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David Grisman, Mandolin Teacher

David Grisman is one of the most exquisite master mandolin players alive and I was lucky to live nearby in the seventies when he was available as a teacher. Among all the other talents he posseses, David Grisman is a wonderful, patient, inspiring, personable teacher. He has this capacity to demonstrate something so deliberately, so precisely tasteful and with such complete awareness of the student that he really can "impart" understanding and technique. And he wasn't too vain to teach a beginner like myself. He said "It's a good thing you already know how to use your pinky. I learned everything without using my pinky and I had to learn everything all over again using my pinky."

When you took a mandolin lesson from Dawg in those days, you got a cassette and a little home-made practice book. I don't know where the tape is anymore, but here's a sampling of the book, which is liberally sprinkled with gratuitous jokes and funky art.

More about Grisman and his work at his official website. His recordings are still among my favorites.

If you have a picture of Grisman from the seventies, I'd really like to use it on this page, if you'd be so kind as to share it.

A great tone is never the product of playing the loudest or hardest, but rather finding the right ("sweet") spot on the instrument and letting it speak. - Dawg

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