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Thread: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

  1. #1

    Default Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    The other day I told my wife I’d decided to change the pick I use, from a Blue Chip CT to a Dawg. She not only knew what I was talking about, but wanted to know my reason for changing and was interested in discussing the pros and cons of each. That, my friends, is my idea of not only a good spouse, but a great spouse. I am truly blessed. Full disclosure: She is developing a serious case of Guitar Acquisition Syndrome.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Great ! Same here ! My wife simply goes to another room and puts ear plugs in !

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Fewer Blue Chips (I have 4) means more guitar money for her.

  6. #4
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Mrs. Mandobart knew I liked playing music (fiddle and guitar) when we met almost 40 years ago. Due to my job as a submarine reactor operator in the USN I wasn't able to spend much time at all on music.

    After the navy I went to college, got a real job, we had kids. Again not much time for music.

    About 20 years ago we moved into our current place. I had a neighbor who also enjoyed picking tunes. Over the ensuing 5 - 10 years I got much more into playing and took up mandolin. Still working full time and slowly completely remodeling our home and yard (re-wire, re-plumb, totally new kitchen and 3 baths from studs/joists up).

    For the first time in my life I had the money, desire and almost enough time to play music as a serious hobby. Mrs. Mandobart was not thrilled with me spending time on a hobby that no one else in our family cared for.

    I went to all the kids' concerts, plays, games, scout activities, etc. that my work schedule allowed, and I loved being a dad and husband. But there was always tension and resentment when I spent time or energy on music. Add to this that I work 12 hour rotating shifts including many weekends, holidays, etc.

    We're still together. The kids are grown and live a few hours' drive away. I still work shiftwork. We spend a lot of time hiking, skiing, camping and biking. Still ongoing projects and yard work. My wife now also enjoys many activities that don't include my interests. I think that helps. Pre-COVID I attended about 3 acoustic jams with friends per month and one to two festivals per year. Again, work prevents me from doing more.

    My wife accepts my musical hobby - she no longer interrupts each practice session with a request for me to perform or help her with a non-urgent chore. But I see trouble ahead in retirement in a couple years when I fully intend to take in more of the regional bluegrass festivals in the PNW.....

  7. #5
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Mandobart, it's tough when a spouse doesn't support your music. Mine has been retired for 20 years, following an accident on the job. I sold my tax practice 5 years ago, but still work as a financial advisor. Add to that serving as treasurer for a non-profit - and my music - my husband is not a happy camper. I took up the mandolin almost 6 years ago. He knows I love it, and I've made it clear I get 1 hour each day for either a lesson or practice. I try to make it up to him with quality time, but he'd like to have me 24/7. Ain't happening.

    Those of you who have supportive spouses, count your blessings. Mine does all the cooking, so I don't complain much. :o)

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    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    My wife has been supportive of my playing. Since she started to play uke about a year and a half ago, we've even had some conversation about the details of music. ("What key is this? How do you know?")

    Luckily, her practice time is PM, and mine is AM.

    D.H.

  10. #7
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    I have a wonderful wife of 47 years (I jokingly refer to her as a bluegrass widow). I sold a couple of vintage Gibson mandolins recently to lighten my collection. She expressed concern that I would regret selling them, same with a guitar sale. I assured her that I still had plenty of instruments. She could care less about brand names of instruments, I do a blind sound test with her and without fail, she will select my favorite choice. I do know that she doesn't like matte finished instruments.

    I am a lucky man!
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  11. #8
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    I can't complain - besides my wife is a musician too!

  12. #9

    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Lucky for me hubby has a spendy fly fishing habit so when I rediscovered guitar and then mando he was so supportive he even bought me a mando for my b-day a few years ago...hmmm, my b-day is coming up and I have my eye on a nice spendy Gibson for sale nearby....
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  14. #10
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    I'm a cheapskate by nature. Our boys always say I act like I grew up in the great depression.
    But my wife helps me. When she knows I'm pining for a new instrument, she also knows I will not spend the money without a very stiff kick in the rear. Her solution is to push me with, "Just buy it, you can't take it with you ($) and the boys don't need it."
    That is just one of hundreds of ways she makes my life complete.
    Last edited by Pittsburgh Bill; Jan-19-2021 at 3:08pm.
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  16. #11

    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    Mandobart, it's tough when a spouse doesn't support your music. Mine has been retired for 20 years, following an accident on the job. I sold my tax practice 5 years ago, but still work as a financial advisor. Add to that serving as treasurer for a non-profit - and my music - my husband is not a happy camper. I took up the mandolin almost 6 years ago. He knows I love it, and I've made it clear I get 1 hour each day for either a lesson or practice. I try to make it up to him with quality time, but he'd like to have me 24/7. Ain't happening.

    Those of you who have supportive spouses, count your blessings. Mine does all the cooking, so I don't complain much. :o)
    I have a wonderfully supportive (non-musician) husband who has been and continues to be patient throughout my musical journey. He encouraged me when I returned to guitar after a 15-year hiatus and was supportive when I decided to learn mandolin. He even suffers through my mandolin practice inside our RV when it's raining outside, while I practice Bill Cheatham 20 times in a row.

    He has never complained about the price of good instruments, even when I went shopping for a Martin HD-28, Eastman E20 OM, and my mandolins (a mid-range Kentucky and then my current Colling MT2 custom). He doesn't quite understand GAS, MAS or why I need multiple instruments but he doesn't really complain. I think I've got a real keeper here! He's not perfect....nobody is (especially me), but I couldn't ask for more when it comes to my musical interests.

