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Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs

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Áine 27 Oct 02 - 02:38 PM
Jeri 27 Oct 02 - 02:44 PM
Jeri 27 Oct 02 - 02:47 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 27 Oct 02 - 04:37 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 27 Oct 02 - 04:42 PM
mooman 27 Oct 02 - 05:44 PM
Rick Fielding 27 Oct 02 - 07:05 PM
Áine 29 Oct 02 - 03:34 PM
Piers 29 Oct 02 - 03:57 PM
Aidan Crossey 29 Oct 02 - 05:53 PM
Áine 29 Oct 02 - 10:08 PM
Willie-O 29 Oct 02 - 10:41 PM
greg stephens 30 Oct 02 - 02:49 AM
Pied Piper 30 Oct 02 - 11:25 AM
The Sandman 30 Apr 09 - 04:38 AM
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Subject: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Áine
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 02:38 PM

Fellow Mando-idiots,

Yet another thread asking for advice from a beginning mando-idiot! ;-)

I finally got through derrymacash's hornpipe Humours Of Lewisham without choking my mando's neck, with all notes memorized, and playing not too slow (hahaha). So, I thought I'd leave it to the side for a day or two, and learn my first jig.

Of course, I chose derrymacash's Benedict's Rambles, another tune on his CD. I listened to him playing for awhile, then listened to him whilst looking at the musical score, then listened to him whilst looking at the tab, and then I started in to slowly, very slowly play it.

And I stopped right there. I couldn't figure out whether the pick should go DUD DUD, or DDU DDU, or what the heck was going on -- and Aidan wasn't helping matters any on the CD, 'cuz he throws in some lovely grace notes all the way through the tune (ya buggah!).

So, in my desperation, I phoned Wesley S. and begged for advice. Turns out he doesn't play Irish music, and he sent me to The Mandolin Cafe message board. Great!, I thought . . .

So, I go there and find this mind-blowing discussion. Now, I'm totally befluxed and befuddled!

Therefore, I'm asking what's probably a very dumb question (but, we all have to start somewhere, right?) of all you talented and experienced Mudcat Mando-idiots. How do I pick a jig? Well, this one, anyway. ;-)

All the best, Áine


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 02:44 PM

I'd go DUD UDU, but I don't play a lot of mandolin. (Just got the ol' egg slicer off the wall and tried it.)


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 02:47 PM

Oops. I don't know if this is right or not. I'd do the above rhythm if playing the same string, otherwise, the pick seems to want to go in the direction of the next string. Hope somebody who plays the instrument a lot posts!


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 04:37 PM

I don't play a lot of mando either, but I do a lot of jigs on guitar in open tunings. I always play DUD UDU. I use the same pattern whether playing lead or rhythm.

However, I have not always done so. I used to play DUD DUD and nobody ever shot me for doing so. One night I was at a party and another player was playing DUD UDU and what he was doing sounded so much better than what I was doing that I started working on it the next day. It took quite a bit of practice to be able to give the U on the four beat the same emphasis as the D on the one beat. The natural tendency is to want to play all the accented beats with downstrokes. Now, I couldn't possibly play a jig DUD DUD.

Bruce

bold html fixed by mudelf ;-)


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 04:42 PM

And if you're doing a post about pick direction and you want to use bold to indicate the accented beats, you must be very careful to not miss putting in a "/" like I just did.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: mooman
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 05:44 PM

Dear Aine,

No special hard and fast rule. DUD DUD works well on some jigs, e.g. Kid on the Mountain but is not so good on other, e.g. Cliffs of Moher (where I personally use a DDD UD pattern. I thinks it's better to use what feels comfortable and natural for you for any particular jig.

Glad you have managed to overcome the neck strangling!

All best regards,

mooman


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 07:05 PM

Hi Aine. I've been pickin' mandolin for a lotta years and I have to say unequivically.......YES, and NO!

Gotta go with the mooman on this. Once you get a little more experience you'll find yourself able to make last milli-second decisions on an up or down stroke. When you choose wrong the fun begins. Then you have to REALLY think to get yourself back into the groove.

Great fun though.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Áine
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 03:34 PM

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions . . . I did send an email to derrymacash, since I was dropping his name around here, so I'm hoping he'll see this thread and put in a word or two ;-)

BTW, you can hear him playing Benedict's Rambles by clicking here, and you can see the tab by clicking here.

All the best, Áine


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Piers
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 03:57 PM

I haven't been playing mando for that long but I'd really say that DUD UDU was essential for fluidity on jigs, and use different pressures to accentuate the notes you require. But maybe it is down to personal preference.

Piers


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 05:53 PM

Áine ...

For what it's worth, I've analysed my playing of the first 4 bars of this tune (at least how I played it at the time of writing). It doesn't follow any of the rules, I'm afraid. Anyway ... the first four bars go:

D-D UUU|D-D UDU|UUD UUU|U-D DDU ...

Living proof that I've got bugger all technique! I just do whatever's necessary to get from one note to the next, honest! Life's too short to get your knickers in a twist worrying about whether it's UDU or DUD! If it sounds halfway daycent, then whail away and keep 'er lit!


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Áine
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 10:08 PM

Ceart go leor, a chara -- Ní bheith 'twist' ar bith i mo fóbhriste ansin! ;-)

(translation: I give up, Aidan! I won't be gittin' a twist in my britches then!)

To quote that fella called Nick Strutt over in the 'choking my mandolin's neck' thread, "Your body and the instrument must be married in the dance and one needs space to sway spin and fearlessly indulge your passion." -- I therefore shall fearlessly indulge my passion in your jig, a chara, and boldly go where no mando-idiot has gone before (well, in my house anyway!). ;-) 'Course, I'd rather be in a pub in Donegal sitting with some ". . . Guinness soaked Celts"; but then, wouldn't we all?

Beannacht is mise do chara Áine


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Willie-O
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 10:41 PM

Yeah, whatever, darlin. Just play that thang.

Personally I'd say the basic thing you want to be comfortable with is DUDUDUDU in whatever rhythm, and whether you are staying on the same string or moving over to another. As part of this, being able to put the emphasis on the 1st and 4th beats in a jig whether its a down or upstroke is essential. Sometimes you might want to play multiple downstrokes but it is a special effect, not something you want to be doing all the time. Places where you might use it are the first two notes in John Riley's Polka, DUH DUH da da da da daduh da duh, or if you find yourself having to play the simulated machine-gun riff in "Copperhead Road". (No doubt a song you teach in school)

I agree with Mooman that DUD DUD makes sense on a tune like Kid on the Mountain, with short emphatic phrases.

I can't think of an occasion where I would ever play multiple upstrokes, but there's a lot of things I can't think of.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 02:49 AM

I've played mandoline and tenor banjo a long time. I've always played basically DUD DUD, with occasional variations for special effects. But I've always been a dance player and like rhythm. I think if you want the more modern fluid style (and very high speed) DUD UDU will be better, but for punch give me DUD DUD every time. For Mexican jigs, by the way, always DUD UDU, so you can get the 3 against 6 effects easily.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: Pied Piper
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 11:25 AM

NNE.
Sorry couldn't resist.PP


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Help - Pick Direction For Jigs
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 04:38 AM

I prefer down on first and fourth beats,but will sometimes play six quavers ddu ddu,or ddu dud.
I prefer to play two downs if I am going to a string,further away from the body,but sometimes for variety I will play this string up.
it is fun to sometimes try and start on an up beat, Sully suggests this at the beginning of lark in the morning udd udd.
I think the ideal must be to be comfortable in any direction.


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