Mandolin Self Instructor, online tutorial - Page 07

A simplified self learning system for the Mandolin with tuning instruction, song folio, chord diagrams, sheet music and PDF for printing. By ZARH MYRON BICKFORD

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Select your teacher for his knowledge and ability, rather than for the cheapness of his rates, because the cheap teacher
is always the most expensive in the end.
Ask your teacher to advise you in the selection of the best instrument you can afford—for cheap and unreliable
instruments cause more failures in music than any other one thing—unless it be the cheap and unreliable teacher.
Having made these selections, follow your teacher's directions implicitly, confining yourself strictly to the work
Under no circumstances attempt the tremolo until the preliminary work contained in this Method has been mastered.
Since music is an art for the ear and in no way concerned with the eye (except as a means to the end), from the first
time the string is made to vibrate by the stroke of the plectrum, form the habit of listening to the tone you produce, never
forsaking this habit in any degree, so long as you play this or any other musical instrument.
It is said that "practice makes perfect," but it must be remembered that it is only correct and intelligent practice which
makes perfect. Any other kind is worse than useless.
Regularity and frequency of lessons is an important matter if you wish to attain the utmost efficiency. You should
have at least two lessons a week, since the time you spend with your teacher is of more importance than all the time
you spend on the instrument between lessons. Unless this suggestion is followed, you cannot make satisfactory pro-
gress, and you will have the humiliation of being outstripped by those who have studied only half as long as you have.
Be punctual at lessons, remembering that you have engaged the teacher's time, and that he cannot be expected
to keep another pupil waiting to finish your belated lesson.
Missed lessons must not be the teacher's loss.
Teachers who may have been accustomed to using the tremolo from the beginning are earnestly urged to give care-
ful consideration to the system of right hand preparation, as given in this work. They will invariably find that students
so taught will not only have a well-developed right hand for general purposes, but that the tremolo itself, when it is in-
troduced, will come without an effort and in fact will be unconsciously conquered before it is encountered. The smooth-
ness and evenness of this tremolo, as compared with that which is developed by immediately starting to tremolo is as
glass compared to the teeth of a saw.
It is suggested that the teacher select suitable material outside this work, at frequent intervals, not so much for
study as for sight-reading. The publisher of this Method has an excellent catalogue of music, suitable for all grades of
teaching, ensemble and solo performance,
It is hoped that the teacher will continually call the attention of the pupil to the text-matter, which is of great import-
It is also suggested that the teacher play with the pupil in the various duets for two mandolins, as well as in those
which have an accompaniment for the guitar, for the stimulus it affords the pupil, as well as the aid it gives him in the
matter of rhythm and tempo and the more pleasing musical result of the performance of his lesson.
Aside from this, the teacher should often play for and with the pupil the technical exercises and the various mate-
rial included in all the Books, illustrating the various technical points, the phrasing, shading and general interpretation,
not forgetting that the greatest teachers of all time, (past and present) and on all instruments have made this the chief
feature of their instruction. Two of the very greatest were Franz Liszt, known as the world's greatest piano virtuoso
(whose sole method of teaching was by illustrating at the piano), and the late Theodor Leschetizky, whose method was
to sit at a second piano playing with the pupil and occasionally illustrating alone.
Munier, one of the greatest authorities on the mandolin and its music, said: "In giving the lesson, I find it an excel-
lent system for the master to play with the pupil, the example thus given being very useful and compelling a gradual and
exact development of the mechanism of the instrument."
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