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Thread: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

  1. #51
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    I get you on this post, Caleb. Like so many, I played guitar my whole life, starting at 7 years old and continuing at 65. But the mandolin truly gets a hold of one. I find that I get into it at times almost exclusively unless I have reason to play out where I would normally sing and accompany myself flat picking, and finger picking, as well. Since I am more seriously ill now, I feel the mandolin is a big plus because it is compact and I can enjoy playing even in my easy chair-- not the best posture-- so I still practice sitting in a folding chair with my music in front of me. The mandolin is singularly beautiful in appearance and sound, and enjoyable to listen to others play, as well. Guitar will always be my first love. Mandolin for me is a refreshing change that I added to my life 8 years ago and I want to strive to improve, therefore I practice and listen to great players as much as I can. I appreciate the online teachers, such as Baron Collins-Hill and David Benedict, so much, too. Thanks for your thread!
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    To stop playing any instrument especially if someone had played it for quite a number of years. If you play guitar why on earth would you simply stop? (somethings gone awry) I play my mandolin a lot working on quite a few genres but crosspicking, melodies for jazzier things, traditional, flatpicking or fingerstyle I want (got) to have the guitar and it's beautiful tones...it's all different sounds and tones and I don't want to stay with one tone of one instrument, I love them all. Recording I'd want to use a number of different instruments, all that I could play!

    I keep an archtop, acoustic and mandolin out most all the time, going from one to the other

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    To stop playing any instrument especially if someone had played it for quite a number of years. If you play guitar why on earth would you simply stop? (somethings gone awry) I play my mandolin a lot working on quite a few genres but crosspicking, melodies for jazzier things, traditional, flatpicking or fingerstyle I want (got) to have the guitar and it's beautiful tones...it's all different sounds and tones and I don't want to stay with one tone of one instrument, I love them all. Recording I'd want to use a number of different instruments, all that I could play!

    I keep an archtop, acoustic and mandolin out most all the time, going from one to the other
    You say "why on earth would you simply stop? (somethings gone awry)":

    Just because someone's experience differs from yours doesn't mean that "something's gone awry". As we say in Ireland, more power to your elbow if you've never put the guitar down, but that doesn't mean that there's something wrong with folks who have stepped away from it. Quite normal to have a new interest supersede an old one, sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently.

    Behaviour happens for a reason: if we engage in a behaviour repeatedly it's because it's reinforcing for us. In behaviour science there's something called "The Matching Law" - in a nutshell it states that given the opportunity to engage in two activities we'll choose the one that's more reinforcing for us at that time. It doesn't mean that the other activity is something we don't enjoy, it just means that at that moment in time the chosen activity offers more reinforcement. For me the challenge of learning a new instrument was reinforcing, progressing on it quickly was reinforcing, becoming immersed in a new genre of music played on the mandolin was reinforcing, learning about mandolins (different types, history, set up etc.) was reinforcing. That's a lot of reinforcement, and the laws of learning say that behaviour that is reinforced increases in frequency/becomes stronger. Because I wasn't picking up the guitar reinforcement with it wasn't occurring, so the behaviour got weaker. Nothing "wrong" or "awry", it's just how behaviour works. All that was needed to get reinforcement rolling again with guitar was for me to stumble across an amazing Martin 00-18 in a shop and bring it home - lovely sound, lovely to play.
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?




    I've been out of the loop for a while on new guitar models but recently discovered that PRS makes a parlor. Here is Sierra giving one a workout. I want to find one of these and give it a try. They also make one sans pickup system, which is the one I'd be interested in.
    ...

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post



    I've been out of the loop for a while on new guitar models but recently discovered that PRS makes a parlor. Here is Sierra giving one a workout. I want to find one of these and give it a try. They also make one sans pickup system, which is the one I'd be interested in.

    Yeah nice, I've watched that before. I'd love to have a real nice parlor without pu...

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    What, only three different keys (in drop D I think)? IMO opinion Sierra has become a great guitar player in the last couple of years. Of course, I imagine being married to Justin hasn't hurt. I hadn't heard this one yet, thanks for sharing, Caleb

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    Anyone else notice your guitar life change because of the mandolin?
    I have a Tacoma dreadnought style guitar that I've had for a long time. I still love playing it and I should play it more often.

