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FREE MANDOLIN LESSON 15 - by Bradley Laird Bookmark and Share

Here is another song in the key of D. I wrote this little ditty myself. It uses the same chords as Whiskey Before Breakfast so it seems the perfect time to insert it in these lessons.

A few thoughts on playing this:

The chords come rather rapidly at you in the first half of the tune. If you are playing "chops" there will be 2 chops per measure. Just working on playing the chords for this song will do a lot to help your rhythm playing!

The rhythms and pick directions in the first part are all the "standard" down - up - down - up pattern. When you see a group of four 8th notes-- play them down - up - down - up. Each pair of 8th notes is down - up. Stand alone quarter notes or 8th notes are down stroked. (IN THE FIRST PART!)

When you get to the 4th measure of the 2nd part you see an 8th followed by a quarter and then another 8th followed by another quarter note. Those 4 notes should be played DOWN - UP - UP - DOWN. I won't labor over the detailed explanation of why this is so, but if you play it that way it will be smoother. The rest of the 2nd part is easy down-ups just like the first part.

One last thing about this tune: I wrote it. I mention that again because I think YOU should write some mandolin tunes! Why not? The point of all this is to express yourself through the mandolin and continually playing things other people decided for you will never offer the level of satisfaction that playing what YOU decide can offer. Making up little tunes like this may seem hopeless at first. But, just sit and doodle around and try to come up with something you can repeat. Try putting your fingers on some frets you don't normally play and just listen to what comes out. Like what you hear? Do it again. Eventually you will come up with something that you can call YOUR TUNE!

I'd much rather hear you play a crappy little tune that you made up than a bad imitation of Grisman/Bush/Monroe/etc. etc. Know what I am saying? Your mandolin playing is about you! You can learn a lot by trying to copy "the greats". I don't discount that! Do it. But, in the end, be YOU. I am sure that if Bill Monroe's ghost suddenly walked in to your living room, while you were playing your mandolin, the last thing he'd want to hear is you trying to be him. My guess is that he would enjoy hearing you be you. And, if he didn't, chase him back to wherever he came from!

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