Category - Mandolin

The mandolin and the choice of picks

The last few days I’ve been playing a lot, and I’m making some progress with the guitar. I can actually play some nice simple breaks, and some c runs too. :)

I’ve picked up the mandolin again. It’s nice to see how a serious break from it can trigger the inspiration.
Now after not playing the mandolin for a long time, I’m not at all happy with the tone. I need to play much smoother, and with better flow. I think I need to pick up my old scale exercises again, I remember they were very efficient with developing smoothness and flexibility of the fingers.
Also, I’m looking at what pick to use. Most better mandolin players use very thick picks such as the Blue Chip or Wegen picks. I’ve never been able go play with very thick picks, I think they kind of kill the sound. But it must be something with the technique, since “everybody” else uses them? I’m planning to go to Göteborg on Thursday, bring the mandolin, visit music shops and test picks. Now with thinner picks (1.0 and the likes) I think they give too much pick noise (the sound of the pick hitting the string), so I’m willing to try the extra heavy picks a chance. I don’t think anyone sells the Blue Chip over here, but maybe at least some of the other ones.

There is a bluegrass festival coming up in a few weeks and I can’t wait! When I go there I always realize how much I suck at playing (probably even more this year), but I love being there and it always inspires me. We also have good friends there, that we meet only at this particular festival, and that we enhoy jamming with.

Music in the garden

I started working this week, and it’s been a week beyond terrible. On Tuesday my thought was that I give up and I’m going to attend that graphic design programme. But well, I normally love my job, it’s just that now it’s summer, and summer working conditions, our ward has moved to another ward, because that’s the only way to cut down the number of admitted patients, otherwise the nurses can’t have any summer holidays (which everyone is entitled to according to Swedish law). In the end of August we’ll be back at the 14th floor again, thank goodness, it’s awful where we are now.

However, I’m making good progress with the guitar!! Today I’ve played Blue ridge cabin home with breaks and all, and I’m learning the bluegrass C run. Whiskey before breakfast is getting there, and so is Soldier’s joy. And you know what? Today I got back the urge to play the mandolin! Not that it will replace the guitar, but because it’s a cool instrument, I’m not too bad at playing it, and it’s…nice. I’m going to play both, and when I play my mandolin I just realize how much I’m in love with it.

The weather here is fabulous and I’ve been making music in the garden for two days. Life is good after all.