    Kind of a different response here, but I'll give it shot. One area that I actually needed a lot of work on was with electric mando playing. I acquired a 5 string Schwab right before the pandemic and couldn't really play it like an acoustic mandolin. Fret spacing was a little bigger than my acoustics, so I had to adapt my understanding of how to play an electric instrument that has mandolin tuning. The last time I played an electric guitar was almost 20 years ago. The mandolin tuning actually works for me a lot better with an electric instrument because I am more comfortable with 5th intervals than 4th intervals (more of less) on a guitar.
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Mandolin has been the perfect accent to accompany my guitar on recordings. Iím playing guitars and mandolins interchangeably. Iíve taken the mandolin to a few jams but I still have to really think while playing. The guitar just plays itself after 50+ years of muscle memory. I still love Jumbo guitars, but also have 000ís, OMís, Dreadnoughts etc.

    That wooden sound of a mandolin is just wonderful.

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    I've been playing guitar since I was 5 years old and we've had continuous mandolin players in my family for well over 100 years, but.....

    I get 100:1 calls for paid gigs on the upright bass compared to all of the other instruments combined!

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Since I never played the guitar in any serious way, nothing has changed.
    However, my exposure to CBOMs got me acquainted with open tunings, and if I had known that in my youth, I would have immediately got a guitar tuned DADGAD instead of that weird standard I could never wrap my head around. Thus, the mandolin has retrospectively changed my guitar playing past that never was and now never will be.
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    I would have immediately got a guitar tuned DADGAD instead of that weird standard I could never wrap my head around.
    And for me, used to standard guitar tuning, DADGAD makes me feel like it should be called another instrument rather than "guitar".

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMando View Post
    I have a Tacoma dreadnought style guitar that I've had for a long time.
    I always liked those, though I never owned one. I was sorry to see them go out of business. Recently on Reverb there was a Tacoma dread listed as "brand new," though it was 20 years old. I contacted the seller and apparently it had been in his shop all that time and no one had bought it (he was going out of business and was selling it at a ridiculously low price). The catch was that much of the gloss finish was coming off. I've seen this a lot with Tacomas. I'm not sure if it was the process they used for glossing guitars or the product, but it's a common thing. How is the finish on yours? My own dread (not a Tacoma) is satin-finished, so this is not an issue.
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    To stop playing any instrument especially if someone had played it for quite a number of years. If you play guitar why on earth would you simply stop? (somethings gone awry) I play my mandolin a lot working on quite a few genres but crosspicking, melodies for jazzier things, traditional, flatpicking or fingerstyle I want (got) to have the guitar and it's beautiful tones...it's all different sounds and tones and I don't want to stay with one tone of one instrument, I love them all. Recording I'd want to use a number of different instruments, all that I could play!

    I keep an archtop, acoustic and mandolin out most all the time, going from one to the other
    In my case, yes, something had gone awry. And I will leave it at that.

    There is a learning curve for mandolin and I need to spend as much time as possible to improve my skills on it. Four years later and I still don't know enough to be competent, let alone good at the instrument.
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    ..... DADGAD ..... previously mentioned. That has been something that I have never understood, or at least never been able to conquer. Standard tuning is great, open tuning in G or D is wonderful. Drop tunings are fantastic and mandolin tuning is actually easy because of the repetition.

    What is it about DADGAD?

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Connor View Post
    ..... DADGAD ..... previously mentioned. That has been something that I have never understood, or at least never been able to conquer. Standard tuning is great, open tuning in G or D is wonderful. Drop tunings are fantastic and mandolin tuning is actually easy because of the repetition.

    What is it about DADGAD?
    I've tried a few times and can never make any sense of DADGAD. The few things that I figured out that sounded musical turned out to be the same stuff I usually play, only in a different shape! Ha! I gave up quickly.

    I was at an Irish music retreat once and sat in on a DADGAD workshop with the great Irish guitarist, Tommy O'Sullivan. I didn't pick up anything I could use (my fault, not his), but it was great to watch him play guitar.
    ...

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Connor View Post

    What is it about DADGAD?
    Perhaps it is a departure from familiar structure and devices - such as major/minor tonality, standard progressions, etc. Dadgad places you in a different concept.

