Instruction submissions by group members

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  1. Amandalyn
    Please post your blues instructions, tips, licks, tab, and video lessons here.
  2. Perry
  3. Newtdude
    Wow, Perry, thanks!!! Super helpful! Learning how to really put this to good use should keep me busy for awhile (well, being music, probably the rest of my life, but you know what I mean). Also, your mandolin sounds awesome.
  4. ald
    Thanks a lot for setting the ball rolling, Perry. Seeing you add notes to the basic pentatonic scale reminded me of the five-note chromatic line inherent in the blues scale (in G starting with Bb and running up to D). It also offers us an opportunity to see what a fine player you are.
  5. hank
    Great we have a lot of talented teachers to help us out. Thanks Perry your a natural. My only input is if we can organize these lessons under titles that identifies their content they can be a real resource to us that we can go back to when needed.
  6. JimRichter
    Great lesson, Perry. Box patterns all the way!
  7. mzuch
    Love the t-shirt, too! I've got the same one in green. IIIIIICCCE!
  8. Newtdude
    OK, so I have a question: what is the blues scale? Or is not just not so formalized as that? For example, in Perry’s video above, the notes we have in the basic scale are:

    1 b3 4 5 b7 1

    and with color tones added:
    1 b3 4 b5 5 b7 7 1
    and with the 3rd added we have:
    1 b3 3 4 b5 5 b7 7 1

    In the book Mandolin Master Class by Brad Laird, the blues scale is presented as:
    1 b3 4 b5 5 b7 1

    In Rich Delgrosso book Mandolin Blues the 6th note is added, which gives the blues scale the same number of notes as a normal major scale:
    1 b3 4 b5 5 6 b7 1

    On Steve James DVD (Learn to Play Mandolin Blues), the blues scale includes all of the major scale notes (except the 7, which is b7), but adds the b3 and b5. This has two more notes than a major scale.

    1 2 b3 3 4 b5 5 6 b7 1

    OK, so there are a lot of commonalities among these scales, but I am interested to see that they are all a bit different. If you put it all together, you get the blues as every note except b2 and b6, and with heavy use of the b3, b5, and b7.
  9. Perry
    Interesting question though I don't know that there is an official answer.
    I think most people would outline the blues scale as the five note minor pentatonic scale with the addition of the flat 5.
  10. JimRichter
    It depends on the blues being played.

    Country blues is major pentatonic w/ the flatted seventh and flatted third. Look at Yank or Monroe. Lot of sliding into B from Bb, use of the 6 (the sixth of the scale). Firmly country pentatonic (like Dickey Betts--think Rambling Man).

    City Blues (for lack of a better term) is usually minor pentatonic w/ sometimes the flatted 5th. Think Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King.

    Memphis/Kansas City/West Coast Blues uses more of a swing approach to the blues scale combining aspects of both.

    I agree w/ Perry that there's no hard fast answer. That's a lot of what I was saying about looking for constants in blues playing. It's about expression and a lot of the old blues cats couldn't tell you what they were doing other than what they did sounded good to them.

    So, in the end, they're all right.
  11. Newtdude
    Thanks guys! I pretty much expected the "they're all right" answer, but I had to ask because it was on my mind as I tried to learn the notes.
  12. ald
    I say, Jim, what are examples of Memphis/Kansas City/West Coast Blues please? And what influences do you hear in the British blues groups (which were my earliest blues influences) and their American counterparts?
  13. pickloser
    I posted the following a good while back in the Theory and Technique section. If you've seen it before, please just skip over this.

    Here's a little lick that I've heard forever and used for boogie woogie on the bass. It works fairly well on the mandolin over 8 and 12 bar blues. For any major scale, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1, play: 1, 3, 5, 6, b7, 6, 5, 3 of the I scale over the I chord; play the 1, 3, 5, 6, b7, 6, 5, 3 of the IV scale over the IV chord, and play the 1, 3, 5, 6, b7, 6, 5, 3 of the V scale over the V7 chord.

