This year I have been learning new instruments and one of the toughest adjustments has been to learning the mandolin. I’ve always wanted to find a mandolin I loved and until this year have tried numerous great instruments but never really got on with any of them. That was until I was introduced to this mandolin previously owned my Martin Carthy by Martin Simpson.

Its been a tough 6 months and Evan Davis has been a wonderful teacher coaxing out some sonic improvements. The initially experience was like wrestling the kraken as I found it really hard to get used to the neck width and the either strings in what to me seems like a very small space. Finally we’ve made friends and I’m starting to get some good sounds from this mandolin and to my delight am enjoying playing it. Up until recently, its been a lot of work where my brain found it very hard to connect to my fingers!

One of the key realisations is that this is very much a percussive instrument and having a proper think mandolin plectrum really helps. I’ve had to park all previous thoughts and expectations from years of playing guitars and ukuleles and start from scratch. It continues to be a massive learning curve, at times frustrating and at times just delightful. I’m glad I’ve stuck with it and have made a plan for 2020 which will include picking up a second mandolin custom made, so I better get myself in gear to learn more tunes and even start writing some material.

Wrestling the kraken, learning new instruments

You May Also Like