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  1. NAMM 2010 Report #2

    Like Pacific rim mandolins, electric mandolin family instruments are showing some market development. Back down in Hall E, among the acoustic instruments Eastwood Guitars showed their wares, including a soon-to-be issued electric tenor guitar. The example on display was a yellow Mustang-shaped tenor guitar tuned dgbe (low to high). It played well and looked great in butter yellow with a faux tortoise pickguard and white pickups. It should be available sometime this calendar year, and it will likely ...

    Updated Feb-05-2010 at 6:16pm by Daniel Nestlerode

  2. NAMM 2010 Report #1

    Scott Tichenor is right. The National Association of Music Merchants convention is a cacophony of debilitating proportions. Everything you can think of that might be sold in a music store is being hawked, pushed, dealt, played, amplified, strummed, bowed, picked, struck, blown, printed, digitized, reproduced, sung, and displayed. All of this activity occurs in the same moment and repeats constantly from 10am to 6pm for 4 days.

    Music celebrities are not above hawking wares made ...
  3. Playing fast is easy

    Canadian mandolin wiz Andrew Collins made this point to me, so I should give credit where its due. His quote is, "Playing fast is easy. Can you tremolo? You can play fast."

    The trick to the whole thing is to skip strings and play cleanly. That takes time with a metronome. There is no escaping the work.

    But rest assured, if you can tremolo, you will get there.

    Updated Jan-16-2010 at 6:50pm by jasona

    Miscellaneous ramblings
  4. Dooley tabs by the Dillards

    Does anyone have tabs or know where I can get tabs for Dooley by the Dillards?
  5. My Mandolins

    I read JEStanek's blog about his mandolins, so I thought it was a good idea and now I am blogging about the mandolins I've owned. Like Jaime, I've had a list of mandolins that have progressively led to higher quality instruments, and now I finally have one mandolin that I am very, very happy with.

    I started playing the mandolin when I was about 23. I played guitar up until that that point, and was busy relishing my Martin HD28 when my good friend Eli Heferly played a bootleg of Doc ...
  6. Tuesday Nights

    All in all a typical Tuesday night jam. The company - three fiddles, two guitars, two mandolins, one banjo, and a guitar/clarinet/penny whistle player. At times the jam has had a few more fiddles, and a few more guitars. Once or twice we have had three mandolins, or more than one banjo. This night I played the Martin bowlback, a 1911 style 3 that plays really well with others.

    We played an assortment of Irish tunes, mostly popular though a few rather obscure, a bunch of old timey ...
    Tags: regular jam
  7. "A complete musical workout"

    From a post in the musical theory forum, re: listen!

    I'm working through Bluegrass Up the Neck right now, and its proving to be a complete musical workout. Working just from tab leads me to play the notes like what Don Steirnberg has elsewhere called a "sewing machine". Listening to Niles and Eric on the CD, there is a bounce to the playing that I can only work out through hearing it, internalizing it, and playing it until it sounds right.

    This book is a ...
    Song projects
  8. 2010 reset

    If Star Trek can reset an entire universe's continuity, I can reset my dedication and focus to the mandolin, right? Right?

    Work kept me hopping through the summer and fall, but I have regained some control over my schedule. I have picked up my mandolin again in early December (interrupted by two weeks vacation on Maui--it really lives up to all the hype), and have now rebuilt my callouses.

    I have Blackberry Blossom under my belt (am playing the O'Brien version from ...
    Song projects
  9. Namm 2010

    I'm off to Anaheim in a week. My wife is calling it my annual weekend long window-shopping trip.

    Goals for the show:
    1) Get my paws on Jeff Cowherd's JBovier solid body emandos
    2) See if Larrivee is trying again
    3) Look for new entrants to the mandolin market
    4) Cases: emando and mandola. Why are they so hard to find?
    5) Amps: I wanna see little ones, and talk to makers about building them for emandos
    6) Drum accessories for Kristen ...
  10. New Mandolin Cafe features in 2010

    Last month the Mandolin Cafe marked 14 years on the web, and the fun is just starting! Here are a few things on tap for 2010:

    We're estimating the launch of the next generation of message board software from our current provider some time in late January. This is a total rewrite of the software with existing and new and improved features. To date the software is receiving rave reviews in beta form, and some web site owners are already using it. We prefer to let others work out some ...