matt Flinner straight away. That Matt was only 7 at the time, and a banjo picker, is immaterial.
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    I like that one. Yes
    Indulge responsibly!

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  16. #11

    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    To become good at improvising, practice improvising.
    Object to this post? Find out how to ignore me here!

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    That sometimes you just have to decide to play an instrument, even if your picking buddies want to hear you play a different instrument.

    Wish I had stuck with mandolin a decade ago and not just gone back to guitar full time. Would have made a world of difference to where I am now on the journey.
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  19. #13
    Registered User Dave Fultz's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Kinda what he said. ^^^

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  20. #14
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    That bass players get way more gigs than mandolin players, I might have bought a bass instead

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  22. #15

    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    The two things I did right early was:
    Lessons. Someone to point out my bad habits early and how to fix them. It was the best thing to happen to me along the way
    I'm by no means an expert and I don't give anybody lessons, but I have someone who seems to seek a lot of advice and yet never follows it. I wish there was a way to force-feed at least really basic advice. It kills me to watch this person struggle so pointlessly. I've decided to pretty much mind my own business, but it's hard because of the desire to talk shop with me about technique.

  23. #16
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    That learning to read notation and studying basic theory and harmony rather than learning songs would get me where I wanted to go. Sigh. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  24. #17

    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    That less is almost always more.

  25. #18
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    1. I would have started with a better instrument. Nowadays even inexpensive instruments are pretty playable. But it was not always so. In 1990, I bought a PacRim piece of junk for $200 and it gave me all kinds of problems. I traded it in a year later for an Alvarez A-800, which in retrospect, was not a great instrument, but it was at least competent. I think I lost some quality learning time because of that first mandolin.
    2. I would have trusted my instincts and gravitated towards playing what I really had fun playing and not had a lot of anxiety about "Here's what a real mandolin player should do/should play/should sound like." I picked up a lot of those "should do's" along the way, but I did it because I needed them in order to sound like I wanted to, not because someone said, "This is the way you have to do it."
    3. I would have realized sooner that a mandolin is just a tool for making sounds that I like to hear. I learned more, and learned it more quickly, by hearing a mandolin player make a certain sound and then trying to recreate that sound on my own, than through pedagogical approaches.

    While I'm at it, I'll also add one thing that I did really right from day one and that was to play with people and perform. I was playing guitar in a church choir when I decided to get the cheap mandolin. We had a three chord tune in the playlist that next Sunday and I played the mandolin on it, even though I only had it less than a week. Yeah, I was just strumming chords and playing it like "a little guitar" but it sounded OK and it was very motivational. Within about three years, mandolin was my main instrument and I was seeking out jams and lessons and other opportunities to perform. I don't think I would have stuck with it without that motivation. Also, I learned a lot of from other players.

  26. #19

    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post

    .......I would have trusted my instincts and gravitated towards playing what I really had fun playing.......

    Bingo.

  27. #20
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    This is the same question I ask nearly every instructor I meet in workshops. I've not really thought about my particular experience. Mandolin was my 4th instrument - I already new how to read music, basic theory, where all the notes are (from violin) and I had been playing/performing for over 30 years at the time. I started going to local circle jams the same time I picked up mandolin, and that was the most important contributor to my rapid growth on mandolin and all mando-family instruments. Like others I bought my first mandolin before learning anything about the various makes and styles. So now I have a couple beginner level instruments that I shouldn't have bought.

  28. #21
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    I would have spent more time just messing with the mandolin. I think I wasted a lot of time at the beginning looking for the front door.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
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  29. #22
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I would have spent more time just messing with the mandolin. I think I wasted a lot of time at the beginning looking for the front door.
    That is very cryptic! I think you have to mess around with a mandolin in order to find that front or back door or some way in. I don’t know how you avoid that. Or am I misunderstanding you?
    Jim

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  30. #23
    Registered User ABrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Get out of first position and get up the neck
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  31. #24
    Registered User JonDoug's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Not waiting until my dad's passing and acquiring his instrument to recognize that his choice of mandolin was wiser than my choice of five-string banjo.

  32. #25
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you only knew it back then...

    Perhaps taken up ukulele instead.
    Purr more, hiss less.

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