I love when this kind of stuff happens. I set aside some time to practice music today, something that has been way too few and far between lately. I played and sang a couple songs on the guitar, then I felt drawn to the octave mandolin. It's a strange instrument, one that most people don't know about, but I love it.
I have recently joined the message boards at Mandolin Cafe, although I haven't posted yet. They have a special area for "Citterns, bouzoukis, and octave mandolins". I read a post and listened to an incredible sound link of someone playing an old time song on octave mandolin. Reading through the posts, I found out they were tuned in GDGD, not the standard GDAE tuning. (They also had a capo to AEAE) You non musical types might be lost here, but believe me, when I tuned to GDGD, it suddenly opened up new worlds for me. I could play a melody without having to finger chords to accompany it. The open strings just sounded right with the notes I was fingering. It sounded so old timey, so dark. And it made me sound like I, for once, knew what I was doing with this instrument!
While I was just improvising with a melody that may or may not be a standard old-timey song, two rabbits came hopping out of the woods. They paused, and they looked like they were listening. So, I had an idea. I know this song called "Little Rabbit", and I had the capo in the right place (in A). So I started playing it, and the rabbits and I were grooving on it, until Sally came outside and decided to chase the rabbits. Oh well.
Anyway, it was a cool musical time. Hope to experiment more with GDGD soon!