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Thread: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

  1. #1
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    Default Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    I hope this is not inappropriate so mods please move or delete if needed.

    I have been following this site long before I acquired a mandolin. I love the instrument...however life and work has gotten in the way of me devoting the time I need to move beyond the true beginner phase of learning. At 57 I have feared I am too far along to get where I want to be however realize I dont practice or devote the time required for me to complain.

    I have started my 10 year plan toward retirement and figured I would put myself out to this amazing community and hold myself accountable to get going and quit making excuses. I have learned so much from the folks here...from seasoned and new players alike...so thank you for that.

    Today begins my journey...my hope is by the time I retire I will be accomplished enough to play in front of and with others with some comfort and confidence and be able to do the instrument some justice.

    Thank you for listening...
    The Loar LM600VS

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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Good for you. You haven't said what kind of music you want to play. But here's a couple ideas.
    Get your mandolin set up so it's easy on your left hand.
    Learn a pretty fiddle tune in D. Everything lays out nice. Try Saint Anne's Reel, Soldier's Joy, something relatively easy. Master that. What you learn along the way will probably serve you well.

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    I did a similar path looking out 5 years to retirement when I picked up the mandolin. Be patient with yourself, first develop a habit of playing/practicing/learning. (I started getting up earlier). You won't be born full grown so don't judge yourself harshly or measure yourself against anybody.

    Hopefully you'll find a great community of folks to play with who will provide support and encouragement. Have fun along the way.
    Play it like you mean it.

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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Thanks Dale...I am a bluegrass/country fan. Fortunately I had my mandolin setup nicely when I had the fine folks at Cumberland Acoustics put a bridge on my Loar 600. A scientist by training and lab director by profession I tend to get too lost in the details...so balancing that urge against just playing and experiencing the art of playing and learning from that often derails me. I am working on that LOL.
    The Loar LM600VS

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    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    You are almost exactly where I was when I mandolized. I lurked here first, then bought a mando and joined the forum, then learned to play mostly off utube. Maybe I was 55, I cant recall just now. I'm still a hack on mando of course compared to the real mando players I know. But my bandmates, who are really good musicians, are insisting I play mando for much of our second set now even though I am the only guitar player in the band and I think its a stretch carrying the tunes on mando. So it can happen. You can get good enough. Trust me, I'm no natural whiz on anything. Keep it up. I still love that little stringbox. I had to almost abandon it for guitar when I switched bands but now, thanks to my new bands encouragement, I'm fighting my way back to playing it more and more. And you must play with others. It will kick start you into learning on a whole 'nother scale. Dont think you need to get profecient first. Learn some songs and get out there. You can always leave town if you have to
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    1. I am confident that you can reach your goals.
    2. Now, get to it because I have already stirred up the cheering section.
    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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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    1. I am confident that you can reach your goals.
    2. Now, get to it because I have already stirred up the cheering section.
    Thanks Hank...I keep forgetting about the Newbie group and all the good advice and discussions going on there!
    The Loar LM600VS

  13. #8
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Hey Alan! What a great way to get encouraged! But not only do you have to do your part of committing to practice, you have to make sure to share how you are progressing in order to be held accountable here!

    My 2 immediate thoughts are:

    1. You'd be amazed at what a 1/2 hr a day can do!... I used to sit in with my daughter at her guitar lesson and her teacher would tell her that even if you can only put in like 15 minutes a day; working on it a little bit daily is SO much more beneficial to your playing over larger chunks of time less regularly. I know this has been true for my playing and growth. I take mine with me to work and practice on my lunch break a lot.

    2. Find a jam and commit to going to play as often as you can. A really big part of my journey has been my local jam. I was pushed and encouraged by other players and it became a great motivator to learn. I had an impetus to set goals in order to be ready to play something. It has also been great "exposure therapy" to standing up and playing in front of people.

    I'm personally on the 25 years to retirement plan.

    Good luck and keep us up to date on your progress!
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    I'm on the other end of this journey. I started 21 years ago at 40 and though I'll confess I had hoped to be exponentially better at playing than I am now with all the hours I've put in practicing, I've opened up a whole new (literal) world of friends and playing experiences.

    Definitely the journey, not the destination.
    Ted Eschliman

    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    I'd second (or third) the idea that you should play with others, if you can, as soon as possible. Not only will you improve, you'll have -- with luck -- your own on-site cheering section.
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    I picked up mandolin at age 65. Who knows where my skill level will be when my body gives in to the inevitable decline. But look at it as a journey with no end, where traveling in the right direction is it’s own reward. One day some guitarist at an open mic will ask you to play with him or her, your face will light up for the two seconds before abject fear takes over. Just do it.

    And later on, you’ll benefit from the best brain workout known to man, and when some twelve year old smokes you and everyone else at a jam, do ask him for a few pointers. You’ll both benefit. And buy the best instrument you can afford, even to the point of extravagance. You will feel obligated to play it, you will want to hold it, and you will go farther faster. Look at it as an investment in yourself.
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    I started mandolin 4 years ago at age 60, am passable (know I, IV, and V chords in all keys and can pick some easy tunes using music) but nowhere near where I want to be. I am planning on retiring in 6 years, every year I plan to be able to play a classical mandolin piece for "special music" at my church in the summer, and every year I am closer but not there yet. Maybe by the time I retire (but my practice is rather sporadic since I still work at full-time and part-time jobs.) So don't give up, keep plugging away and you will get there!

