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BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin

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GUEST,jonesey 02 Apr 02 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 02 Apr 02 - 11:10 AM
Murph10566 02 Apr 02 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 02 Apr 02 - 02:26 PM
RichM 02 Apr 02 - 03:29 PM
RichM 02 Apr 02 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Rich_and_Dee 02 Apr 02 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,jonesey 02 Apr 02 - 04:01 PM
Aidan Crossey 02 Apr 02 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,sharong 02 Apr 02 - 04:16 PM
Wesley S 02 Apr 02 - 05:07 PM
RichM 02 Apr 02 - 06:41 PM
michaelr 02 Apr 02 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,jonesey 02 Apr 02 - 09:24 PM
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Subject: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 10:43 AM

Where does the mandolin fit into traditional Irish/Celtic music? How can one approach 'backup' without it becoming bluegrass? Chord forms, single note runs, etc. Please expand...thank you 'Catters!


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 11:10 AM

mandolin has been part of celtic music since early 19th c., banjo and guitar came into it much later; you can read Fintan Valeley's compendium mandolin entry for some history; pick the fiddle tunes as fast as you can for jigs and reels, play some two or three note chords along the melody line, add some tasteful tremolo if it's a slower air; listen to early Andy Irvine, Paul Brady, Sweeney's Men, Planxty, the Johnstons, etc.; Mick Moloney has a nice mando/banjo cd called Strings Attached;

I'm struggling with this too, best thing I can think of to do is listen as much as you can, learn some more typically celtic chords rather than the bluegrass chop chords, celtic music tends (not always, but sometimes) to let the mando ring a bit more in the background, play along with whatever recordings you can; and as Dix says, play a little EVERY DAY, use a metronome, play every day, and play every day!


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: Murph10566
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 12:53 PM

Hi Jonesy -

I can add little to the Wisdom Bill imparts here, but as a VERY fledgling mandolin player I've taken some inspiration from one of Canada's premier mando-fiddlers, Ray Legere.

Ray is a very accomplished performer and studio musician who's been touring with Balladeer John McDermott lately. He (Ray) once filled in for Bill Monroe, so Bluegrass isn't a problem for him, but he's made a smooth transition to the Celtic strains with his back-up on such tunes as 'Wild Mountain Thyme' and 'Bluebells of Scotland'...

You might want to check out his web-site :

http://netshop.net/~rayleger/

Good luck and best regards,

Murph


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:26 PM

forgot to add, go to sessions or concerts and watch and listen and ask questions about what you like and what you don't get, and find a teacher or someone willing to share what they know and, then, play a little every day!


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: RichM
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 03:29 PM

Here's a website with some chord forms for irish mandolin. It says bouzouki, but the tuning (GDAE) is the sameas mandolin...
scroll down to neutral chords
neutral chords are those without the 3rd--so they are neither/both major and minor in feel.

Some of my favorite chord positions for Irish, are
775x (D)
x775 (G)
x553 (C)
775x or7750 (A)
Remember, these are neither major nor minor because they lack the 3rd, so they fit either.
0220 (Em)

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: RichM
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 03:32 PM

...and these chord forms are moveable!


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: GUEST,Rich_and_Dee
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 03:51 PM

Hi,

I picked up the mandolin after years of playing guitar. When I started on the mandolin, I thought of it as a small guitar and used it mainly as a rhythm instrumnet. Strumming along with a guitar is fine and gets the job done, but the mandolin was easily drowned out and, frankly, wasn't too interesting.

I started treating the mandolin more as another voice in the music, sort of like a fiddle or a tin whistle, but with easier chording. I now try (and I haven't mastered much yet) to strum some basic two-finger chords and use fills and runs. Irish-style mandolin can be wonderfully expressive. You can get a clear, crisp sound from the high notes. Recently, I've started messing around with the GDGD tuning. I'm liking the drone tones I'm getting and my left hand feels freer to pick out some neat fills and runs.

I haven't found a great tone from my mandolin when it comes to accompanying a singer without a guitar also present. I think perhaps the notes are too staccato, where a guitar might resonate longer. Of course, the problem could exist somewhere between the mandolin and the strap, if you know what I mean.

I gotta try those neutral chords listed above!

Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:01 PM

keep 'em coming 'Catters! Thank you very much for your input...from both sides o' the pond! I'm going to let this thread run until around 11EST and then print all the responses.


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:01 PM

Play mandolin and interested in Irish music? Then check out Pay The Reckoning!

Aidan Crossey's Irish Mandolin tune book volume one will interest (volume two in production) as will the Original Tunes section.

Click here.


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: GUEST,sharong
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 04:16 PM

Most mandolins are too quiet to hear in large sessions, hence the preference by some people for tenor banjo tuned an octave below a mandolin. Mandolin works as a melody instrument, better than a back-up accompaniment instrument (IMHO). Although I mainly play fiddle now, I used to play mandolin a lot, and played melody exclusively.

Mick Moloney is a good model to listen to for celtic (Irish) mandolin. He plays melody primarily. He does a lot of picked triplets for ornamentation, and tends toward two note chords rather than the 4 note/bar type chords that seem more popular in bluegrass music. Those are more for emphasis and variation than accompaniment. You can also use hammer-ons or pull-offs for ornamentation, though most Irish mandolin and banjo players go for right-hand ornamentation). Unlike most other melody instruments, it is hard to create a roll on a plectrum instrument.

You might also listen to some Irish tenor banjo players.

Hope that's helpful somewhat


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 05:07 PM

Don't forget to check out the forum at www.mandolincafe.com - there's a section for folks interested in Celtic music. Some good info and folks to talk to also. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: RichM
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 06:41 PM

Correction to my previous posting about neutral chords:
'A' is NOT 775x and NOT 7750--
'A' IS x775
(my dyslexia strikes again!)

and, 7750 is NOT 'A', it's 'E'

yrros tuoba tath!

Chir


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: michaelr
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 07:26 PM

Jonesey - two books for you to check out: "Celtic Encyclopedie - Mandolin Edition" by Robert Bancalari (120 Celtic tunes, notes and tab), and "Chords for Mandolin, Irish Banjo and Bouzouki, Tenor Mandola and Mandocello" by John Loesberg; both available from Andy's Front Hall (800-759-1775; www.members.aol.com/fronthal).

I agree with sharong about the mando being too quiet (and high-pitched), therefore I play an octave mandolin. It's tuned an octave lower, so you get guitar-like bass tones but still with that double-string sound. Much better for accompaniment when there's no guitarist around.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: celtic/bluegrass mandolin
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 09:24 PM

Thank you! Thank you! One and all! I'm printing copies of all responses. I've obtained a few books and have learned a few 'fiddle' tunes on the mando. The info obtained today will prove to be invaluable I'm sure. Will report back from time to time on the progress...once again thank you all very much!


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