My mandolin journey

  1. Posterboy
    I'm in Galway Ireland and come to the mandolin with a good few years of guitar under my belt which whilst is helping with quite a few transitional skills has also brought some assumptions which have already been thrown into the bin!

    I have Mandolin for Dummies, and Exercises for Dummies and Bradley Laird's Complete Mandolin Learning system as well as a subscription to Banjo Ben Clark's site. (I promised myself I wouldn't start a collection of instructional material for the mandolin as a hobby rather than learning how to play it (I've done that with the guitar)

    Anyway Hello, I'll try and post videos for feedback (I welcome honest feedback, pats on the backs are nice but don't help with progress!)

    If it would be better to start a blog for this than to keep this discussion thread going, let me know!
  2. Sleet
    Welcome to the group, Poster boy. This is a pretty relaxed group. We're all just trying to learn at whatever level, support one another and have some fun. You are invited to jump in with any contributions you'd like to make. I understand the accumulation of materials - I have a library sized collection.
  3. Spragster
    Welcome to the show Posterboy.
  4. HonketyHank
    Welcome, Posterboy. I learn a lot from others videos, questions, opinions, and tips. I know this place is great for my development. So I hope you "blog" right here with us Newbies.
  5. choctaw61
    +1 what Hank said.Welcome to the group.I like to call this extended family!
  6. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Welcome to the group, posterboy
  7. gandy
    Welcome to the Cafe Posterboy! I'm not sure you can have too many instructional manuals - sometimes you've got try several to find the one that works for you....... It took me a while to settle, but there's nothing wasted, as often they each have "something" (exercise, tune, tip etc) that helps you along.
  8. Kevin Stueve
    Kevin Stueve
    greetings from another collector of guitar instructional material most of which was never worked through entirely. So far on mando I'm better although I do have an "Exploring classical mandolin" book by August Watters that is collecting a little dust :D
  9. Posterboy
    At the moment I'm working on a few things all at different stages.

    I have the G major scale exercises in interval sequences, mainly used for a warm up but you can see the benefit of getting these up to speed as many fiddle tunes use parts of these either in the basic tune or as part of a players embellishments and flashy moments!

    The tunes I'm working on I'm using Ben Clark's lessons and arrangements

    His Bag of Licks solos in G - I have got this under my fingers and can 9 times out of 10 play it with the slow backing track correctly. The fast backing track highlights more right hand technique practice.

    Blackberry Blossom - I'm working on his intermediate version at the moment which is the basic tune with a variety for the repeated sections. Still trying to get this correct with a slow click before I moved to the backing tracks.

    Red Haired Boy - Just started getting this under my fingers last night

    Chords - I am just messing with the chords of G major trying getting the 4 finger chop chord to happen naturally whilst I play about with common chord progressions, also trying to get at least 2 different chord options under my belt depending on where the last chord I play is to limit movement. Once this is getting better I'll work on changes with a click.
  10. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Good work Posterboy
  11. MikeZito
    For my 2-cents - I would use instructional materials simply as a base for mandolin playing. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to play, as long as you get the desired results. Pick up as many tricks and pointers as you can, but in the end, let your own natural abilities and intuition be your strongest guide.

    Welcome aboard, enjoy and keep us posted!
  12. Posterboy
    Progress is slow, due to a few things like lack of discipline, focus and such.

    I have just ordered a jjb prestige 220 pickup. so at least recording will be more convenient. This should help, 1, because I can review myself rather than trying to do it in real time and 2, it will be easier to record video with decent audio to post up for brutal and honest feedback!
  13. Posterboy
    My 1st mandolin video!

    Started working on this today and thought I'd video blog the progress.
  14. HonketyHank
    That is quite something to be using as your 'premier' video. I am guessing that you have played guitar publicly - you sure don't exhibit the jitters that I get when I try to record something. Your rendition does good justice to the composer. Nice shift up to the 7th and 9th fret.

    Here's a tip: Most mandolin picks do not show up on xray.
  15. Sleet
    Lovely, Posterboy. You and Bach do nice work.
  16. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    A beautiful piece, and very nicely played! Your technique appears pretty solid, and timing and tonal quality, dynamics are also very nicely done. Bravo!
  17. Posterboy
    Working on bars 11-22 today and incorporating them with the 1st 10. This piece is teaching me a lot about posture and fingering.

    Something I've noticed with my crosspicking which maybe wrong or right which is pick direction is in the direction of the next string. The great thing about this is that it means it's all 'outside' picking, which means more movement but I really hate inside picking, as I lose a lot of control floating between 2 strings.
  18. Tim Gillane
    Tim Gillane
    Very nice.
  19. Posterboy
    At the moment I have the following tunes in various stages of being 'mastered'

    Whiskey Before Breakfast - Banjo Ben's Flatted 3rd study version and a Adam Steffey version
    Red Haired Boy
    Blackberry Blossom
    Bach Cello Suite 1 Prelude
    Harvest Home
    Off to California
    St Annes Reel

    Just started on Brilliancy - via Ryan Carr's lesson on youtube
  20. Posterboy
    I'm going to try and post more video and not wait for perfection to share. Else I'll never share!!!