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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Quote Originally Posted by soliver View Post
    Find a jam and commit to going to play as often as you can. A really big part of my journey has been my local jam. I was pushed and encouraged by other players and it became a great motivator to learn. I had an impetus to set goals in order to be ready to play something. It has also been great "exposure therapy" to standing up and playing in front of people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Randi Gormley View Post
    I'd second (or third) the idea that you should play with others, if you can, as soon as possible. Not only will you improve, you'll have -- with luck -- your own on-site cheering section.
    Let me pile on. If you wait till you feel ready, it ain't never gonna happen. I guarantee that the first time you play at a jam or with others, it will not be because you feel ready, but because you stopped letting "ready" inhibit you.

    Even at a beginner level you can go to a jam. What you can't play you can listen to and watch. You will learn a metric ton (tonne) just watching and listening. Regular attendance at a jam will pour gasoline on the fire of your desire, and your progress will escalate exponentially. Won't be a need for accountability, it will be hard to keep you back.

    Seriously, it is huge. In so many ways.
    Indulge responsibly!

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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    I also agree with playing in jams - the first one I went to, I just watched and made notes of which tunes they were playing, then went home and practiced those. when I went back, I was ready for those tunes. I still don't take the "breaks," still not comfortable with that. But I can play the chords okay, if I don't know the piece I watch the guitar player's left hand and match the chords.

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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    I started as well to play at age ~57, this is my 1st and only instrument. Eight years later, I’m still having fun, playing in jams, with friends and with a band. My goal, which I am still working on is to be a solid average player. I found taking instruction, both local and online has helped me a lot.

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  29. #16
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Go for it Alan! You have made the perfect first step . . . just remember to let us know when you do your first gig!

    Listen, learn, play and enjoy!

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  31. #17
    Registered User Carl Robin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Hi Alan, I started at 58, and now about to retire 8 yrs later at the end of this month, happy with my progress, but still striving to improve. This is what I have done: Keep my instrument out of the case, so I can just grab it to play any time quickly and easily. Found a routine that works for me. I play before, and after work most of the time. If something else comes up, or I don't feel like it for whatever reason, no worries, just pick it up again later. It's important, I think, not to get caught up in guilt over unrealistic expectations--very counter-productive. I play with others every few weeks or so, and make an effort to learn tunes that they know, as well as my own favorites. Went to O'Flaherty's Irish Music retreat 5 yrs in a row now. Good luck and much success to you.

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  33. #18

    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Retirement will kick start an accellerated process for sure. I’ve gotten comments like how good I was for only playing three years, to which I reply, forty years of flat picking guitar got me going, and the two hours per day practice sessions don’t hurt, so I figure that equates to about ten years if I were working. That’s kind of depressing LOL.
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  35. #19

    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    1. I love this :D
    2. It won't take you ten years to reach your goal
    3. I made a similar deal with myself... When I can play the mando live and not sound like a guitar player playing the mandolin, I'll buy myself a nice Collings or Northfield or similar. I got a ways to go, so if I start saving now...

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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Congrats on your retirement Carl!
    The Loar LM600VS

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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    The Mandolin Cafe board will be sending a representative from the daily practice committee for a surprise visit to your home to authenticate your mandolin progress.
    If you can drive your spouse from the room before completing a fiddle tune you will receive your first CMP (Continuing Mandolin Practice) credit.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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  40. #22
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lackey View Post
    I hope this is not inappropriate so mods please move or delete if needed.

    I have been following this site long before I acquired a mandolin. I love the instrument...however life and work has gotten in the way of me devoting the time I need to move beyond the true beginner phase of learning. At 57 I have feared I am too far along to get where I want to be however realize I dont practice or devote the time required for me to complain.

    I have started my 10 year plan toward retirement and figured I would put myself out to this amazing community and hold myself accountable to get going and quit making excuses. I have learned so much from the folks here...from seasoned and new players alike...so thank you for that.

    Today begins my journey...my hope is by the time I retire I will be accomplished enough to play in front of and with others with some comfort and confidence and be able to do the instrument some justice.

    Thank you for listening...
    FYI ! I have no musical ability and never played an instrument ! At 63 and a half years old I decided I wanted to play the mandolin ! Fast forward and I will be 73 next month . I play in a band every Wednesday at a different nursing home ! You can do it but you have to want it bad enough and practice, practice and practice ! Inspiration over perspiration will get you there ! I and probably you will never attain the level of playing that we would like but enjoy the ride and you can learn to play the mandolin ! Concentrate on the journey and not the destination !
    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 !

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  42. #23

    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Yes, if you don’t enjoy the journey you’ll not succeed in even modest goals. If I had to start over, I’d fing a teacher and get started on the right track when I realized my left hand was not going to work like playing the guitar.
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  44. #24
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just to put myself on notice for some accountability...

    Alan, enjoy your journey! Ask any questions you may have so you get what you need!

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