First Time’s A Charm


Live Performance at the Carousel Concert-A-Thon in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

A recent feature for Fretmentor’s Blog is to hear about the experience of other music lovers, students and performers .  Today,  I have invited a guest (Doug Cone) to contribute a story on his experience performing music for the time in a public outdoor setting.  At Fretmentor’s Blog, I look forward to other contributions and musical articles of interest.  Please contact me to see how you can contribute such articles

Doug’s Tune

On November, 2009, I bought a Mandolin while in Galax, VA. I did not have a clue how to play it, but was determined to try (or use it as wall candy, if I was unsuccessful). I discovered Fretmentor a month later, and have been taking lessons and attending Blues and Bluegrass classes ever since.

Doug Cone performing live

Doug Cone performing live

The first time ever, that I played before an audience was with a group at the Ed Healy Rehab and Nursing facility in West Palm Beach. It was extremely moving to see the audience’s appreciation. Practically everybody was in a wheelchair, but they were all smiling or singing or moving to the music. The residents were so uplifting that I still am not sure who got the most out of it; them or us. So, I was all in, when Fretmentor invited members of our Wednesday night class to join him at the Concert-A-Thon benefit in Palm Beach Gardens, on February 23, 2013. The event was intended to raise money for music scholarships for kids.

There were two stages and multiple music groups playing throughout the day. At first, I was a little nervous. This was a bigger, more public venue, and I remember hoping that enough members from our class would show up, to drown out my mistakes. However, once we started, I was not nervous at all. Part of the reason was that I was so focused on the members of our group (all of whom were familiar faces from class), that I really didn’t have time to notice the crowd.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear a smattering of applause after each of our songs. It was a lot of fun. Not only was it great practice, but it was special seeing other people enjoy what we do. I would recommend this experience to anyone.

Note: Doug Cone grew up in Palm Beach County, graduated from F.S.U. with a double major in Business and Psychology, and attended law school for one year. He has been in real estate and mortgage finance for 40 years and is currently president of a small real estate investment company. “ I had practically no experience with “playing” a musical instrument until I bought my mandolin and started taking lessons from Fretmentor. It is a great venue for learning music, and making friends.”


About fretmentor

Born in Detroit, Michigan, David F. Jakubiak has been involved in music since the age of 7, beginning as a clarinet player and then at 9 turning his attention to stringed instruments. He earned trophies in group talent competitions while a student at the University of Michigan. The instructor earned a BA degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. At college, he also studied classical music and music history. His passion is teaching music and in performing as a musician. In addition to on-stage performances, David has played in various venues from outdoor festivals to small nightclubs. He plays, performs and teaches various styles of music, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, country and bluegrass styles. He performs and teaches acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. His styles range from Scruggs, melodic, Reno and old-time style on banjo, to finger-style and flat-picking technique on guitar, to various styles of mandolin. For over 45 years, Mr. Jakubiak has taught all age groups, taking a personal interest in each student to ensure that they receive the attention and lesson plans that meet their needs and interests. His lessons and instructional materials place a strong emphasis on the practical use or music theory to ensure that the student understands the instrument and learns how to improvise to develop their own style. Mr Jakubiak teaches group and studio classes, webcam lessons over the internet, and individual private lessons to students of various ages. He has compiled and produced eight instructional books on CD as well as numerous instrumental arrangements. David has written for Banjo Newsletter, a monthly publication for the banjo enthusiast and has published an article in Issue #37 of the Fretboard Journal. He is the founder of To contact David Jakubiak, please feel free to e-mail him at david AT (substitute the @ sign for the word AT)
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One Response to First Time’s A Charm

  1. avatar Tigerpaws says:

    You did great Doug! I see you improving week after week….You keep on picking!!! 🙂

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