He has since released five solo albums and four with his first band, Nickel Creek.
While Chris Thile may well be the best mandolin player in the world, he couldn’t care less.
Other musicians might worry about their place in the hierarchy of “good,” “better,” or “best”; Thile is too busy playing music.
Even on a “light” day, he practices at least two hours, and has since he was 10.
Thile released his first album, Leading Off, in 1994, at the ripe old age of 13.
“I think if you honestly love your instruments, you have to play them regularly.” Even though he readily admits that Dudenbostel #5 is his primary instrument, he had a nagging desire to own a vintage Lloyd Loar-signed Gibson F-5.
One day in Nashville, while having Dude #5 worked on by setup whiz Joe Glazer, Thile visited Gruhn Guitars.“I played three Loars, all of which were good, but none of them moved me,” he said.“When I first got it back I hardly recognized the sound.The mandolin hadn’t been played much and had gone to sleep.I could still hear it in the background, but I was a little concerned that my memory was bad about how it sounded.It took several months for the mandolin to get back to the sound and feel that I remembered.” His experience with “Dude #5,” as he calls it, convinced Thile that instruments go to sleep if they aren’t played regularly.