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Thread: 10 Questions For John McGann

  1. #1
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    Default 10 Questions For John McGann

    The Mandolin Cafe has posted the following news release:
    10 Questions For John McGann
    http://www.mandolincafe.com/news/publish/mandolins_001366.shtml

    Ted Eschliman interviews John McGann, the central figure behind the outstanding mandolin program at Boston's Berklee College of Music and his role as mentor to some of today's top upcoming stringed instrument stars.

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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    What a great interview from an amazing player and gifted educator - this is a master class, right here. Thanks to all involved.
    Will Patton
    Will Patton

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    Yossi Katz yoshka's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    I second what Will wrote. Thanks John for your insights about all that was covered in the interview.
    Thanks to all for making this happen.

    Yossi
    "Ben Zoma said: Who is wise? He who learns from every man" Ethics of the Fathers

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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Very interesting and helpful. Thanks John.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Ted, all your questions were ones I have thought about would have asked. Very excellent job.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
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    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    I only wish it was 100 questions, as the first ten were great. Nice interview.

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    Registered User Chris "Bucket" Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Thanks. I certainly count John as one of the “Expert” contributors to the forum. His insight & advice has been extremely valuable.
    Chris

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    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    It´s a great interview. Yet, for the beginner or (almost) intermediate the answers/the advice might appear a little bit too complicated to follow. I´d advocate another McGann interview or an interview series for the beginner branch on the café.

    Some of the greatest advice and the one that I also experience few follow: Build a repertoire. If you don´t, you´ll never learn the language.
    Also: Listen! (The "read"-advice is hard to follow for a non reader like me. I know that even Paco De Lucia learned to read music in order to play his Manuel de Falla album)
    Olaf

  9. #9

    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Having Mr. McGann so close by, on the Caf'e, i feel rediculously lucky. It's like having Neil Armstrong around to answer moon questions.
    Sorry, but i have to ask: Why no fiddle? Or do you privately?
    Last edited by farmerjones; Jul-25-2011 at 2:23pm.

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    Registered User SincereCorgi's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Just one more saying 'great interview'... more interviews with good mandolin educators, please!

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    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Thanks everyone for being a fantastic audience...I don't play fiddle for a few reasons; it's a jealous (vicious) mistress and doesn't want you doubling on other instruments, and when I do try it, it sounds like the gut is still in the cat, if you know what I mean...

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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Re: beginners- some advice here, most everything still applies- learn tunes, go slowly and try for good tone and timing...things in my Sound Fundamentals DVD actually demonstrate and show you things I verbalize on my site, which for many is VERY helpful.
    Last edited by Scott Tichenor; Jan-08-2013 at 10:25pm. Reason: link removed as site has been taken down.

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    garded
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    That was such a good, satisfying interview for me. Good job Ted, the interviewer is as important the interviewee. I've known the name, and reputation of John McGann ever since I first saw in the back of a Frets magazine where he would transcribe any solo you wanted. I thought then I want to hear more from this guy, but I was on the wrong coast. It was also very satisfying seeing a "seasoned vet" swapping licks with the whippersnappers in those vids. Pick on John!

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    Registered User MandoNicity's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Most excellent interview! John has much to share with us all and I for one am happy that he takes the time to join in with us on the Cafe. Let's have another 50 questions from Ted!

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    Registered User Dan Hoover's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    a lesson on it's own...very cool..thank's for this..
    "Enjoy every sandwich." Warren Zevon

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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Great interview! Most enjoyable one I have read to date on the cafe. I really enjoyed reading while listening to the two Celtic tunes at the beginning. Is that song downloadable anywhere? It was great listening.

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    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Thanks bjshear; that was a one-off recording for a site called Pay The Reckoning that I did 5-6 years ago- it's downloadable from there as a very lo-fi mp3, the one streaming on the 10 questions is much more hi-fi; I'd imagine it would be downloadable somehow...I can ask Scott to put in the in mp3 section...glad you liked it; I am really fond of hornpipes (as is my pal Joe Derrane)...you rarely hear them at sessions nowadays, but they are a particularly attractive form of tune, with quite complex dance moves as well, kind of a double-time thing happens in the dance, which may be one reason why they are played at a slower pace than reels...that particular set of tunes was recorded by Michael Coleman in the 20's or 30's; I first heard it on the Shanchie James Kelly/Daithi Sproule/Paddy O'Brien trio album. James is one of my favorite fiddlers ever, and a wonderfully friendly guy as well, he has many great recordings out including a solo fiddle album that is just fantastic!

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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Right on, John, great interview. Good to be in your tutelage again, via the cafe!!

  19. #19

    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Hey John, what edge of that Tortex pick do you use on mandolin?
    Object to this post? Find out how to ignore me here!

  20. #20
    Mano-a-Mando John McGann's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Quote Originally Posted by JonZ View Post
    Hey John, what edge of that Tortex pick do you use on mandolin?
    What someone once called "the dumb end", that is to say, not the point, but one of the shoulders. The edges are beveled, so the pick "slides in" to the string nice and easy. I try to emulate what Russ Barenberg showed me about "drawing the sound out like a violin (or cello) bow, rather than slapping it out". Russ and Andy Statman were my biggest influences in terms of technique and tone production...

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    Site founder Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    I've added John's cut from the interview to the MP3 page as requested under the Celtic section. Or, a more direct link right to it if you prefer.
    Last edited by Scott Tichenor; Jul-28-2011 at 10:20am.

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    Ad astra per alia porci bjshear's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Thanks John for 'releasing' that recording. And thanks for adding it Scott! Is the music notation, not tab, for that arrangement available anywhere John?

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    music with whales Jim Nollman's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    re-affirms my hunch that it's time for me to look seriously for a 10 string mandola. Many thanks for the hinted encouragement.
    Explore some of my published music here

    —Jim

    BRW 3-point #65 (2009)
    Altman 2-point (2007)
    Portuguese fado cittern (1965)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Quote Originally Posted by bjshear View Post
    Thanks John for 'releasing' that recording. And thanks for adding it Scott! Is the music notation, not tab, for that arrangement available anywhere John?
    I think both tunes are in "O'Neill's" and probably at thesession.org as well...

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    music with whales Jim Nollman's Avatar
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    Default Re: 10 Questions For John McGann

    Also makes me wonder how a discussion about teaching optimal techniques to play mandolin, such as the most musical way to grasp a pick, relates to Jimi Hendrix playing his strat upside down.
    Explore some of my published music here

    —Jim

    BRW 3-point #65 (2009)
    Altman 2-point (2007)
    Portuguese fado cittern (1965)

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