My Musical Background

Musical Style Playing Preferences

I'm very eclectic in my musical tastes, so I play many different musical styles on my mandolin ... I learn & play more tunes every year ... there's so many more tunes to go ...

Bach, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Classical, Django/Gypsy, FiddleTunes, Jazz, Old-Time, Swing ...

Here's a list of Old-Time Tunes I Can Play

Current Mandolin Playing Habits

I play music with other folks about 10 days per month ... feeling equally at ease playing the melody of tunes I know, and learning to pick out the melody, while playing backup rhythm for tunes I don't ... I also play at home, most every day, either alone or playing along with a CD, MP3 or the music software tool TablEdit, to teach myself new tunes ...

At least once or twice a month, this last year, I get together with groups of other musicians to play/explore some music from a variety of genres ... jazz, old Rock, Blues, Celtic, BossaNova/Samba, original acoustic ... sometimes joined by flute, piano & even trumpet &/or drums!

I play Old-Time music every Monday night (since Oct 2002). We (10 to 20+ players) jam at the Spiral Cafe from 7:00 to 9:45 pm. Often 4 to 8+ players will then move on to the Bent Mast Pub, continuing from 10:30 til well after midnite. Sometimes we even get caught by surprise, as the staff starts to put the chairs up on the tables around us after 2 am!

I've started to join the more advanced weekly Celtic session at the Irish Times Pub Sunday eve ... I also play Celtic music every Tuesday nite at the Bent Mast Pub Session (since Dec 2003) ... as my speed and repertoire increases, I've been able to keep up (sorta) with the Celtic fiddlers ... I used to play Bluegrass Tuesday nites at the Victoria Bluegrass Association (Jan 2002 - Nov 2003, tho I still orchestrate their web page) ... Tuesday is a busy music night here - also on the same night is the Mandolin Orchestra, which, in 2002, is actually where I learned to sightread mando music notation on-the-fly, playing Classical Mando!!

The first Friday of every month, I jam with the Victoria Fiddle Society (since Oct 2003) ... 50+ fiddles and only a handful of mandolins! ... I play fiddle-tunes: Celtic, Oldtime, Bluegrass ... whatever gets played ...

Once a month (since 2004) I play Celtic music with the Gypsy Celts (since Spring 2004), a group of 4 to 11+ players who get together to play in each other's living rooms. As we can all read music, we often learn new tunes, & many of the players in this group will use notation for most tunes.

During 2002 - 2004, I joined the Bluegrass gang playing 3 Sundays a month at 2 of the local Army & Navy Legion Halls ... jammin' up on stage for the entertainment of the local drinking crowd.

This will be my 5th year of pickin'-n-grinnin', all-day-and-much-of-the-nite at 3 local Bluegrass Festivals: Sooke River, Coombs Country, & Chilliwack ... time to dust off my blue-grass repertoire, and practice " some of them fancy licks " ... what an opportunity to jam with lots of great pickers (you'll often find me out choppin' chords in the back row, & watchin' some hot mando-picker like a hawk!)

Mandolin Playing Development

Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire - My New Column! in MelBay's Mandolin Sessions
* Focus: Learning a common Traditional Tune that can be played in a variety of ways.
* Joe Carr's Announcement at CoMandoList, after asking me to write a regular column
* John Baxter's Response to New Column Announcement
 #1: Fisher's Hornpipe (Feb 2005)
 #2: St. Anne's Reel (Apr 2005)
 #3: Salt Creek (June 2005)
 #4: Bill Cheatham (Aug 2005)
 #5: Miss McLeod's Reel (Oct 2005)
 #6: Temperance Reel (Dec 2005)
 #7: Big Sciota (Feb 2006)
 #8: Over The Waterfall (Apr 2006)
 #9: Ragtime Annie (Jun 2006)
#10: Whiskey Before Breakfast (Aug 2006)
#11: Angeline The Baker (Oct 2006)
#12: Red Haired Boy (Dec 2006)
#13: Old Joe Clark (Feb 2007)
#14: Cluck Old Hen (Apr 2007)
#15: June Apple (Jun 2007)
#16: Sally Goodin' (Aug 2007)
#17: Turkey In The Straw (Oct 2007)
#18: Cold Frosty Morning (Dec 2007)
#19: Flop-Eared Mule (Feb 2008)
#20: Mississippi Sawyer (Apr 2008)
#21: Blackberry Blossom (Jun 2008)
#22: The Girl I Left Behind Me (Aug 2008)
#23: Old Dubuque (Oct 2008)
#24: Shove That Pig's Foot A Little Closer To The Fire (Dec 2008)
#25: Arkansas Traveler (Feb 2009)
#26: Seneca Squaredance (Apr 2009)
#27: Hangman's Reel (Jun 2009)
#28: Billy In The Lowground (Aug 2009)
#29: Bound To Have A Little Fun (Oct 2009)
#30: Dance All Night (Dec 2009)

