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Thread: Beginner info

  1. #1

    Default Beginner info

    Hey guys, like the title says Iím a beginner. I bought a mandolin around tax time and have been on and off teaching myself how to play. I feel very stuck though, as there are no instructors in my neck of the woods ive had to settle for YouTube videos and books which Iíve lost already lol. I can play some simple scales, Iíve learned 3.5 songs but Iím not really ďgettingĒ it if that makes sense. I try to deconstruct scales to make some of my own tunes but nothing really seems to work well tonally or rhythmically. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    What are trying to “get”?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Beginner info

    Proper technique, exercises I guess. That was a pretty poor way to word it Iím sorry

  4. #4
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    Check out Mando Lessons. I think Baron does a great job explaining things!

    https://www.mandolessons.com/

    There is a Beginner Series which is very basic but well worth your time and a Techniques & Fundamentals Series. Both are listed under the lessons tab. I'd take some time to go through both of them before tackling more songs. Next I would listen to as many fiddle tunes (or whatever songs you want to play) as you can. I've found that when I can hum a tune by memory it's a lot easier to play it on my mandolin.

    Happy picking!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Beginner info

    Don't worry about feeling lost, it's completely natural.
    Do you have any previous music experience? What music are you interested in playing?

    A good place to start would be fiddle tunes like Angeline the Baker or St. Anne's Reel. There are so many, just keep looking around YouTube until you find one that you like and start learning that one. The melodies to these tunes are more musical (and satisfying) than just running up and down scales. The mandolin is not just a melody instrument, so along with the melody of the fiddle tune you should try to learn the chords as well. Having a few melodies and a few chords will give you a lot to work on, and hopefully give you some ideas of where to go next.

    I'd recommend taking some lessons if you can swing it. Going it alone can be difficult, not impossible, but difficult. A good teacher will help you figure out where you want to go and how to get there.

    Here are a few top notch teachers that all offer online lessons online.

    * Nate Lee



    * Andy Hatfield




    * Joe K. Walsh



    Hopefully that helps, and don't hesitate to keep asking questions. Everybody started off as a beginner, so you're in good company.

  6. #6
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    I didnt mean to sound snarky asking you what you are hoping to “get”. It seemed like a good question to get you thinking about specific things you want improve upon. But I’m guessing you might have meant “when does it all fall into place and start making better sense?” I think the answer to that varies for most people from “never” to “it seems like never” to “little by little”, depending upon how hard you work at it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Beginner info

    Thanks for all of the feedback, right now I learned a few fiddle tunes but as for my goal Iíd really love to learn Irish music, Mexican, and I really think the mandolin can fit perfectly in a jam band setting. Jerry Garcia started with the banjo and his style of playing really reminds me of how a mandolin sounds.

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    Default Re: Beginner info

    Artistworks is having their half off sale for their annual subscription to their classes, which makes the class $140 for the year. Mike Marshall teaches the mandolin there geared towards bluegrass and much more. Artistworks is really neat because you can get actual feedback from your instructors via the Video Exchange. You send them a VE and they'll send you back instructions based on that VE or anything else they think you should be looking at. The classes are set up so there's a basic, intermediate, and advanced group of lessons. It gives you a nice curriculum to follow. The sale only lasts for a week or so.

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  10. #9

    Default Re: Beginner info

    Quote Originally Posted by Jcaul95 View Post
    Thanks for all of the feedback, right now I learned a few fiddle tunes but as for my goal I’d really love to learn Irish music, Mexican, and I really think the mandolin can fit perfectly in a jam band setting. Jerry Garcia started with the banjo and his style of playing really reminds me of how a mandolin sounds.
    If you have not already you should listen to the music Jerry Garcia and David Grismann made together. There are lot of videos on YouTube and they produced a number of cds. It is not lessons but gives a good idea of how the mandolin can sound in that setting.

  11. #10
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    +1 on mandolessons.com

    There is a lot of instructional/technique material, and a huge number of fiddle tune lessons (videos with tab and play-along tracks), with each one broken down into bite-sized portions. Baron also does online lessons. Lots of us on the Cafe' started there.
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    Especially right now you should be able to find a teacher who is online. Granted, not as good as being in person, but probably no one is teaching in person right now anyway. Lessonface is one place to look.

  13. #12
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    I don’t know if you live in a remote place with people but see if there are other musicians around who are at your level and play music you like and get together with them. I know it is hard to do in these pandemic times but when it gets a bit warmer in a few months (assuming you are in the northern hemisphere) you can do so. This may be in addition to taking some lessons While you are by yourself but it is difficult to play music solo and you learn a lot playing with others.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Beginner info

    Mandolessons.com

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    +1 for Artistworks. If you do one lesson/week it comes out to $2.69/week. That's pretty cheap for a lesson. NFI, just a satisfied customer for 2 years.

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  17. #15
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    I signed up for Mike Marshall/Artistworks on Christmas Day. I've been on the self study track since March. Mandolessons.com is great, and I've gotten a bunch of books and watched all kinds of videos, gotten all kinds of useful stuff here on the Cafe, but I just felt like it was a little too all over the place, and that I would progress faster with some focus and direction. Since there's no opportunity to sit in the same room with a teacher right now, I thought this might be a good option to try. The price was right at 50% off, so we shall see. I started working on it yesterday. I plan to keep using some of the other materials as well. For background info, I'm really connecting with Duke Sharp's Garage Band Theory.

    Have fun on your journey.

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    Default Re: Beginner info

    Additional sources for remote learning:

    Sharon Gilchrist at Peghead.
    https://pegheadnation.com

    Don Julin, Mandolins Heal the World.
    https://www.mandolinshealtheworld.com
    Girouard A
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    Eastman 615-tweaked

  20. #17
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    Quote Originally Posted by A-board View Post
    Additional sources for remote learning:

    Sharon Gilchrist at Peghead.
    https://pegheadnation.com

    Don Julin, Mandolins Heal the World.
    https://www.mandolinshealtheworld.com
    I thought about those, too. In the end, it was a hard decision for someone who has trouble picking from a restaurant menu

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  22. #18

    Default Re: Beginner info

    Greetings all. Newbie here as well, having just picked up mandolin a few weeks ago.

    I have a subscription at Peghead Nation that I was using for banjo, but I was having a hard time getting into the instrument (hence the switch to mando).

    I change my sub over to Sharon Gilchrist's beginner mandolin course and am finding her method very intuitive and easy to follow, especially while coming over from guitar.

    I'm also going through the material at mandolessons.com, cherry picking the topics that I am interested in.

    These two resources should take a beginner a good ways down the mandolin path.

    fwiw

    D

  23. #19
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    Thanks for all of the feedback, right now I learned a few fiddle tunes
    For now, that's actually a really good direction to go. Years ago someone on the Cafe said - "have you ever met anyone who could play a bunch of fiddle tunes who couldn't play the mandolin"?

    So true.

    Kirk

  24. #20

    Default Re: Beginner info

    I stumbled in MandoMike.com and DavidBenedict's YouTube recently after using (and supporting) MandoLessons.com for quite a while...

  25. #21
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    Default Re: Beginner info

    usually around this time of year PegheadNation offers a 30 day free trial, all the above are fine teachers and offer a quality online experience, and of course, each teacher has a different method/way. i've really enjoyed Sharon Gilchrist lessons at Pegheadnation.

    d

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    Default Re: Beginner info

    mandolessons.com is a free site although you can donate.

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