Two Years With the Mandolin

  1. Old Man In
    Old Man In
    About this time last year I posted a short piece, "One Year with the Mandolin" This is the sequel, "Just when you thought it was safe....."
    A strange, surreal and a somewhat scary year and where am I one year on, apart from stuck at home? Well, last time I played out anywhere was February16th. Since then, no clubs, no festivals or sessions. Apart from one socially distanced session in a pub garden, nothing. In fact the most useless item I've bought this year was a year planner to go on the kitchen wall.
    But it's not all doom and gloom. I've been playing/practicing at home a lot, listening to ITM a lot more (try Ceol FM) and picking up hints and tips from all over. I've managed to overcome the Newbie compulsion for trying to learn every tune under the sun, becoming more choosy as to what I go for. Mostly the "Old Chestnuts" you hear nearly everywhere but also some of what I call the "Michael Cain " tunes ("Not a lot of people know that") I mean, there are about 7,000 tunes out there and I know around 60 of them. That means there's 6,940 I don't know so at my age I've got to be choosy! Some tunes come easy, some more difficult and some just don't come at all but saying that, I do like a challenge. I will master the Wonder hornpipe and the Salamanca Reel one day.
    So I've been concentrating more on technique, quality over quantity, looking for that ever elusive fluency and "bounce" that you hear from the best players. One tip I did pick up which I think is worth passing on is that when you're playing a dance tune, especially a jig or hornpipe is to imagine your fretting fingers dancing to that rhythm as well as the picking hand which conjures up a lively picture in my mind. I know I've still got a long way to go but looking back to this time last year, I've come a long way too.
    Whatever you're doing and wherever you're doing it, stay safe, stay well and keep playing and listening to the music.
  2. SOMorris
    Thanks for the update (from another old man).
  3. HonketyHank
    I went over to and looked up The Salamanca and The Wonder. They do look tricky. The midi's sound good too. Good project, either one.

    And I'm another superannuee. Still having fun, still causing trouble.
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