So Let’s Talk About that Mandolin…

I think my mandolin study is going better than my writing right now. I feel like I’m making more progress there. For one thing, I’ve got calluses on my fingertips now! (I’m very proud of these calluses!) I know all the notes in first position…I’m starting to play songs that have two notes on the same stem…and my teacher doesn’t cringe the whole time I’m playing anymore. He sort of closes his eyes and nods along as he accompanies me on his ukulele.

I’m moving into 16th notes, which requires moving the pick up and down really, really fast. I am not good at this. It’s hard to imagine I will EVER be good at this. My tone goes out the window…my wrist gets sore (because I’m not relaxing it like I’m supposed to)…I don’t have good control over which strings I’m plucking…and I just don’t move the pick fast enough. There’s got to be a secret to this…a secret beyond lots of practice. But once in a while I get a few 16th notes out and they sound okay. My teacher says to go ahead and slow down and just get the motion right. Speed will come. And in the meantime, he gave me some other stuff to work on. I LOVE this instrument!!!

Is all my creativity going into my mandolin right now??? Or do I just need more direction on the writing?


2 thoughts on “So Let’s Talk About that Mandolin…

  1. Re: mandolin

    I have wanted to learn to play the mandolin since I was a kid. I saw the movie Kramer vs. Kramer and fell in love with the music. I discovered it was Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto in C and have been obsessed with the instrument ever since. But I’ve never known anyone who played one and never had any idea where to find an instrument or learn to play it.

    Then about 6 weeks ago, we were visiting my husband’s parents and we went to a flea market of all things and I saw one there! I knew it wasn’t a great one, but it was cheap. And my older son has grown up hearing me say, “I wish I knew how to play the mandolin,” so he talked me into buying it. He convinced me there would be SOMEONE in Iowa City who could teach me (that’s the kind of town this is!)…and he was right! I honestly don’t know why I didn’t make a concentrated effort to do this years ago. I love, love, LOVE this instrument! But, it’s never too late. 🙂

  2. You’re right, it’s never too late! I took up the drums a couple years ago, and took about six months of lessons before life intervened. But I loved it, still love to practice when I can, and still love to listen. Call it my mid-life crisis, but it was a lot less expensive than a flashy car, a lot more fun, and it freed up my creativity in a different way.

    As far as Mandolins go, I lived right next door to Rigel Mandolins for a couple years, so I’ve heard my share of mandolin and mandola playing. It’s fun to listen to, but I’ve never had a desire to play.

    Happy plucking!

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