    For example, in the common (for guitar players to want to play this type of thing) key of E, the I chord is E, the IV chord is A, and the V chord is B

    I—E scale: 1-E, 2-F#, 3-G#, 4-A, 5-B, 6-C#, 7-D#, 1-E
    1, 3, 5, 6, b7, 6, 5, 3 for E scale is E, G#, B, C#, D, C#, B, G#
    On the mandolin, that would be on the D string—2nd fret, 6th fret; on the A string—2nd fret, 4, 5, 4, 2, back on the D string—6, and then start again on the E note at the 2nd fret of the D string

    IV—A scale: 1-A, 2-B, 3-C#, 4-D, 5-E, 6-F#, 7-G#, 1-A
    1, 3, 5, 6, b7, 6, 5, 3 for A scale is A, C#, E, F#, G, F#, E, C#
    On the mando: open A string, 4th fret A string, open E string, 2nd fret, 3rd, 2nd, open E string, then back to A string 4th fret

    V—B: 1-B, 2-C#, 3-D#, 4-E, 5-F#, 6-G#, 7-A#, 1-B
    1, 3, 5, 6, b7, 6, 5, 3 for B scale is B, D#, F#, G#, A, G#, F#, D#
    On the mando this will be the same fingering pattern used over the I chord, but starting on the next higher string (and this is true for any I chord, if you have a higher pitched string to go to).
    A string—2nd fret, 6th fret; on the E string—2nd fret, 4, 5, 4, 2, back on the A string—6, and then back to the B at the 2nd fret of the A string.

    Here’s an example using “Kansas City”

    Over four bars of the I chord (E): “I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come.”
    Over two bars of the IV chord (A): “I’m going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I…”
    Over two bars of the I chord (E): “…come. (several beats of not singing) There’s some…”
    Over one bar of the V7 chord (B7): “…crazy little women there and…”
    Over one bar of the IV chord (A): “…I’m a gonna get me…”
    Over one bar of the I chord (E): “…one.”
    Then another bar of the I chord (E) to finish, or one bar of the V7 (B7) chord to turn it around and start over with the next verse.

    If you were to play Kansas City in E, then on the mandolin you could play 1, 3, 5, 6, b7, 6, 5, 3 of the scale for the chord you’re playing over.

    Over four bars of the I chord: E, G#, B, C#, D, C#, B, G# twice
    Over two bars of the IV chord: A, C#, E, F#, G, F#, E, C#
    Over two bars of the I chord: E, G#, B, C#, D, C#, B, G#
    Over one bar of the V7 chord: B, D#, F#, G#
    Over one bar of the IV chord: A, C#, E, F#,
    Over one bar of the I chord: E, G#, B, C#, D, C#, B, G#, E to end
    Or E, G#. B, C# over the E chord and B, D#, F#, G# over the V7 chord to start over with the next verse

    If you play through this progression a few times, you will see its possibilities. Once familiar with the pattern, you can figure it out for any scale fairly easily. Played straight it is a good bass line, but on the mandolin you can start changing the rhythm up or interchanging these notes, since you already know they sound good over the related chord. Try picking each note twice, or even three times for triplets: hammer some on and pull some off. Slide from the flatted 3rd to the natural 3rd. Substitute some double stops. I think it’s a handy little pattern that’s fun to play around with, knowing you can always go back to the pattern if you get lost.

  14. Joe Nobiling
    Joe Nobiling
    Hey, Laura, you should record yourself and post it so we can hear you go through the changes.

  15. Newtdude
    Hi Laura, I second joe: would it be possible to give us a quick video so we can here it once? Thanks!
  16. pickloser
    I don't have video capability. I did buy a Zoom H2 last year. I'll record it on that as an MP3 and hope I can figure out how to post it here. But if you just run up and down those notes, you will instantly recognize the pattern. I'll do it, tho. Might not get to it until this weekend.

    Oh, and it's nothing as impressive as what you've been getting from Jim and others. It is for "newer" players, like me. But it can be very useful in a jam.
  17. Eddie Sheehy
    This "noodle" has been in my mind for years. I was always waiting for someone to tab it for a mando. I can read Tab and Notation but I can't write them for nuts. Anyway, this is what I came up with for the main part and the Bridge. There are partial backing chords but I don't know what they are and I'm probably not playing it in the right key (sounds like Em). Maybe we could make this a group project and put it all together? I'd also appreciate input on what amp settings and pickup-toggle settings to use...

  18. ald
    Nice playing, Eddie, but not a very bluesy tune!
  19. Eddie Sheehy
    Sorry it's not Bluesy enough for you, but I can't seem to delete it... I'll try leaving the group and see if it deletes it then...
  20. gregjones
    Cool Eddie. Some days you're deep in the blues and some days you almost escape.