    For me, it's the droning strings - a platform for melodic and harmonic excursions. I've always been compelled by such 'harp'-like textures and played dadgad a lot to assuage the itch - until I eventually got into harping. Of course it's great for 'celtic' accompaniment, but also great for solo playing.

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    I play both guitar and mandolin in our band. Another band member switches between mandolin and fiddle. It is noice to break it up and have a different sound.

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve in tampa View Post
    I play both guitar and mandolin in our band. Another band member switches between mandolin and fiddle. It is noice to break it up and have a different sound.
    Same here, I play mandolin, guitar, bass and percussion in three different bands. But mandolin hasnít changed my guitar playing. Two different instruments, two different techniques.
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Playing mandolin led to playing more bluegrass on guitar, working on rhythm and flatpicking leads on guitar.

    Mandolin lessons opened me up to music theory (especially chord theory and voicings) which has completely enriched my musical life, including guitar, and nudged me toward jazz, where I may never have ventured on my own.
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    I played guitar for over 20 years before I tried other instruments. When I did, I went a bit overboard. In a very short time I tried pedal steel, banjo, dobro, and mandolin. I began to see music as basic math and that did not change with the instrument. Playing other instruments open3 the guitar to me and I could see the music free from the confines of any instrument. I began to feel free to play and as long as I knew what key we would be playing, I could play any of those instruments...except steel. I learned those who play steel are aliens from a planet far, far, away. Now I make no claim to being the greatest musician on this planet, however I could see the familiar pathway the notes would follow, and that does not change. A Gnote is still a G note no matter which instrument you wish to play it on. This makes playing any instrument, including guitar, merely a matter of following the progression to where you want it to take you. The difference from any note is the same no matter which instrument you wish to play. This freedom allowed me to play nearly anything on the guitar or any other instrument. I no longer had to think in terms of how something is played on guitar. If it is 2 frets up to go from G to A. That is the same on any instrument and as you work through this, you have no need for chord charts. You become free to just play. Now I know that is a bit simplistic, but the process is true and the more you work on that aspect of it, you will become more free to play any tune on any instrument with a minimal effort. Thatís my story and Iím sticking with it.😷
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Once I started on mandolin it fairly quickly became my main instrument, particularly when I started to concentrate on folk and traditional music.

    At one time I used to play mainly lead guitar. I was a big fan of Ten Years After. Their guitarist Alvin Lee was a very fast player and a big influence, and I found that playing fast lead guitar was a good groundwork for playing jigs and reels on mandolin.

    My guitar playing thereafter was mainly acoustic trad rhythm, and once I got an octave mandolin, I pretty much gave up guitar for a long time.

    However, for the last 20 years or so I have taught guitar - mainly to youngsters - and more recently since lockdown I have been doing guitar and mandolin video lessons mainly for adults. I now find I have sort of come full circle and have once again become interested in my guitar playing.

    I have, however, consistently listened to a lot of guitar music.
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    My guitar playing influences my mandolin playing. I didn't go into playing mandolin with a genre in mind. I tend to play a lot of things I know on guitar when I play my mandolin. I wind up looking for a lot of guitar moves and grooves on my mandolin. So I'm constantly looking for standards, swing, blues, country, folk and some old old rock... the mandolin can bring such a cool tone and groove to any genre.
    Last edited by CBFrench; Mar-29-2021 at 11:09am. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Mandolin was to be my shutdown hobby just a year ago. Very quickly it replaced the guitar after 40 years. I also have an Octave.

    As for the picks, Iíve always been a little...selective, to avoid the pun. I like a rounded heavy with grooves for mandolin, a JazzIII for OM, and a JazzIII or Big Stubby 3mm for guitar.

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Connor View Post
    What is it about DADGAD?
    I never played DADGAD (or much guitar at all, come to that), but it is a compelling concept when you
    - love the drone of open strings
    - want to use a minimum number of fretting fingers
    - have no need for exotic key changes, and a capo for constant exotic keys

    ... all of which applies to me, but I get most of that with a GDAE OM.
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  38. #75

    Default Re: How has the mandolin changed your guitar playing?

    Dadgad 12-string is pretty cool - then again, prbly better for kashmir than wind that shakes the barley..

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