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Thread: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

  1. #1
    Registered User Newbflat's Avatar
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    Default New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Hello all, new player here and I have some questions about lessons and learning. Let me explain my situation a little first. Iím new to mandolins but have been playing guitar for ever (30+years). Mostly finger style and general folk, blues and whatever catches my ear. I picked up a blemished The Loar 590 and after I leveled the frets and re cut the nut it plays nicely and sounds fine for a beginner instrument.

    My issue is the way I learn, or more the ways I donít learn. I have a mild learning disability. Mostly it manifests in Atrocious spelling, canít do things like play cards, canít really remember songs without prompting and even basic music theory just wont stick at all. Things like remembering the fretboard or at times even the basic notes on one string escape me, even after years of trying to remember.. That said, I have a good ear and have learned what I know by watching and listening. I learn much better by being shown, tabs to some degree and ear. The moment theory enters the picture like ďhay instead of G, letís play this in CĒ.... itís basically like speaking Basque, even after 30 years of playing. I just watch whatís being played and copy.
    Sooo.... what Iím asking is, is there anyone (books, on line, videos ..etc) that is more a visual and intuitive instructor than theory based instructions? Sort of the slow bus for technically challenge but that have a good ear, fingers and is a visual learner. My goal is to be a good accompanist more that anything... not so much playing single line melodies as I have a hard time remembering those. Anyways... bluegrass, mountain, old time, Americana are my faves. Something thing like Andrew Marlin in Mandolin Orange is my ideal sound style... (I can dream right?).

    So any help with pointers to methods, techniques or people/teachers would me most helpful...

    Bill

  2. #2

    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Just wanted to say that I have some of the same issues; had a benign brain tumor burned out with radiation and damaged my hippocampus, so my memory is shot. When I encounter too much information my conscious mind actually shuts down. And I was a Chief Financial Officer before this abruptly ended my career. I've been a poor guitarist since 1985 and a drummer since 1966 but I'm finally starting to "get" music theory by virtue of the simple layout of the mandolin.

    Two words, my friend: muscle memory. Have fun. I'm just two months into it myself.

    PS: After having a lesion I would advise you to stick with lessons.
    Last edited by Greg P. Stone; Apr-24-2019 at 11:02pm.

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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Welcome, Bill. I would strongly recommend you check out Peghead Nation. They have several mandolin courses at varying levels of skill. The teaching is uniformly excellent, and is very visual and audio-centric. There are tabs provided for almost every lesson, but the videos stand by themselves as excellent learning material. Ideas are demonstrated at a very slow tempo as well as at performance tempos, and there are play-along tracks provided as well. I've been a subscriber there for a couple of years now and have benefitted tremendously from the lessons there. NFI
    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

  5. #4

    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    The Murphy Method by Murphy Henry has been always strongly by ear and visual. Here are a couple of sample videos off Youtube. There are others and books for sale.


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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Newbflat you state that some of your preferences is bluegrass and old time. The visual, by ear learning is the traditional way of learning. Most of the older pickers I play with, here in the mountains where it all started and settled, know very little if any theory, they play what they've seen and heard from their elders. I doubt if many first-generation bluegrass "stars" or early recording old-time musicians knew music theory. That is the reason I think that Ralph Stanley named his book The Hardest Music In The World To Play. This type music MUST be felt, first and formost, to be played right. Now before someone calls me a reverse snob, let me say that knowing theory is great and very helpful, wish I understood it more, but the fundamentals of this music is the heart. People now make jokes about the mountains and cabins and singing in churches in all the songs but the truth of the matter is that is where the heart of the music originated and the further one gets from them the harder it is to hear the soul of the music.

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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    After learning some basic chord positions for the mandolin I learned a lot by picking with others, attending jams and playing along with CD, trying to duplicate what I was hearing. I know very, very little about theory and such. Good luck and have fun.

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    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Try mandolessons.com. At the beginning of pretty much every tune, he says "Try to get it by ear." He does have tab available, though.

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    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

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    belbein

    ďYears ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, ĎIn this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.í Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.Ē

    See my latest blog post: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/en...lay-for-People

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    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    I've sent you a PM.
    belbein

    ďYears ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, ĎIn this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.í Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.Ē

    See my latest blog post: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/en...lay-for-People

  12. #10

    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Mandolessons.com is a great resource. Get a few fiddle tunes under your belt and you will start to get a feel for the fret board. I've also warmed up with scales and arpeggios. For a good long time I wondered why, then things just started clicking.

    There are quite a few pay sights. Banjo Ben has a good beginners section, and I imagine all the others do too. I've just learned a bunch from random YouTube videos. Heck, I just learned Goldrush from a Cafe member who used it as a demo for selling in the classifieds.
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    Registered User Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Mandolessons.com

    Very visual/auditory song lessons, with tab for the tricky parts

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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    I signed up for peghead nation, having a lot of fun with it. The Irish class is great and challenging but the Sharon Gilchrist beginner mandolin lessons so far have all been by ear. Also a lot of fun. I signed up for it second because the Irish style of picking was giving me trouble and I needed something else to keep me moving forward. I love both lessons they are working very well for me.
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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    As many have posted - mandolessons.com !
    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 !

  18. #14

    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    I have not seen his Bluegrass Mandolin 101 advertised around here recently, so I am not sure if he is still offering it, but from what I saw of his lessons in the open access versions a few years ago, Matt Flinner's lessons always seem very much by ear/visual to me. This is a fairly representative example:

  19. #15

    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Oh, and +1 on mandolessons.com. Baron is amazing, and a huge part of my fiddle tune repertoire is from his site. And, finally, Mike Marshall's artistworks.com lessons are pretty amazing. Mike devotes an incredible amount of time to his video responses, and he always asks people to let him know about themselves, their learning styles, and what they want to get out of the mandolin, so if you sent him a video outlining your goals and your learning style, he would (it seems to me) happily tailor his response to you. FYI, every year for the last 4 or 5 years or more, artistworks.com has has a 50% off sale on December 24th (if you can wait that long).

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  21. #16
    Registered User Newbflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Hi all, didn’t mean to disappear. The day after I posted I came down with a bad case of kidney stones and spent the last week in serious pain. Haven’t even looked at my Mandolin until yesterday.

    Anyway, thanks for all the replies..I will look over everything mentioned and see where it leads me. I should have thrown in a healthy dose of dyslexia in there as well in learning issues....

    Bill.

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    Dan Brooks lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Mandolessons-- I agree with Br1ck's comments and would like to add: Barron is a great teacher and he knows what he is doing. He is clear and his pace is patient. His use of technology is excellent. Plus, Saturdays he does a group play along lesson on You Tube. It is a lot of fun!

  23. #18

    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric F. View Post
    Try mandolessons.com. At the beginning of pretty much every tune, he says "Try to get it by ear." He does have tab available, though.
    I was going to suggest this. It is highly visual and auditory. There are some others on YouTube, as well.
    Loar LM-370

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    Default Re: New player and I need lesions suggestions.

    I'llalso recommend Peghead Nation. I've been working my way through Sharon Gilchrist's intermediate course and she's a great teacher. I'm probably a bit more advanced as a player than would be typical for the intermediate lessons, but I'm still enjoying them a lot. I'm also doing Compton's Monroe lessons, which are lots of fun. If Sharon's beginner course is taught as well as her intermediate course then it should be right up your alley.

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