My Mandolin Story
Learning to play the Mandolin changed my life! Here is my mandolin story.
In 2007 I moved back to Glasgow after living in Dundee for 10 years. I thought going to some music lessons would be a good way to meet new people. I had played the guitar from a young age. Initially I was looking for guitar lessons however my google search lead me to the GFW website. I noticed they did Mandolin lessons. I had never considered playing the mandolin before but it intrigued me. I phoned up the GFW administrator and she said I had missed the first lesson of the new term but to come along anyway. I had no mandolin but she said she would get one for me.
I was pretty nervous going to the first lesson. However everyone was very friendly and encouraging in the class. I was hooked after that lesson and wanted to get a my own mandolin! My husband found a secondhand beginner Ozark mandolin for me in Strung Out Guitars. I continued in the beginners class for a while and then progressed to the Improvers then the Intermediate. I also upgraded my mandolin along the way to a Eastman.
GFW is a great place to learn to play a folk instrument. It has a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. There is a slow session each week before the practice starts. Everyone from the beginners to the more experienced players are encouraged to join in. Also there is a coffee break during the lessons where you get a chance to chat with your fellow musicians.
After going to the mandolin lessons at GFW for a while I was looking for a change. I started in the Mixed Instrument Class. This was a great opportunity to play with other instruments. The tutor did arrangements of tunes with parts for each instrument. It was challenging and good fun.
I also started playing with Scratchy Noises. They are a group formed to encourage beginner/improver players of any instrument to play together and have fun.
After being in the Mixed Instrument class for a while I was looking for a change again. I had seen people playing the Bodhran and thought I would have a go at that. My husband bought me a a starter bodhran for Christmas. I started lessons at GFW and progressed through the classes. I now am the proud owner of a Martin O’Neill signature drum.
Some of my friends from Scratchy Noises started to play with Bearsden Fiddlers. I went to the Bearsden Fiddlers annual rally in Milngavie Town Hall. After seeing this I thought I would like to try playing with Bearsden Fiddlers too. I went along to my first practice session nervously. That was about 3 years ago and I am still going. I play the bodhran and mandolin (and occasionally the tambourine!)
I have also tried a few other instruments along the way … banjo, bouzouki and cajon drum to name a few ….
What’s next who knows ! ….