kauricat: (mandolin)
Tonight's mandolin lesson went well. I did really well at chording; I was even better than I expected considering that my fingers are still sore. He was pretty pleased with my progress and we played the chord progressions a lot faster than we did last week. I think we doubled the speed, though he did stop and wait for me to get the trickier fingerings solidly before continuing.

I also learned where the mandolin really needs to sit when I play it, which you'd think would come naturally but it did not for me. Now that I've held it that way though, it does seem a lot easier. I was also complemented on my strumming, which I did make an effort with. You're supposed to rotate your wrist rather than swing your arm. Go me.

Now I get to add rhythms. He didn't write them as notes, but he wrote symbols for downstrokes and upstrokes and explained how downstrokes go on the main beats (must by why they're called "downbeats" huh?). Some of the rhythms are really easy and some are more syncopated. I am pleased with my ability to remember how to count rhythm and I think these will be pretty easy for me to practice.

He checked out my tuner and it is just like his so it passed muster.

He kept my mandolin!! I had thought I'd be bringing it in myself tomorrow, but he suggested that I leave it with him and he'll discuss fixing the action with the repair guy. I may be getting new strings in addition to getting the nut filed down; it depends on what they think will be best. I THOUGHT I had asked for the easiest strings when I had them restring it a year or so ago, but either I was not clear or they just thought I didn't know what I was talking about and overrode what I requested. One reason they might have done that is that when you have lighter gauge strings, you sacrifice volume and they may have thought going a little heavier would be a good compromise for volume/playability.

I was really glad he was willing to do the "haggling" for me and I didn't even have to ask him to do it. He has worked with those guys a long time and in addition to their working relationship, speaking the same language probably helps.

I should get it back in a couple of days; it'll hurt my practicing unless I steal Pres Man's mandolin for a day or so.

At first I was kind of skeptical about lessons, but I think signing up was definitely worth it.
kauricat: (mandolin)
I just realized that I know enough chords in the same key to play a song. I picked out the chords to Raglan Road by ear and have been playing it over and over and singing along. Badly, but I'm doing it. I'm so happy.

My fingers are very very sore, but that's bothering me a lot less than the buzzing is. The better I play, the stronger it gets. When I hit clunkers there is not a strong enough reasonance to make the buzz. I'm definitely asking my instructor about that tomorrow and taking the mandolin in on Tuesday. If I'm late to class, so be it.

Okay, I'd LIKE to be that committed, but I'm not. Maybe I'll run the mandolin down on my lunch break or something.

I also picked out chords to The Star of the County Down. I'm not as good at playing that one yet, but it's coming along. It's a good thing some of my favorite songs are the slower ones or this would be a LOT more frustrating. Though I have heard a couple of faster versions of County Down that I like, so when I'm better I'm going to try that rhythm.

I'll just be over here squeeing alternately with delight and pain as I attempt more songs.


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