Stretching exercises? Such as .... ?It must be so. When I first started, I did not understand when people said you had to pull tone out of a mandolin. Now I do. You have to grab it by the neck and force it to sound good. It's not enough to put your finger on the right spot and pluck. It has to be exactly the right spot, right behind the fret. Then you have to have just the right grip on your pick, just so to "pull" the right chime out of the instrument. And if a guitar needs to be set up to the hundredth of an inch, the mandolin need to be in the thousandths. And just when I found an instrument to fit my small hands, I was introduced to the G chop chord! Spent two months on stretching exercises. So yes, when a pick can give me an edge, I use it.
Oh yeah, all the above is big fun. Now if you could just buy a good one for less than $5K.......
Cool!This is just one example of possibilities to find on the Internet. I don't do this myself, but people definitely do. I'd much rather practice "stretching" chords in the context of a song or piece of music.
Mine? Yes, it's an oval A Junior.Is your snakehead a Jr? The thing with old Gibsons is they are all made the same. You just buy fancy as you go up the ladder.
I really had to reconcile the mando cost issue. I got addicted to scroll, so price doubles compared to an A style. After I built one, I'll never say a mandolin is too highly priced. $7500 seems about right. But the build came out pretty good, if not pretty. But I still dreamed of a fully bound beauty. Set a $5000 limit. After three years, I didn't find one and lowered expectations to just basic well made. One day I walked into Gryphon and found my Weber Yellowstone Deluxe for $3k. It was on consignment. Couldn't believe my luck. Maybe it was the relic job or the lopped off Florida, but I haven't seen one for less than $4k. Happy camper. But it still needs the best pick possible.
At one point (on guitar), I felt my weak spot was not knowing scales. Had my teacher give me a few. I found that learning and practicing them allowed me to "anticipate" where a melody or song was going. Several years on, I had a teacher give me "Segovia scales," those in which all notes are fretted and none open. Again, it helped in what I call "anticipation," especially going up the neck. Not "blocks" but notes.
Then come old-time fiddle tunes on either guitar or mandolin...while some may say "don't practice scales, practice fiddle-tunes," I found that unconciously knowing the scales made fiddle tunes much easier. A tab or chart isn't always needed, if you can get the melody in your head.
OK, off the soap box. Still like my Ultex as the "equal" to BC. @Br1ck, you should try them