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  #31  
Old 07-17-2023, 07:37 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Originally Posted by catt View Post
Kind of an 'apples and oranges' comparison. TT's gig called for reading, jazz chops, and understanding the musical nuances of a wide variety of musical forms - and providing the sounds. This is quite a bit different than virtuosity in American folk song form idioms.
I understand and appreciate the difference between playing one or a few related genres vs being a session player playing everything from jazz to rock to commercial jingles, soundtracks, etc. Also noteworthy is that studio time = $$, so a session pro does their best to get it perfect on every take. And a person putting in 40 hours or so per week playing music as a job may not be inclined to pursue learning a new instrument or alternate tunings in their spare time.

But, as a multi-instrumentalist myself in just a handful of genres (rock, blues, folk, gypsy jazz, swing, old time, bluegrass, Americana) with a very limited number of studio credits (4 albums total).....and who never had to rely on music as a source of income....

I'll say that regardless of whether I'm playing violin, viola, mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello, guitar or upright bass, I know where to put my fingers and how to bow/strum/flatpick/chop/finger pick to have my instruments produce the sound my head wants. Or I can just read the chart/notation (as written, or as a rough guideline). That is independent of whatever genre I'm playing.
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  #32  
Old 07-20-2023, 01:31 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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I have never regretted learning scales, all of the keys in the first position. Do this and not only do you know the scale forms that use the open strings, but the closed scale forms too. It also keeps you using your pinky. Start in C and work the circle of fifths backwards. Work in the minor scales as you progress. This has greatly helped training my brain to learn new fiddle tunes by ear.
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  #33  
Old 09-30-2023, 11:06 AM
LFL Steve LFL Steve is offline
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Originally Posted by Matthew Sarad View Post
Last night was my second time at the monthly bluegrass jam. It's mostly 3 chord gospel tunes guys in there 70s playing Martin Dreads. Nice bunch of friendly and average pickers, all who can sing well.
With three or four guitars going at once, it's better for me to be the only mando player. There is another gal with an old Martin mando, but she just strums with her fingers and never got beyond the basic chords.
I bought my Gibson F9 15 years ago when a shop was going out of business for 40% off. It sat in the case until I took it to Butch Boswell for the proper set up.
He put the bridge in the correct position, finally allowing it to play in tune, dressed the frets, adjusted the truss rod, and I got to work learning the major, minor, and 7th chords.
It was easy to learn fiddle tunes I already knew from guitar.
Last night I was finally comfortable taking solos. I've spent the last month practicing scales in C,D,E,F,G,A,and B, working on pentatonic major mostly and getting the chop just right. It was a challenge and refreshing to not have the same toolbox of predictable
runs, licks, and phrases I rely on with guitar. It took me many new places.
I'm hoping I can get up to the level where I can join the band.
I've always thought the mandolin seemed like a fun little instrument, but never really considered playing one myself. But one of the bands I'm in gets a lot of requests for Copperhead Road, so now I'm a mandolin owner. Should be a fun adventure! I've been reading-reading-reading all things mandolin lately.

And somebody has GOT to do something about fingerboard width. Seriously!
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  #34  
Old 09-30-2023, 02:38 PM
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keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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Originally Posted by LFL Steve View Post
I've always thought the mandolin seemed like a fun little instrument, but never really considered playing one myself. But one of the bands I'm in gets a lot of requests for Copperhead Road, so now I'm a mandolin owner. Should be a fun adventure! I've been reading-reading-reading all things mandolin lately.

And somebody has GOT to do something about fingerboard width. Seriously!
There are "wide-nut" models, but the vast majority of folks adapt. Northfield is a maker that provides a fair number of those and used ones are in the marketplace, but like all things, "different" goes along with a smaller market, so your options are limited, both on the buying and selling side.

Nominal width is about 1 1/8" at the nut, with some old Gibson models (not the oval hole ones) going as slim as 1 1/16" while modern wide-nut usually means 1 3/16", so still a good bit smaller than a guitar. The old Gibson ovals are on the wide side. Still, I've seen folks with really big fingers work a narrow nut mando without problem, so, personally, I've decided I'm fine on the 1 1/8" setting. I had an Eastman for a while (typically 1 3/32") but the sharper V was more the reason it moved on to our son than the nut width.

Mandolin Cafe is a good site for information and a pretty active marketplace that is, by all accounts, safe. (FWIW, I've sold and bought there - maybe a half dozen items, including 1ea mandolin in and out, though nothing in high end.)

Finding a "jam" where you can learn to play along, mostly rhythm, to whatever comes around will do a lot for your mando playing, if that's available in your area.
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  #35  
Old 10-05-2023, 02:49 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by Nymuso View Post
Tuned in fifths. I canít do it, my mind wonít let me adjust. LA studio guitar ace Tommy Tedesco played the mandolin parts in the Godfather films, his mandolin tuned like the first four strings of a guitar. If Iím ever drafted into Bluegrass band to play mandolin, Iíll do that.
That's a good idea.

I keep mandolin tuning even though it's harder because it's like learning a foreign language, but in a good way. The fifths tuning is fun because it's so regular: a scale or chord in one place is exactly the same in another, unlike a guitar.

And for fory-five years of guitar playing, I didn't understand the major octave scale. Now, how the logic of its layout is obvious: step/step/half-step, repeat. Everywhere on the neck. How cool is that?