    I'm sharing for honest feedback and help rather than backslaps, You guys are my only form of feedback as I don't have a teacher.

  21. MikeZito
    It looks like you have a very good handle on the cross-picking technique to me . . . keep up the good work.
  22. HonketyHank
    Posterboy, thanks for the video. It triggered a bunch of interest and curiosity in me. First off, I had to run the video several times to try to get an idea of just how you were making all those notes behave themselves so nicely, and secondly, why your exercise seemed like a whole new genre for me to explore. I have heard about crosspicking and sort of put the idea in a jar on the shelf for later. Now I wonder if it is 'later' yet.

    Basically, it sounds like it is a 123-123-12 sequence with each note receiving equal time. Are you playing DUD-DUD-DU or DUD-UDU-DU? My eye/brain inteface isn't quite quick enough.

    Critique? I don't really feel qualified. I will note that your rhythm sounds good, especially considering the tricky pattern, and your picking and fingering is clean. I would be proud of myself were it a video of me doing the playing.

    And the exercise itself is a pretty piece that could be played as a solo.

    Do you have a source for exercises in this technique?
  23. Posterboy
    The 1st sequence that descends and ascends the a major scale on the D string is DUU DUU DU and the other sequence which is F#m E D is DU DU DU but I see it more of you pick the string in the direction of the next string rather than strict Alt Picking.

    BanjoBen has a good video with exercises and a version of wildwood flower that goes over the DUU DUU DU crosspicking

  24. Posterboy
    Here's the 1st section which what they call crosspicking in the strictest sense (I don't want to get into arguments)

    The 2nd section as I said isn't strictly what is called crosspicking but it's a nice pattern
  25. HonketyHank
    Thanks, Posterboy. I am going dig into this a bit. It does sound nice.
  26. Posterboy
    not the full 200bpm and I screwed up the ending lick so cut it off from the video

  27. MikeZito
    Nice playing - and nice tone from the Eastman!
  28. HonketyHank
    Nice job there, pb. It looks (and sounds) like you are doing that cross-picking thing smoothly and well. If not, you are getting some interesting syncopation going. It looks pretty natural. I haven't tried it out yet but the rhythm just seems so captivating compared to the plain vanilla DUDU I am still trying to master.

    PS: I scrolled up through this topic thread and noticed several places where I think you inserted videos that are now absent. I'd love to revisit them. Could you maybe do a quick edit to re-embed them? The only ones I can see are Wildwood Flower and 8th of January.
  29. Posterboy
    That's strange, it's also disappeared from my youtube channel. I don't remember deleting it. I'll see if I can find it on my pc, or re-record it again.
  30. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Good job on 8th of January!
  31. Posterboy
  32. HonketyHank
    I enjoyed that. Kinda helps cool down from the holiday hectics.
  33. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter

  34. Posterboy
    After slacking off, and having to play more guitar recently I'm back to the mandolin.
    Refreshing tunes I've learnt and forgotten.
    Let's see of I can post a video a week of my progress!
  35. MikeZito
    Sometimes I will not pick up a mandolin for a couple of months - and when I come back to it, I pick right up where I left off . . . terrible! The way I see it, I'm at least consistent . . .
  36. Chaya
    I'll be looking forward to it, Posterboy. That last piece made me an instant fan of Halfway Pond. Some day I hope to play it "halfway" as well as you do.
  37. Posterboy
    So with social gatherings banned, I've been recording songs for my church.
    This week I simplified things and went acoustic

  38. HonketyHank
    Thanks for the videos, Posterboy - I really enjoyed watching (and listening to) your accompaniment. We spend so much time learning to "play tunes" that we (or at least I) forget about the quite different skills involved with backing vocals or other instruments. It is really nice to hear and see you do that creatively and skillfully.
  39. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    I really enjoyed watching and listening this morning. I noticed you're adding the F# bass note with thumb when you play the D chord ... few guitarists do that, and I think it adds a lot of color to the D chord when used well. Kudos on using all five digits of the left hand, I believe in it!

    As for the mandolin accompaniment, I think you're doing great. You've said repeatedly these last couple years that you're not looking for a "pat on the back" in here, but constructive criticism. Well, you deserve the "pats" and I don't see anything in your technique that requires my feedback. We're not experts in here, and you're doing fine. I've been playing guitar over 50 years, but only picked up mandolin in recent years, as you have. This past year, I began playing mandolin with a worship band, and I'm doing similar to what you're doing with it. It's all good.

    "Critique? I don't really feel qualified." ~ HonketyHank from two years ago. +1

    Thanks for sharing.
  40. Posterboy
    Thanks for the kind words.

    I'm enjoying finding patterns and ways to do back up on mandolin that isn't just strumming open chords.
    Working from home is giving me lots of short practice breaks!
  41. MikeZito
    Keep up the good work.
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