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Playing mandolin along with guitar

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GUEST,newfijeff 16 Oct 02 - 02:19 PM
Leadfingers 16 Oct 02 - 02:25 PM
Sorcha 16 Oct 02 - 02:27 PM
greg stephens 16 Oct 02 - 02:30 PM
Sorcha 16 Oct 02 - 02:31 PM
John Hardly 16 Oct 02 - 02:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Oct 02 - 02:48 PM
M.Ted 16 Oct 02 - 06:43 PM
John Hardly 16 Oct 02 - 10:32 PM
M.Ted 17 Oct 02 - 10:40 AM
John Hardly 17 Oct 02 - 11:05 AM
M.Ted 17 Oct 02 - 11:57 AM
Willie-O 17 Oct 02 - 12:18 PM
M.Ted 17 Oct 02 - 04:05 PM
Richard Bridge 10 May 10 - 05:24 PM
Bounty Hound 10 May 10 - 06:21 PM
Dave Hanson 11 May 10 - 02:40 AM
buddhuu 11 May 10 - 04:25 AM
bubblyrat 11 May 10 - 06:33 AM
Richard Bridge 11 May 10 - 08:11 AM
buddhuu 11 May 10 - 11:24 AM
Richard Bridge 11 May 10 - 12:31 PM
mandotim 11 May 10 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,synbyn 11 May 10 - 06:33 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 10 - 06:39 PM
open mike 12 May 10 - 12:18 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 May 10 - 06:47 PM
Richard Bridge 12 May 10 - 06:57 PM
buddhuu 13 May 10 - 05:13 AM
Bounty Hound 13 May 10 - 06:04 AM
Richard Bridge 13 May 10 - 07:41 AM
Bounty Hound 13 May 10 - 10:19 AM
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Subject: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: GUEST,newfijeff
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:19 PM

If you are playing the mandolin along with somebody playing the guitar and you have the guitar playing in D and you have the song for the mandolin in G. Would you use a capo on the mando or would you just step up the notes for the mandolin?

Jeff


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:25 PM

D is as easy a key to play mandolin in as G.Why use a capo,and shorten the strings,thus losing some of the resonance when the fingering is not a problem.Personally,I dont use a capo on the mandolin at all.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:27 PM

Part of it depends on who has the lead; if mando is leading I would expect the guitar to change key.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:30 PM

If youre bigger and stronger than the guitarist,stick to G.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:31 PM

I thought that, too greg!


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:47 PM

It's an unhappy marriage if you both only know the solos in those respective keys since it puts the guitar WAY up the neck for the fingerings he knows -- and much closer to the mando's natural range. Still, that's how I'd do it (capo the guitar not the mando). Hope the guitarist has a cut-away!


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:48 PM

If D is the only key the guitarist can manage, and you don't want to play in D, have the guitarist capo up to the fifth fret.

(I disagree with Leadfingers about D being as easy as G on a mandolin - though that's no reason not to play in D.)


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 06:43 PM

The guitarist can easily slide the D position up to the sixth fret and play the leads exactly the same way to be in G(he might need to re-arrange one or two notes, but guitarists do that all the time)--

John Hardly, I hope you reconsider--this is actually a much punchier place to play a solo on the guitar--

Of course, if all else fails, try a key change--play in D when the guitar solos, then move to G for the mandolin solo--


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 10:32 PM

M.Ted,
Actually I do like the sound of my guitar capoed up at five -- I especially do it in dropD. Unfortunately, one song I love to duet with another guitar that way I can no longer do (as I traded my cutaway for an OM). I play a chord lead on "The Hour That The Ship Comes In". Ironically, that ship sailed -- with my Larrivee.

I do a fingerstyle "Summer of My Dreams" up there too that I'm rather fond of.

And you're right -- a solo played up there really rings out!


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 10:40 AM

Actually, I was talking about playing up there without a capo--I never use a capo myself, as I find it just gets in the way, and I use mostly closed position chords or have figured out work-arounds--

It seems to me that you would be very limited when playing chord melody if you used a capo, since chord melody relies on moving up and down the neck, and a capo chops the neck off--


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 11:05 AM

Oh.

well, I don't forsee myself ever being capable of playing up the neck in solo leads (without open strings) though three note chording isn't too daunting. I just now learned my first bit of that kind of playing (see my "Jerusalem's Ridge" post) -- and that only 'cause I could learn it by rote. I just get too flustered and lose my place (can't keep up} and, really, what's worse -- I cannot seem to teach my brain that I can go laterally down on the strings and get a lower note. It blows my little brain.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 11:57 AM

All you need to do if you are going to play up the neck, is to learn the closed position scales--there are four of them, the take about ten minutes each to learn(and, like everything else musical, about thirty years to master;-)) and if you play scales in open position, you pretty much know them already--


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Willie-O
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 12:18 PM

I completely agree with everything that has been said, although my honourable colleagues don't seem to agree with each other.

It really comes down to: why is it in D? Is it a song or a tune? If it's a tune then the melody instrument should dictate the key. If it's a song, then the singer's range is the most important factor. (If it's a song followed by a tune, see Greg's rule of thumb, er, fist, above).

Either way, it's worth the trouble to learn common tunes in both common keys, it will only improve your musicianship. (And Ted may have been talking about guitar scales, but what he said applies equally to mandolin. Learning closed position scales up the neck will set you free.)

