Blues baseline

  1. Elb2000
    I am trying to learn to play some blues mandolin. For my breaks, I am not sure how to compensate when there is a strong rhythmic blues base tone. I don't have much of a driving base tone, when I just play solo mandolin. For example, on the Blind Blake tune ‘That will happen no more’ how can I add more of a background base rhythm to the melody? I don’t find any youtube postings to emulate. Maybe add a drone sound, or should I just focus on adding more blue notes to the melody? I’m a fairly new mandolin player.
  2. simcha
    Concentrating on using the G and D strings is our only mandolin bass hope. Think originally about it, though. You don't necessarily have to emphasize the roots of chords. In fact, your playing will be more interesting if you think about it in other ways. For example, when playing a G, you could play the Bb on the G string and double stop on the D string. Or play the f natural on the D string along with the Bb on the G. This will give you a flat 3rd blue note (on the G) with a dominant 7th on the D (F). Finding a good shuffle sound or alternating between the F natural blue note and the f# is also a good approach.

    While I applaud your tackling Blind Blake, don't try to hard to copy guitar stylings. They don't transfer easily. It is the great thing about blues mandolin--there are so few players, that we get to make most of it up.

    Do check out some of the mandolin greats if you haven't--Charlie McCoy, Johhny Young, Yank Rachell, etc.

    I hope that this was of some help.

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