LOL, I love that Keep Calm And Play Mandolin Meme…that is what is on my desktop on my computer right now; not that I need it to remind me to play. I love this mandolin!
I have picked it up every day; two or three times a day since bringing it home. Oh, and the picture to the right of it is my left hand fingertips after six days of playing. I am not sure you can see it in the photo but the calluses are building nicely.
Below is a picture of me holding my mandolin. I am thinking of making this my profile picture on Facebook and a few other places on the net. 🙂
All of the research I have been doing on the net has been paying off. Not only have I gotten a fine musical instrument and a heck of a deal on everything that it comes with but I have various chord charts for beginners.
There are a few in the instruction booklet that came with the package but the ones from the internet allow me to print them out full size on printer paper.
This way too I won’t have to flip through the book to find a certain chord.
I have a binder that I have plastic sheet protectors in and I put all my photocopies in there. There is even a pocket on the inside cover of the binder where I have tucked my instruction booklet.
As I collect songs that I can practice and play I will be building myself a journal of sorts that will show my progress from beginning to my current level.
This will help keep things organized and let me find whatever I want to practice on, easily.
The booklet that came with my mandolin takes you through the very beginning of everything and you do not need to have any musical experience to play the mandolin.
So, it begins by showing you the various parts of the mandolin, how to hold it, how to hold the pick, and so on. It then talks about keeping time by tapping your foot and how to read sheet music.
I took music theory in high school and a lot of it is coming back to me althought I do prefer to use songs with the appropriate chords above the words.
I find it easier to follow and if I wonder about the beat or tempo I need only listen to a recording of the song to get the idea.
There are a multitude of videos on YouTube showing how to play certain chords or songs and also some on care and maintenance of your mandolin.
It is from one such video that I recently saw that I learned how to lower the strings closer to my fretboard. I lowered the action, as it is referred to, in order to be able to play easier and not hurt my fingers as much.
Don’t misunderstand…they still hurt, just not as badly. 😉 My fingernails are now kept closely trimmed so as to not interfere with the strings as I form the chords with my left hand. I keep my right hand trimmed the same way too.
This is not a huge deal for me anyway as my nails never seem to grow to any appreciable length without splitting or peeling. They never have been long and beautiful until I got artificial nails put on a long time ago.
Then there were the endless appointments to go and have them filled as my real nails grew out underneath them. I must admit that when I had artificial nails I felt more feminine.
I am glad I got rid of them years ago as they would just complicate playing the mandolin now.
As I explain in my update video I just posted on my YouTube channel (Embedded Below) I am now practicing quick licks that Scotty Grove showed me on his YouTube channel. What is great about that is it involves all the chords I have just learned.
This gives me something fun to try and get better at and while I am doing that I am practicing the chords at the same time. It makes practice a lot more fun and interesting.
Please take a moment and have a look at it. It is just five minutes long and you can see and hear what I have learned thus far.
I will be doing further update videos as I am able and when there is a sufficient amount of new stuff to show you.
I think the next thing I will have to work on, besides the quick licks, is my strumming patterns. Until you play a stringed instrument you really can’t appreciate how much coordination one must have to keep the beat with one hand and the notes with the other hand, at least I didn’t.
It is quite the workout for the brain and I have a new respect for musicians everywhere. When I think of the many instruments this is true of it leaves me in awe of the people that can not only play but with such skill too.
I want to be that good one day with my mandolin. Thank you for once again stopping by my blog to see what I wanted to talk about today. I do appreciate the support.
If you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them in the comment section; either here on my blog or on my videos on my YouTube channel. I try to get to every one I receive.
Have yourselves a wonderful day/night wherever you are. Now I must go practice some more and master that F Major chord. 🙂