Getting the Groove.

I’m slowly working my way through the basics of mandolin playing.

Yesterday I worked on a new strumming technique as well as switching chords while doing it. I still haven’t got the full hang of it, but I have the idea of it.

Today I went through everything that I learned then I added a new piece of information to my knowledge: melody.

In case you didn’t know, the first song I’m learning right now is “Cindy,” an old folk song. I’ve got the chords to the first first and the chorus. Today I was trying to nail down the melody for the first line. The left hand is on the A string and you go second fret, fifth fret, fifth fret, open, second fret. It took me a minute or so to learn it because the guy in the video that I was learning was going slightly too fast, so I had to replay that minute several times before I got it. After a few times, I got the idea of it, but still not quite fast at it. I wonder how you play the chord and the melody at the same time? I haven’t gotten that far yet, though.

I feel kind of frustrated when I reach a rut in my learning, but I’ve only been at it for a couple of weeks, so in the grand scheme of things, I’m learning fast. This is my problem: I want to be a professional after a couple weeks and it’s not going to be that way. I’m anxious to learn some other songs, but I need to get the basics down before I can build up to something new.

I just need to remind myself that we all need to start somewhere and that if I keep practicing a little bit every day then I’m going to reach my goals.

I wonder how many years it took for people in certain bands to learn their music and to get to where they were. I wish I started earlier, but I might not have had the patience that I have now. Or the determination, even. One day, one day. If I keep pushing myself, I’ll get to where I need to be.

I read online that it’s preferable to have a hard pick when you’re playing mandolin. I have a medium pick and a thin pick, but so far, I’ve been playing with the medium. I wonder where you can go to get different kinds of picks just to see what the difference is in the sound wise.

Some other things I’d like to add to my mandolin collection:

  • Hard case
  • Strap

That’s…about as far as I got. Plus learning how to put everything together. Right now I’m learning traditional folk songs, but I want to eventually learn some Irish and bluegrass songs–maybe even some country songs if I become an expert. But for now I’m getting ahead of myself and need to focus on one at a time. It’ll happen.


2 thoughts on “Getting the Groove.

  1. I read once that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice are needed to become great at something, including playing a musical instrument. Who can say? Definitely comes down to natural ability plus a huge investment of time.

    • I think anyone can become good at something, just needs a lot of practice as you say. 🙂 Natural talent certainly helps, but if you don’t practice it doesn’t go anywhere.

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