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Thread: Please critique my playing

  1. #1

    Default Please critique my playing


    My first video upload here. Please let me know how it sounds and what I need to work on to get better. Thanks!

    BONUS: Four Internet points to anyone who can name what I'm playing.

  2. #2
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    I won't be the only one to get "Tennessee Waltz", but perhaps the first. I enjoyed your playing, but I'll let the masters give advice.

    Added: Oops, I spoke too soon. I didn't realize this was a medley. Was that "Wish You Were Here" at the beginning.
    Two points?
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    I won't be the only one to get "Tennessee Waltz", but perhaps the first. I enjoyed your playing, but I'll let the masters give advice.

    Added: Oops, I spoke too soon. I didn't realize this was a medley. Was that "Wish You Were Here" at the beginning.
    Two points?
    You're right about Tennessee Waltz, but that wasn't supposed to be Wish You Were Here at the start. Good guess.

  4. The following members say thank you to glissando for this post:

    Ranald 

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    You do a nice version of that song. Only thing I can say is keep at it. The more you play the better you'll get. Good job.

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    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    Nice tone! Keep pickin’

  7. #6

    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    Great playing!

    I will add that the only thing I missed was a solid sense of a rhythmic pulse that would help listeners follow the groove. I realize that these are slower tunes, but a solid slow groove would still greatly enhance the enjoyment and musical connection on the listener's behalf.

    I only mention this because you asked.

    Again, nice playing!

    Aldon

  8. #7
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    I’d agree with Ranald, and great playing!
    The middle is part of Jessamyn’s Reel by Chris Thile.

    One thing I’d add, again since you ask -and as an amateur I’m not sure of this myself.
    It’s that you play a lot of guitar and other keys, harmonic minor etc. which (maybe) makes your finger style a little free (Classical?) but at the same time quite structured.
    A lot of the more advanced mandolinists I’ve seen seem to be more rooted in the major key and on the fretboard so they don’t look at the fretboard very much. And because of this (maybe) they are more centered? With more centered drive?
    -if this makes any sense!

    Good luck, as I said, your playing is great!

  9. #8
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    For a first video upload this is a very creditable performance. You are clearly not new to mandolin playing from the range of techniques you display here: very clean picking, moving easily around the fretboard, slides in Tennessee Waltz, chordal and single string playing, tremolo and well voiced phrasing. I could detect the "rhythmic pulse" of the waltz quite clearly and there was a definite change of rhythm in the latter part of your recording when you changed melody. I can only offer my congratulations and the advice to keep on playing and vary the material you decide to play. Great effort.
    Last edited by John Kelly; Sep-23-2021 at 3:46am. Reason: typos
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  10. #9

    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    Thanks for all of the comments everyone. I really appreciate that you took the time to listen.

    This has been a useful exercise for me, as I have never record myself before. I only did one take, and realize I had a couple of mistakes in there, but wanted an honest representation. The thing that surprised me the most was that my new mandolin sounds better than I thought. I think this is because the camera (my iPhone 6) was located in a better spot than my ears. The sound radiates out from the sound holes, so I don't hear the tone as nicely while I am playing.

    I will work on my rhythmic sense and also chord placement. I can really hear how they can be improved after listening to the video myself.

    For reference, here is what I played in the video (although I took some liberties and interpreted everything a bit):

    1) "Soon" by Yes - many here probably know the tune, but it would be really hard to recognize with only a single run through of the chords. I'll try and upload a full version sometime.
    2) "The Tennessee Waltz" - one point for Ranald. Any suggestions for good interpretations of this piece? i'd like to work on it some more and am looking for ideas.
    3) "Jessamyn's Reel" by Chris Thile - one point for Simon DS
    4) "Ninna Nonna" by Carlo Aonzo

    Simon DS - I've been enjoying your youtube channel for much of the morning. Some really nice stuff on there.

  11. #10
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    What do we get for 1,00 points?
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  12. #11
    Registered User Frankie D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    Why am I not hearing anything? I am using an old laptop with windows 7.
    Eastman 515 Mando
    Gibson J-30 Guitar
    RK-80 Banjo

  13. #12
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    What do we get for 1,00 points?
    What Ranald, you’re thinking of just grabbing your 1,00 points and making a run for it?


    Hey Glisando, you’re very welcome to join us on the forum: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/group.php?groupid=67

    -Song-a-Week Social Group, friendly and very informal with a wide variety of different styles and lots of experimentation. Great practice to record.

    -so see you there.
    Oh, I almost forgot, it will cost you ten points to join.

    But you do win 99.2 points every time you post a vid, no matter how good or bad you play. In fact if you could post a couple of bad ones, it might help!

  14. #13

    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    Quote Originally Posted by daLimuHead View Post
    Great playing!

    I will add that the only thing I missed was a solid sense of a rhythmic pulse that would help listeners follow the groove. . . .
    And that's something that only comes with a lot of repetition.

    Since mando is usually an ensemble instrument rather than a solo instrument, it faces the same challenge as, say, an electric guitar or a saxophone: Keeping the beat isn't the mando player's job, so it's easy to forget to focus on it. (I'm highly guilty of that, myself.)

    The more you play, the more that "pulse" will come through — if you pay attention to it.

    Keep on pluckin'!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  15. #14
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please critique my playing

    For an ensemble, that’s correct, and in a session it’s quite different.

    For example, given a typical session of perhaps two clog tappers, one bassist, a mandolinist, three bodhrans, two ukuleles, a small guitar-like device and a couple of stragglers who might sing later on, it’s actually the mandolinist who sets the time and the pulse.
    -or leaves the room.
    Last edited by Simon DS; Sep-25-2021 at 5:06pm.

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