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 04:05 PM

In another thread, NewfiJeff indicated that he has been playing guitar for three years, and mandolin for a couple of months--my guess is that he really isn't ready for most of our answers--


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:24 PM

Willie-O is quite right. If it is a song, pitch it mainly for the voice or voices.

I partly agree with Terry, D and G both fall well to hand on the mandolin (but there again so do they on the guitar for chords).


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 10 May 10 - 06:21 PM

A competent mandolin player should be able to play in any key, so there should be no need whatsoever to use a capo. D & G are the natural keys for the mandolin, but Richard is quite right, if it is a song you are playing it must be in a key that suits the singer.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:40 AM

D major is the easiest key for mandolin, in the first position your fingers naturally hit the right frets.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: buddhuu
Date: 11 May 10 - 04:25 AM

If the mandolin is playing melody then it's simple.

If the guitarist is playing in D but the mando player only knows the song in G it couldn't be easier to transpose. Just shift everything up a 5th. In other words, move the melody pattern over one course of strings so that any notes played on the G course are played on the D course etc.

It's a good idea to try to think of song/tune chords in terms of numbers, as in Nashville or similar numbering. Once you learn, for example, what the I, IV and V chords are in each key you'll be able to play and song that uses the old three chord trick in any key.

C, G, D, A and their relative minors are all fine keys for mandolin.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: bubblyrat
Date: 11 May 10 - 06:33 AM

In a previous part of my life,when I lived in Dorset,I spent a lot of time accompanying my partner,who played mandolin and mandola.Accompaniment couldn't (for me ) hsave been more easy in D ( I use double-dropped D tuning ),and for G,I just used a capo on the fifth fret,something I still do today if I want to play "Le Canal En Octobre" in G,for instance,as I like D fingering ! Can't find many / any mandolin / mandola players in this neck o' the woods ( Henley, Reading,Marlow ) , though.....pity !!


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 10 - 08:11 AM

I'd say that the easiest keys on the mandolin are D and G neck and neck, then C and F neck and neck. I don't like playing in A or Bb and any more sharps or flats than that and I'm off to the bar or on with the capo.

Guitar, chordwise I'd say that E never sounds right ecxept on a blues (unless you use the E perfect 079900), so D is good (particualrly if you play a dropD), G is good, A is OK if you can work round the root E chord, C suffers from the F that is the same shape as the root E


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: buddhuu
Date: 11 May 10 - 11:24 AM

Hmmm... A maj.

I'm so used to playing bluegrass songs in A that I guess I just assume it's a good key for mando! I find A pretty good for open string drones in solos. Yeah, I like A.

Actually, I'm not keen on the key of F on mandolin, and luckily I rarely, if ever, have to play in it. Maybe on a couple of jazz songs if I sit in with my old band. Other than that, nah.

E maj is a horrible chord on mando and on 'ukulele!


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 10 - 12:31 PM

If I were going to have to play Emaj chord on the mando I'd just barre a D maj, rather than stick a finger by the others to get the G sharp on the G string!

The B Flat chord on the mando is a right pain in the arse, but usually on the mandolin I just widdle rather than playing chords. BOth the barred A perfect and teh barred G maj are horrid!


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: mandotim
Date: 11 May 10 - 01:12 PM

I started playing the basic 'open' chords on mandolin, and some of them in the less common keys are really horrid. I play more bluegrass these days, and the closed position, Monroe style 'chop' chords come pretty easily. (apart from the 'big G' at first, that one's a little finger stretch for most people) It's a simple matter to move the shapes around the neck, meaning playing in a given key is much the same as any other. A lot of bluegrass solos are played out of chord shapes as well.
Tim
Bluegrass Mandolin Players always get the 'chicks'.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: GUEST,synbyn
Date: 11 May 10 - 06:33 PM

You're more competent than me, Bridgey- I use a capo on 2 for E major, or 3 for F and play it all in D shape.... or play open tuned GCGC for C or capo that 2 for D - and yes I always forget and play 'interesting' notes on the detuned strings!


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 10 - 06:39 PM

I usually just capo D or G about. But I can play chords in a couple of other keys.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: open mike
Date: 12 May 10 - 12:18 AM

capo the guitar up...or transcribe so both are in the same key..
move each one a step or two. I am not familiar with capo postitions on mando.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 May 10 - 06:47 PM

Shouldn't it be "close position chords" rather than "closed position" - it's about the notes being close to each other.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 10 - 06:57 PM

I thought it was about all the strings being "closed" so that you could damp off after revealing the notes and get the "chop".


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: buddhuu
Date: 13 May 10 - 05:13 AM

They're two different things. McGrath is right about "close position" which refers to the arrangement of the notes in a chord being as closely grouped in pitch as possible.

Richard is thinking of "closed chords" or "moveable" chords in which there are usually no open strings sounding.

So, both correct.


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 13 May 10 - 06:04 AM

Richard Bridge:

'but usually on the mandolin I just widdle rather than playing chords'

sorry to hear that playing the mandolin leads to incontinence problems, never been tempted to 'widdle' on mine, even after several pints ;)

John


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 May 10 - 07:41 AM

You'll get old one day, too, BH!


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Subject: RE: Playing mandolin along with guitar
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 13 May 10 - 10:19 AM

Already have Richard!


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