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Thread: Learning on the Cheap

  1. #1
    Registered User onionz's Avatar
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    Smile Learning on the Cheap

    I have been practicing steadily for a couple months now, and took a few lessons. My budget won't allow for regular lessons, so I was wondering if board members could suggest ways I could improve my skills and save my money? Suggested youtube videos? Tips and tricks? I'm at the point where I can eke out a couple tunes but my right hand is really struggling to catch up with my mind. I have tabledit and that helps a lot with getting tunes.

  2. #2
    Market Man Barry Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    academy of bluegrass online lessons
    Kala tenor ukulele, Mandobird, Godin A8, Dobro Mandolin, Gold Tone mandola, Gold Tone OM, S'oarsey mandocello, Gold Tone Irish tenor banjo, Gold Tone M bass, Taylor 214 CE Koa, La Patrie Concert CW, Fender Strat powered by Roland, Yamaha TRBX174 bass, Epiphone ES-339 with GK1

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    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    You're about 9 years and 10 months away from greatness. Keep on going.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

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    Registered User SincereCorgi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    If you've got a really good teacher (which, sadly, are usually not the cheap ones), then even a lesson every month or two will make a big difference, so long as your highly focused and ask them to help you structure your practice. There are a lot of ideas about relaxation and projection and posture that you don't get from internet videos, although I agree with Barry about the Academy of Bluegrass- it's the best of the video teaching sites to date.

  6. #5
    Registered User onionz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Are you saying in 11 years I could be the best mandolin player in the us?

    Quote Originally Posted by billhay4 View Post
    You're about 9 years and 10 months away from greatness. Keep on going.
    Bill

  7. #6

    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    No, he's just saying in 10 years you could be a great picker, just like thousands of other people. What kind of mandolinist do you want to be, and what kind of music do you want to play?

  8. #7
    Registered User onionz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Well the first tunes I learned were some traditional Irish tunes. They are fun. I want to definately delve into some bluegrass. When I get good try my hand at some jazz.
    I was breaking E strings before you were even out of a diaper.

  9. #8
    Registered User dusty miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    I can't say it is the greatest way to learn compared to a in person mandolin teacher but I started with some instructional videos. You can watch them over and over and they are ready to teach whenever you want to use them. Lots available.
    Jacobson #24
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Look for Don Julin's youtube videos, they are free and really good. He wrote the "Mandolin for Dummies book, also a good bet.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by onionz View Post
    Jerry Garcia? Yeah I heard him. He sounds like he got his fingers stuck in his guitar
    I don't agree

    Guitar.com: What are your musical limitations?

    Garcia: I’ve got nothing but limitations, I’m limited by everything — my technique, background, education, the things I’ve heard. I’m limited by being a human being. In a way, a musician with a distinctive style is in fact a product of his limitations. This is assuming that almost everybody plays at the outside edge of their ability — as good as they can do.

  12. #11
    Registered User onionz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    I'm a huge Garcia fan. Some old fart said this to me once and I thought it was funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevejay View Post
    I don't agree

    Guitar.com: What are your musical limitations?

    Garcia: I’ve got nothing but limitations, I’m limited by everything — my technique, background, education, the things I’ve heard. I’m limited by being a human being. In a way, a musician with a distinctive style is in fact a product of his limitations. This is assuming that almost everybody plays at the outside edge of their ability — as good as they can do.
    I was breaking E strings before you were even out of a diaper.

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    Registered User Jordan Mong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    When it comes to playing with speed on the fretboard, you need to practice really slowly so your fingers know where to go. When you are just learning a song, play each section slowly until you get it down by memory, and then muscle memory. Then try speeding it up. You need precision before speed, and playing fast at first doesn't make much room for precision.
    I believe there are plenty of free online sources to learn mandolin from, take this site for example.

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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Check out petimarpress.com for free videos by Pete Martin
    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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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by Sludgehead View Post
    When it comes to playing with speed on the fretboard, you need to practice really slowly so your fingers know where to go. When you are just learning a song, play each section slowly until you get it down by memory, and then muscle memory. Then try speeding it up. You need precision before speed, and playing fast at first doesn't make much room for precision.
    I believe there are plenty of free online sources to learn mandolin from, take this site for example.
    +1 on this - I heard it more than once before putting it into regular practice. I will add that your slow-playing practice should not only be clean, it needs to be tight rhythmically as well. If it's not rhythmic, it's not music (for the genres you mentioned).

    +1 also on instructional videos - if you have the discipline, they are very cost effective.

  17. #15

    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    on the cheap?....

    try jazzmando.com, this site , and even banjohangout
    all have mandolin tabs

    choose songs you know, and work on them

    jazzmando.com has excellent FFcP scales and exercises, lots of theory and technical help
    learn a basic scale in G and C to start

    learn your basic chord forms. there are charts at jazzmando.com
    learn the major and minor and seventh forms, then learn to move them up and down the fingerboard

    go to local song circles and try to meet others and gather tips, try to play along once you know your basic chords

    first and foremost, imho , you must know chords, and then, to help, sing along, it helps with coordination and timing
    do not underestimate how important this will be when playing with others

    play along with CDs. music youtube etc

    then, make a list of about fifteen popular bluegrass and /or irish tunes, the most popular, and learn them and memorize them-learn the melody and be sure too to learn the chord changes

    this will give you some ability to go to meets and play, and not always be in the dark

    this will help you have a good foundation, and goals

  18. #16

    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    The thing you should really get sorted out before you do anything at all is getting your basic technique right. It's so important and will save you so much time and money in the long run that my advice would be to get a loan and take 3 or 4 lessons with the finest teacher you can locate. Then save money afterwards by spending the rest of your life transcribing other people's solos and tunes from recordings, for free.

  19. #17
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    I'm saying it takes ten years or more to become a competent anything. As a rule.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Learn the basic chord positions then find some bluegrass CD's you like and try to play along with them. It is tedious but you can learn a lot this way. It does take time. Another thought is to find a jam near you and go and join in as you feel comfortable. Good luck and have fun.

  21. #19

    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Youtube--the greatest boon to musicians since the phonograph

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSausage View Post
    The thing you should really get sorted out before you do anything at all is getting your basic technique right. It's so important and will save you so much time and money in the long run that my advice would be to get a loan and take 3 or 4 lessons with the finest teacher you can locate. Then save money afterwards by spending the rest of your life transcribing other people's solos and tunes from recordings, for free.

  22. #20
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by billhay4 View Post
    I'm saying it takes ten years or more to become a competent anything. As a rule.
    Bill
    It certainly takes 10 years to sound like you have been at it for 10 years.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
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  23. #21
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning on the Cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSausage View Post
    The thing you should really get sorted out before you do anything at all is getting your basic technique right. It's so important and will save you so much time and money in the long run that my advice would be to get a loan and take 3 or 4 lessons with the finest teacher you can locate. Then save money afterwards by spending the rest of your life transcribing other people's solos and tunes from recordings, for free.
    The first part is dead on. The only modification I would make to the second part is to not limit yourself to mandolin players. Find all kinds of music you like, stuff from everywhere, and work it out and write it out and work it out.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

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