• Music

    2019 Festival Season Begins!

    I get so excited planning my route for the year. In February, I was at Wintergrass and, immediately following, I reserved my place for next year and then began the planning for the rest of the 2019 season. Next week I will be heading to California for Walker Creek Music Camp. My primary role will be as a teaching assistant for the bass class, which I think is going to be a great time. I will also host a few elective jams, including one that welcomes the new attendees on the first day. Next month, I’ll be closer to home at the Bluegrass From The Forest Bluegrass Festival in Shelton,…

  • Music

    Navigating by double stops

    Double stops generally means playing two notes at once on two adjacent strings courses. When I first learned about double stops, the focus was on playing harmonized melodies. But in time, I recognized in a lot of my playing that double stop positions were something I frequently used as a navigation tool for playing in any key. I’m going to try to explain that in more detail in subsequent articles. The goal is to understand how we can use double stop postitions as a navigation aid for playing in various keys. We will look at an approach for finding anchor fingerings for playing in different keys and how these positions…

  • Music

    2018 Music

    2018 turned out to be a pretty good year, musically. I attended many more festivals and music camps than I had in the previous year. In February, Wintergrass took place in Bellevue, WA. I saw some great shows, met up with many friends, and got in a lot of jamming in the hotel lobbies and hallways. Walker Creek Music Camp in April was great! I was a teaching assistant for one of my favorite mandolin players and teachers, John Reischman. May brought the Bluegrass From the Forest festival in Shelton, WA. I played on stage with the Pine Top Pickers and found some stellar jams around the campgrounds. In June,…

  • Music

    Mandolin theory and practice

    This is the first musical post on this site. I hope, over time, to share some insights I’ve had while studying mandolin. Some will involve technique but many will also involve music theory as it applies to mandolin. The mandolin in its standard tuning is very logical and regular. That actually makes theory in some ways easier to grasp on mandolin than on some other instruments I’ve played  such as guitar or piano. The thing about studying theory is that I think you have to do it at various points along the way, but never while your playing. That’s the dilemma. For me, the best playing disengages my analytical mind and…