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Like running head first into a wall...

Posted by Rissa on Monday, July 15, 2013

So just got back from the intermediate mando session, wow, what a shock. I can read sheet music, but I am having one hell of a time learning by ear. I mean it was like I was sprinting into a wall, at full speed, and now I'm just a mess. I mean I really felt bad. I just couldn't pick it up with everyone else. It takes time, yes. But, dang! People heard the tune once and they just picked up and played it, no problem. It was a struggle to get through the first few notes. I don't want to feel bad, but I do. And learning by ear is a skill I will need if I want to progress. So frustrated, so very frustrated.

3 comments on “Like running head first into a wall...”

TSSN Says:
Monday, July 15, 2013 @8:13:06 PM

I have been playing for 10 years, and I'm still bad at that. I can chop chords no problem, but I can't pick out a tune that I am just hearing for the first time. This isn't to discourage you, quite the contrary. Take your time, practice, and don't take 'no' for an answer.

Rissa Says:
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 @10:20:26 AM

I guess it was just a bad day for me. This morning I sat down and listened to a new tune that we're going to be playing today. I heard the tune a couple times, but have never played it, and only somewhat know how the tune goes. I just listened to it with my mandolin in hand, and tried to pick out the notes. I would pick a couple, stop and re-listen to make sure I was playing the right ones, then keep going. I got through the whole tune in maybe 15 minutes of just listening to it and picking. That was pretty cool. But the key is I had time to slowly work my way through it. And yesterday, well, I was in a room with people who have been playing for decades and already know the tune either on mandolin or on another instrument (like fiddle).

And, again, I shouldn't feel bad at all. I've had my mandolin for 2 months, I have never played a stringed instrument before April this year (and really I have like 1 year of piano from way back in grade school), and I'm hearing a lot of these tunes for the first time. I just have to keep telling myself it's OK, I'll get to where I want to be in time and with practice. Which, by the way, is something I will be doing a LOT more of.

OregonGal Says:
Sunday, July 21, 2013 @10:20:31 PM

Like I've mentioned before - practice scales - G, D, A, especially. Then when you hear a tune in that key - you will hear the notes and magically be able to reproduce them. Your mind, fingers, and mandolin will be one with each other. It is a process and takes time. Stay with it.

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