You're right, thinking in seven frets is twice as hard as thinking in five, if that's what you're used to. But the frets are so much closer together that at least you don't have to stretch.
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  #36  
Old 10-05-2023, 02:55 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
Folks, most everyone in the bluegrass world is a multi-instrumentalist. It's not rocket surgery.

There is no reason why anyone who is able to play guitar would not be able to also learn mandolin.

Instead of saying "I can't do it", I offer up "I can't do it - yet." Or "I choose not to do it."

When new musicians lurking/browsing the AGF read the negative defeatist posts here, I want to be sure to include the positive truth as well.

Grade school kids and younger learn musical instruments all the time. There's no reason a competent, mildly motivated older person can't do it too.
Agreed.

It's turned out for me that the hardest part of learning mandolin is using a pick. I'm so used to fingerpicking that I can't comfortably manage a flatpick. They're hard to hang on to, and — you have to aim them!

So I usually use my fingerpicks on mando, too, and just try flatpicking once in a while as a challenge.

I mentioned on a mandolin forum that I expected to go to hell for fingerpicks on a mando, and someone replied that Wayne Henderson does it, too. Vindicated!
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  #37  
Old 10-05-2023, 03:00 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by leew3 View Post
Related to this, work to avoid the death grip on the neck that most of us coming from the guitar bring to mandolin. This took me a while to get so don't develop this bad habit to have to undo!
Yeah, I have trouble with that too. Loose neck grip, angled fretboard fingering, holding a pick mando-style (I call it the monkey clutch) ó they continue to dog me.

I do try. But as they rightly say, a mistake repeated often enough becomes a style. And I'd rather play mando wrong than not play it at all.
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  #38  
Old 10-05-2023, 03:03 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by stevo58 View Post
I took up mandolin (and tenor banjo, and Mandola) after playing guitar for forty years. I love fifths tunings. No weird B-string in there to screw things up. . . .
Same here. Thanks to mando, I now understand how a major octave scale works. (Step/step/half-step, repeat ó anywhere on the neck.)
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  #39  
Old 10-05-2023, 03:10 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by LFL Steve View Post
I've always thought the mandolin seemed like a fun little instrument, but never really considered playing one myself. But one of the bands I'm in gets a lot of requests for Copperhead Road, so now I'm a mandolin owner. Should be a fun adventure! I've been reading-reading-reading all things mandolin lately. . . .
And don't forget what Steve Earle said: "Don't tell me I'm playing the mandolin wrong. It's my song!"
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  #40  
Old 10-05-2023, 05:42 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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Originally Posted by LFL Steve View Post
I've always thought the mandolin seemed like a fun little instrument, but never really considered playing one myself. But one of the bands I'm in gets a lot of requests for Copperhead Road, so now I'm a mandolin owner. Should be a fun adventure! I've been reading-reading-reading all things mandolin lately.

And somebody has GOT to do something about fingerboard width. Seriously!
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  #41  
Old 10-06-2023, 09:32 AM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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Originally Posted by LFL Steve View Post
I've always thought the mandolin seemed like a fun little instrument, but never really considered playing one myself. But one of the bands I'm in gets a lot of requests for Copperhead Road, so now I'm a mandolin owner. Should be a fun adventure! I've been reading-reading-reading all things mandolin lately.

And somebody has GOT to do something about fingerboard width. Seriously!
Another mandolin dabbler here, who was just gifted a pretty nice mandolin, and is a big Steve Earle fan. Copperhead Road was the first thing I learned the last time I owned a mando 10 years ago.

Been working on a lot of fiddle tunes on guitar, looking forward to trying them on mando.
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  #42  
Old 10-06-2023, 06:40 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Based on my own experience with both instruments, I think youíll find that fiddle tunes make a lot more sense on mandolin than they do on guitar.


whm
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  #43  
Old 10-08-2023, 02:09 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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As to the neck width, the angle at which you approach the neck has far more in common with fiddle than guitar. Pick one up and put it under your chin like a violin and you'll get the picture, then arch your fingers so you are playing on you fingertips more. Mandolin is not a little guitar, and the less you think so, the better off you will be.
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  #44  
Old 10-09-2023, 07:02 AM
KitKat1 KitKat1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Based on my own experience with both instruments, I think youíll find that fiddle tunes make a lot more sense on mandolin than they do on guitar.


whm
Yes! I started mandolin about 4 years ago and fell in love with the instrument. Musical concepts such as scales, harmonizing notes, learning by ear and right hand technique became more understandable and doable. These things have in turn informed my guitar playing. Oh and then there is MAS. Mandolins are such beautiful things.
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  #45  
Old 10-09-2023, 10:01 AM
Dave Hicks Dave Hicks is offline
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Originally Posted by KitKat1 View Post
Yes! I started mandolin about 4 years ago and fell in love with the instrument. Musical concepts such as scales, harmonizing notes, learning by ear and right hand technique became more understandable and doable. These things have in turn informed my guitar playing. Oh and then there is MAS. Mandolins are such beautiful things.
I enjoy playing mando with guitar(s). I once took a workshop with Seth Rosen, and he talked about "secondary rhythm" - you can play double stops, tremolos, countermelodies, chop like a snare drum, etc., rather than always chunking chords like everybody else.

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