Monday, August 24, 2009

Can You Draw A Cow?

When I started learning the mandolin, some things that used to frustrate me then that seem a lot easier now. For example, I always wanted to improvise, but it just seemed impossible - it's still hard, but at least it's possible now.

I think the main reason was that I was inhibited from reaching the notes by my technical ability - at that time each phrase had to be practiced ahead of time to get it right, especially at speed. So I couldn't really play anything I hadn't practiced the notes for, over and over.

Another part of it was what they call "ear training" - it's really brain training. My brain took a while to develop precision about the sounds it wanted to hear in my improvisations. I knew the sort of thing I wanted to hear, but it was like the difference between being able to imagine a cow, and being able to draw a cow (with no cow in front of you - a lot harder than it sounds, try it!). I took singing lessons for about two years, which really helped with that - plus it improved my singing a lot too.

1 comment:

  1. I can draw a cow, but am still trying to embed the the sound coming out of my mando. Not enough reps yet and it's been 12 years or more. Miss ATL and if I was still in Tucker we would have to jam some. Keep the stuff coming I enjoy your vids and tab.