  17. #12
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Disclaimer: I know I'm really lucky.

    Since I met my wife a few years ago while she was playing guitar in a jam at WinterGrass, I knew it would be good. After marrying, in the preCovid times, we practiced both separately and together, both songs in harmony and tunes. We trade picks. She's learning fiddle tunes fairly quickly as she has a great right hand for rhythm playing and a terrific ear for picking up melodies. We used to jam weekly with friends as well and travel to as many festivals as we had energy for, given the busy schedules of retired folks. She's bought 2 guitars and sold one since we've been married. I bought one more mandolin, but I'm release challenged

    Now she's on the bench for a few months due to major hand surgery for arthritis, but we listen together a bit more (StationInn TV) and bluegrass radio. We're hoping for a complete recovery by fall. But she can still sing like a bird.

    And she tolerates my swing playing and 'all those weird chords.'

    I think she's in Webster's under 'sweetheart'.
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    I'm the only one in our family that plays any musical instrument. When I told my wife of 24 years (at the time) that I was going to buy a mandolin, she was immediately on-board. She knew I liked guitar and keyboard but they were languishing in their cases. Now with 3 mandolins hanging on my office wall, practice is regular and often. If she hasn't heard me play in a few days, she'll bring it up. Of course, I support her passions too: jewelery and cooking. We both try to keep our addictions at bay, but MAS, JAS and CAS rear the heads on occasion. The ease of looking at the Classifieds and MC sponsor websites doesn't help, either .
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    I am similarly blessed. Met my wife when she was hired to photograph a band I was in. After we started dating, she began picking up my instruments eventually going on to front her own bands. Sings like a bird. Now she's learning fiddle and we sing/play together in the same country band.

    She's cute as a button, to boot.
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  22. #15

    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Mike, you’re asking about a good mandolin player’s wife.
    But what if you occasionally play the mandolin badly?

    An occasionally bad playing mandolinist’s wife is going to be like what?

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  24. #16

    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    My wife bought me my first mandolin thinking I might want to try to learn how to play it.
    More than a decade later I'm still trying and she still hasn't divorced me. I think that qualifies.
    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

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  26. #17
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    "She's a good hearted woman, in love with a mandolin picking man".
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  28. #18
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    My wife likes dancing (ballet, jazz ballet) and listening to music. I like playing music and sailing. We're locked down here in the house - Mondays Wednesday and Saturdays she has dance Zoom sessions, Monday Tuesday and Friday I have music Zoom. Sometimes on a Monday Zoom with both of us using Zoom, the sound isn't so great on both laptops in adjacent rooms - well, so what.

  29. #19
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Been so fortunate to be married 47 years in less than a month. Like all here, to the best. She knew what she was getting into and through the years has heard it all and learned much. She's my biggest fan, according to her. Thing is though, I know she doesn't really care about 95% of of the music I play. 47 years never a word.

  30. #20
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Mike, your story warmed my heart. And you have sparked some similar contributions from others! Yes, you're lucky people.

  31. #21
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Although my wife (who is sweet in every way) likes my mandolin playing, and likes that I have healthy hobbies (music, running, hiking), she does occasionally get annoyed at loud and fast bg, ot, or folky music. When I notice "the look" I either; play much quieter and slower or put the mandolin down or get my guitar out since the lower scale seem to less obnoxious.

    She doesn't have as many hobbies as I. I wish she did though because it would make gift buying a lot easier.

  32. #22

    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    I am one of those folks who has a wonderful wife. She was a "band nerd" in school, then taught herself to play piano when our kids were small. I have been very fortunate because she knows how to read music, keep time, and all the other things that go along with music, so when I have a question, I have someone I can go to for an answer. Thanks to her and Marilynn Mair, I have learned to read music and am slowly progressing in my mandolin playing. I know I need to practice more, but I am under absolutely no time constraints and just having fun so I don't beat myself up about it. Yep, I think I will keep her!

  33. #23
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    I, too, am lucky in my spouse, normally referred to on here as my-husband-the-guitar-player. We started playing duets together while we were dating back in the 1970s and picked up ITM as a pair back in the 1990s and I've dragged him through tastes of choro, klezmer, gypsy and classical. He's always game to try something new. We occasionally trade picks, buy each other strings, tuners, straps and whatnot for gifts and do our best to drive our (now adult) kids crazy with yet another two-hour session of nothing but hornpipes. COVID has kept us home most nights instead of playing out, but having someone to always play with has been a great bonding experience over the soon-to-be-38-years we've been married.
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  35. #24
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    You are lucky, Yankees1. Mine doesn’t go in the other room, she sends me to the other room.

    Ok, not that bad. I have a wonderful wife, but the mandolin has nothing to do with that. She could go without it just fine...

    Yes, be very thankful for a wife that enjoys the same things as you......

  36. #25
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    Default Re: Definition of a good mandolin player’s spouse

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post

    My wife accepts my musical hobby - she no longer interrupts each practice session with a request for me to perform or help her with a non-urgent chore. But I see trouble ahead in retirement in a couple years.
    Heh.

    I work from home in a small office/mancave. Or should I say mandocave.

    There's something about the sound of the mandolin that summons my wife from the farthest depths of the house with such requests.

    Over the years I've made enough money from gigs to claim that any new purchase was "gig money", the most stretchable currency in the world. I had two non-negotiable festivals a year I would go to but all cancelled due to COVID now. Two pub sessions a week 10-15 minutes away that I could go to.

    I think after forty years together she's decided my hobby isn't going away.
    Bren

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