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Mandolin Lovers Online

Sep 17, 2021 - 6:01:32 PM
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3 posts since 9/17/2021

Just picked up a mandolin yesterday, and boy it sure is different than playing a banjo. Do you guys have any helpful advice or tips or tricks to help me understand it better? And also what is some good learning resources... I have Banjo Ben Clark's mando course, but it is really difficult for me to understand it. Thanks.

Sep 18, 2021 - 4:50:41 AM
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237 posts since 12/23/2010

You might take a look at Eddie Collins' "Basics of Bluegrass Mandolin" book and CD. His instruction was easy for me to understand and fairly easy to learn.

First thing you need to learn is: forget arpeggios (rolls) and start learning scales! Mando and guitar and more scalar oriented than banjos and if you aren't familiar with scales, it may be confusing.

Next thing is to learn to flat pick. Sounds easy and probably is for some. Wasn't for me. I spent a lot of time practicing picking up, down, up, down until I got the hang of it.

It also took me a while to figure out how to hit both strings without it sounding like hitting two separate strings. Practice eventually took care of that problem.

Hope some of what I went through to learn helps you.

Those tiny strings will make your fingers sore when you first start learning (or they did mine). As you get more used to picking and fretting, it'll be easier to do and you won't have to press down so hard to get a clean, clear sound. (sound familiar?)

Take it slow and easy. As you probably learned with banjo: don't try for speed, work on timing, tone and technique.

I've been playing mando for several years and I still have a problem with the tremolo, so I just don't use it very often.

Sep 18, 2021 - 6:46:18 AM

3 posts since 9/17/2021

@Texasbanjo Thanks I didn't know where to start and it really helped!!!

Sep 24, 2021 - 1:52:18 PM



30 posts since 1/29/2011


Sep 25, 2021 - 6:21:53 AM

15 posts since 2/5/2012

I went from banjo to mando, made my banjo playing more precise. My mando has a small nut width, especially compared to my banjo and it forced me to use my fingertips more. Best thing going from banjo to mando is I knew the songs already from learning early Scruggs tunes when he played with Bill Monroe. I read that Marty Stewart said that he focussed on mando for a year or so and when he got back to guitar his guitar playing was improved. I find the same with banjo. In the begining I focussed on scale exercises and mando specific techniques like double stops. Chris Henry's website and videos are great.

Edited by - teletodd on 09/25/2021 06:31:47

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