Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Plink, plink

Seriously, what IS the point of the mandolin?
It sits in the corner of my room like a pet pekingese; snuffly and disinterested - doesn't even respond to dusting.
Now, the ukulele is up for fun. It bites your ankle and demands a romp. SO cheerful. Everyone loves it. Reggae Leonard Cohen? No problem. Chuck Berry - easypeazy. Mozart horn concerto? (Well, maybe not)
And even the banjo has its moments. More like a big wet labrador. Comes in, shakes itself and slobbers hello. Wags tail, knocks your tea over. And everyone in the street knows you've got one.
But the mandolin. Why, oh why, oh why?
It seems to have two possible functions. Either it's the snare drum in a band that can't afford a drummer. Or it plays ridley-didley-didley-didley while someone else does the real work. And in that respect - and only that respect - it's like the clarinet chap in a trad jazz band; mindlessly playing scales and filling up all available spaces.
The wonderful Miles D said it was what he didn't play that made the music great. Well, I've learned from that.
And I don't play the pekingese.

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