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Thread: New player and instrument

  1. #1
    Registered User cc7's Avatar
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    Default New player and instrument

    I'm Chris, a guitar guy new to mandolin. I just got this Eastman MD315 and I am anxious to learn. Any advice appreciated!
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  3. #2

    Default Re: New player and instrument

    Hi Chris. I just got an MD315 myself. Like you I am a guitar player and new to mandolin.

    I joined Peghead nation. Check it out.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: New player and instrument

    Practice , practice ! I would start out with a good instructor to make sure you are practicing/playing correctly ! That way you don't have to unlearn any bad habits to learn correctly !
    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 !

  6. #4

    Default Re: New player and instrument

    You're ahead of the game by getting a great first mandolin. If you did not buy it from a Cafe sponsor, it likely needs a setup. First search this site for Rob Meldrum's free e book on how to set up your mandolin. Read it and depending on your tinkering abilities, and most anyone can do it, set your mandolin up or take it to someone who can.

    If you are a flatpicker on guitar, you can use those skills on mandolin. You will probably find that you will want a thicker pick for mandolin. There are probably several hundred threads on picks alone here. Go buy some thicker picks. You don't have to go nuts but you can. There is also a pick sampler you can sign up for and get a bunch to try for a while, then send to the next name on the list.

    Seek out some beginner lessons, either live, via skype, or even YouTube. A great free site is Mandolessons.com. Others like peghead nation, a pay site well worth the money. There are many others. The left hand is quite different from guitar. You will know you have it right when your fingers hurt. You will need to build callouses up more on the fingertips.

    I'd play scales to warm up. Others may think this is useless. I'm not one of them. Then I found fiddle tunes great to start on.

    There is a beginner's social group accessed by the drop down menu under Learn/Listen at the top of the page.
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  7. #5
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and instrument

    Second the rec on MandoLessons.com.

    Resist the temptation to think of the mandolin as an upside down backwards guitar. It's a trap. Don't ask me how I know.

    My first mandolin was an MD 315, which I loved. They are gateway drugs.

  8. #6
    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and instrument

    Welcome to the club!
    “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” -- Aldo Leopold

  9. #7

    Default Re: New player and instrument

    Welcome to mandolin, the 315 is a great first instrument.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
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  10. #8
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and instrument

    Welcome to the mandolin! I'll second the recommendation for mandolessons, and add that Banjobenclark.com is great.
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

  11. #9
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and instrument

    I'm a fan of the Peghead nation as well. Try a sample there. Beginning Mandolin by Sharon Gilchrist and Irish Mandolin by Marla Fibish are the ones I'm working on.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  12. #10
    Registered User cc7's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and instrument

    Thanks for the replies. I'll check out Peghead. Tried to reload the picture upright, but oh well...
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  14. #11

    Default Re: New player and instrument

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Winn View Post
    Second the rec on MandoLessons.com.

    Resist the temptation to think of the mandolin as an upside down backwards guitar. It's a trap. Don't ask me how I know. . . .
    True and important! And when you're posting here, never refer to a mando as a little guitar. You'll get eaten alive.

    There is one handy guitar connection, though. When you're sitting on your porch trying to figure out how to form a chord, turning the guitar inversions you know upside down is a huge help.

    It won't help on the fly when you're jamming with others, and it won't necessarily show you a preferred voicing. But it'll get you the chord you want, fast.

  15. #12

    Default Re: New player and instrument

    PS -

    And watch this once a week until you can recite it from memory: Mike Marshall's mando tips

  16. #13

    Default Re: New player and instrument

    The Eastman 300 series are seriously good instruments, that could keep you happy for many years.

    As others have already said, make sure it’s well set up.

    I’ve been playing mandolin for 7 years now, and have been playing guitar for around 45 years. A word of advice - make sure you use mandolin fingering, rather than guitar fingering. Your left hand should be in a totally different position than what you use for guitar. Also, whatever you do, don’t think of it as an “upside down” guitar and try to work stuff out - it’ll drive you nuts! Just treat it as a brand new instrument.

    Enjoy the journey!

    Cheers, John

  17. #14
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: New player and instrument

    Very nice looking mandolin! Your guitar skills are not a negative. There are so many factors that are helpful such as being prepared for finger sensitivity and agility. Yes, there are skills which are different, gripping the pick, left hand position, the fretboard, scales, chords, etc., but having the knowledge of the guitar and the musical relationship between the two instruments can inform your playing. Of course, mandolin must be viewed as a new experience and there is so much to learn that doesn't involve the guitar. That is makes it exciting and broadens you as a musician. Congrats on your Eastman MD315.
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