Playing Mandolin
* since early December 2001 when my 93 year old Gram bought me a Washburn A-style mandolin, made-in-Japan mid-80's; In Feb 2008 I finally treated myself to a more playable, louder, sweeter Collings MT!
* The action is a little tough for me, even after being set up ... tho I guess it makes my fingers strong ... but when I have nerve/pain problems in my neck/arm/back, I have to fight with it a bit, or just take a break ...

Practise/Playing Habits
* I practice some scales, arpeggios, pentatonic patterns, crosspicking patterns ...
* I usually just play tunes, working at slower speed to learn new ones, building up my tempo as I learn to play tunes better, going back over tough spots 'til I get them ...
* I learn many new tunes by playing along with TablEdit files, learning to play with a steady rhythm, gradually increasing the metronome tempo as I progress
* I usually play everyday, for at least 1 hour, though because I experience chronic pain, somedays this is just not possible!
* Now, I'm once again watching my right hand more, paying special attention to reducing tension & relearning some good ergonomic playing habits ...
* when I jam with Old-Time & Celtic groups, I may play for 3-6 hours those nights!
* ... & I still don't think I play as much as I'd like to ... I guess I have to make room for the rest of my life eh? ... although music really IS most of my life these days ... ;^)

Mandolin Lessons/Workshops
* Andrew Collins: Workshop: Developing Rhythmic Backup; Add Chord Tone Colors (Jun, Mar 2007)
* James Whittall: Workshops (Oct 2004, Mar 2007)
* John Reischman: Lesson: doublestops & right-hand technique (Sept 2005, Dec 2001); Orchestrating a BG tune workshop (2002)
* Roland White: Lesson: fiddle tune variations & bluegrass licks & Chilliwack BG Fest workshop (Sept 2005)
* Mike Brooks: Lessons: Pentatonic Scale patterns (2 in Dec 2004, 6 in 2002); Workshops (2003, 2002)
* Emory Lester: Chilliwack BG Fest Workshop (Aug 2003)
* John Moore: Chiliwack BG Fest Workshop (Aug 2002)
* Pat Lawson: (R.I.P. 04 May 2005); 8 Lessons - to learn proper technique First! (2002)

Instructional Material Used
* Chris Thile: Essential Techniques for Mandolin DVD
* David Grisman: Dawg Mandolin 6-CD set
* Andy Statman: Jazz Mandolin 6-CD set
* Sokolow/Applebaum: Mandolin Fretboard Roadmaps
* Joe Carr: 60 Hotlicks for Bluegrass Mandolin VHS Video
* TablEdit: Mandolin Music Archives; notation/tab/midi; play at own speed, backup rhythm

Fiddle Lessons/Workshops
* John Showman: Bluegrass Workshop: (Jun 2007, 2009)
* Erynn Marshall: Old-Time Lessons: (Jul 2007 - Apr 2009); Workshop: (2008)
* Michael Ismerio: Old-Time Workshops: (May, Nov 2008, Nov 2009)
* Randall Bays: Celtic Workshop: (Feb 2008)
* Patty Lamoureux: Workshop: (Jan 2008)
* Paul Elliot: Bluegrass Workshop: (May 2007)

Bluegrass Festivals
* attended & jammed all-nighters at:
* Sooke River BG Fest (June 2002 - 2009)
* Coombs Country BG Fest (July/August 2002 - 2006, 2008)
* Chilliwack BG Fest (August/September 2002, 2003, 2005)

Mandolin-Playing in Victoria: Public Performance
* Mountain Jubillee FolkFest Spiral Old Time String Band (6 Aug 2007)
* Old-Time Wedding Band 5 piece Ensemble; water front lodge (11 Oct 2006)
* Celtic Busking 4 piece Ensemble; Govt. St. (Jul/Aug 2006)
* Irish Times Pub Celtic Session weekly (2006)
* Bent Mast Pub Celtic Session weekly (Nov 2003 - 2008)
* Old-Time Jam Band weekly jams at Spiral Cafe and Bent Mast Pub (Oct 2002 - 2009)
* Gypsy Celts - Fairfield United Church Celebrating Celtic Spring Saints (6 Mar 2005)
* Gypsy Celts - Caledonia Club (27 Nov 2004)
* Victoria Fiddle Society Barn Dance (4 June 2004)
* Bluegrass Jam Band - 50th BD Parties (Mar, Jul 2003); Houseparty (May 2004);
* Sooke Legion Bluegrass Jam Band (2002 - 2004)
* Bluegrass Mandolin Ensemble - Beckley Lodge Care Home (6 Sep, 23 Oct 2003)
* Bluegrass Mandolin Ensemble - Open Stages (25 Feb, 29 Apr, 27 May, 30 Sep 2003)

Regular Jam Session Participation
* Old-Time: every Sunday at Bent Mast Pub (2008 - 2009)
* Victoria Fiddle Jam: once a month in local church hall (2003 - 2009)
* Old-Time: every Monday at Spiral Cafe, then Bent Mast Pub (2002 - 2008)
* Celtic Session: every Tuesday at Bent Mast Pub (2004 - 2008)
* Celtic Session (Advanced): every Sunday at Irish Times Pub (2006, 2008)
* Gypsy Celts: once a month in various living rooms (2004 - 2005)
* Bluegrass Jam: once a week at VBA (2002 - 2003)
* Bluegrass Jam Band: 2-3 times monthly at local Legions (2002 - 2003)

Mandolin Internet Research & Development
* Since February 2004
* Immersing myself in all things mandolin ...
* Researching mandolin-related information & finding new mandolin tunes to learn
* MandoZine: Assisted with website transfer to MandoZine from; provide ongoing assistance as needed; researched/edited TablEdit FAQs
* TablEdit mandolin music archive at MandoZine: ID keys of over 2000 music files, input info for searchable database, edit music files; announce new tunes to CoMandoList
* Finding new tunes to learn to play on my mandolin!
Wendy - Old Time Mandolin Musician: "Wendy Anthony - Canadian Old Time Music mandolinist writes a column for Mandolin Session on “Building a Traditional Tune Repertoire” (read OTM)."
Mandolin Sessions: OTMM Repertoire by Wendy Anthony

Arranging and Transcribing mandolin music
* 60+ Mandolin Tunes I've Transcribed at MandoZine
* I have many more works-in-progress! ... I often notate/tab tunes in response to requests from mandolin players ... this is how I hear of new tunes to try!

Musical Background

My musical training began with Classical Piano, played from age 6 to 17, achieving my Piano Grade 8 Toronto Conservatory, & Grade 2 Theory, working 10 months towards Grade 9 ... then I moved away from home and my piano ... this training really developed/trained my Ear Training and Sight-Reading capabilities ... I sure appreciate this now! ...

I was requested to play the Xylophone in the high-school orchestra, for 2 years, and along the way played everything (except snare) in the Percussion Section - Tympani, Cymbals, X-mas Chime, BassDrum, Triangle, etc, etc ... I also performed, both solo & duet, on a baby grand piano in 2 year-end high school variety shows, as well as various music recitals ...

Since then, I've played much more portable instruments: Silver Flute, Mountain Dulcimer, Pennywhistle, Spoons, JawHarp, Ocarina, Pan-pipes, Concertina ... each instrument suggesting a certain musical style, tho until playing my mandolin, I usually played alone ...

Playin' guitar on-and-off since 1980 is a real treat on a 1967 J-50 Gibson Guitar, but I don't really play much anymore (especially since I discovered the mandolin! ;^) ... I think it's a bit too big for me, just too hard to wrap myself around (Gibson Guitar helped buy Collings MT Feb 2008 :) ... tho, I must say I can sure flat-pick better, now that I learned how to do that properly on my mando ...

I guess that's why I chose Mandolin... 'tis much smaller, easier to hold/play/carry along with me ... I must say, the mando is definitely my favourite so far ... and the first instrument that I let be itself, without translating it to a piano keyboard first ;^)

Sometimes I Sing ... tho I have a 2 octave +/- range, I have a fairly low voice, so not all tunes work comfortably for me, unless I Sing Harmony

(I'd still like to learn Celtic Harp, Acoustic Bass, Fiddle (borrowed one for 2 months each in Summer 2006 & Spring 2007; 100 hours bowing has given me a whole new respect for fiddlers! - Gram bought me my own fiddle Nov 2008! :), maybe even Old-Time Banjo ;^)

... so many tunes ... so little time ...

... keepin' tuned ...

Wendy Anthony