    Sounds like almost a getaway to me.
  21. OKMike
    no need for a delete

  22. Dan Hoover
    Dan Hoover
    please don't delete,any gary moore/phil lynott/thin lizzy heads,knows...this is close enough to blues for me...great cover..
  23. ald
    No, leave it where it is, Eddie, nice tune
  24. bluesmandolinman
    ok here is a little chicago blues shuffle to keep this social group going

    actually I hope to motivate Jim Richter to post more of his great stuff


  25. JimRichter
    Great stuff Rene. That's what we here call a "lumpty" bass run.

    Been meaning to post something but been tied up with a variety of things. I think this will be motivation to get up something sooner than later.
  26. hank
    Thanks Rene'. My imagination is hearing two mando's playing off each other with your "lumpty" bass run serving as the backbone while the two player take turns on lead melody.
  27. bluesmandolinman
    hank, yes this is a backup thing .
    usually the guitar player has the backup part but when the guitar player takes a solo I switch to this kind of "walking bass" to provide the background ( at least in a duo setting which is what I mostly play in )
  28. Dan Hoover
    Dan Hoover
    this is really cool,thanks for posting..i'm hearing all the old blues/rock tunes this riff has been in now...just curious as to where this one came from first?was it Young?great post..
  29. JimRichter
    That riff goes back before Young as it's not mandolinspecific. It's a bass run. You hear it a lot in the west and southside Chicago guys. For a great raw example of it get yourself a copy of junior wells' Hoodoo man blues, one of the greatest blues studio albums ever. Or get some stuff by hound dog Taylor or lefty dizz.
  30. OKMike
    thanks Rene'

  31. bluesmandolinman
    well with the new blues mandolin book from Joe Carr right on the front page of the cafe I was motivated to make another video

    it´s a little Texas Blues back up riff that would fit for - Rock Me Mama - hope you like it
  32. gregjones

    I think you should start your own thread, like the Richter Scale, so that your lessons don't get lost in a long general discussion.

    They are to good to miss.

    Thank you.
  33. JimRichter
    I agree, Rene. You should start your own and move these over to it.
  34. bluesmandolinman
    thanks for the kind and encouraging words.
    I will follow your suggestion and start a new thread with my videos in the next days
    I really hope that more members will post their stuff ....
  35. Bert Deivert
    Bert Deivert
    I am not really a teacher of mandolin and don't read music or anything but thought maybe some folks might enjoy me slowing down my SEEMS LIKE A DREAM riff for a start... It is off my TAKIN' SAM'S ADVICE cd and also on the wonderful Yank Rachell tribute that Jim Richter and many others are also part of. Sorry don't know how to embed it in the post!

    all the best
  36. ald
    Bert, that's really great. I'll have a go at that tune this weekend. A good tip, fellow members, is to buy some inexpensive slowdown software (such as transcribe), so you can slow down the tune and then return to the video clip to see what Bert is doing.
  37. Bert Deivert
    Bert Deivert
    Good tip ALD. I hope the video is clear enough to see okay.
  38. bmac
    Occaasionally a Youtube video shows pretty clearly mando technique, of both picking and fretting hand. I have been studying Pat Conte's picking hand in this video. In particular I notice his wrist position and pick holding position is classic. But his movement from over the hole to over the fret board and down near the bridge is what interests me most. He takes full advantage of tonal variation possibilities which I often forget about or ignore in my own playing. Notice also the slight changes in mandolin position relative to his body will change the resonance of the mando as well. It seems to me that he uses pick hand position very effectivly as it moves over the mando body from the bridge to the sound hole and over the fret board fret and back. I also enjoy watching his change of stroke from tiny wrist movement to full stroke from the elbow.
    All that while chewing on a matchstick.

  39. bmac
    Another blues mandolin player I have learned from on Youtube is Lauren Sheehan. Here she plays mando with Terry Robb on guitar. Check out their other videos too.

  40. bmac
    Sorry I stuck the two previus links in the wrong section. They should have been in the Blues Mandolin Video Links section.

    Can someone move them?


  41. bmac
    Bert.... Regarding your video... You are an excellent teacher!!! It is a very informative video. Clearly presented visually and good comments/instructions. I'm going to spend some time learning from it.

    Also... Glad to hear you don't read music... neither did most of the greats...

  42. Amandalyn
    >"Another blues mandolin player I have learned from on Youtube is Lauren Sheehan">

    great stuff ! Nice to see another woman mando player. Thanks for posting
  43. zombywoof
    This stuff is interesting but I am feeling like a caveman here. Its a long way being told to take a note and "worry" it. Mind you, it did work but it is kinda hard to try and explain it in wiriting.

    I do know things like I love the sound of sliding an A7 down a fret while keeping the bass slugging away or throwing in a single string chromatic run to fill in the spaces between the melody and rhythm.

    I am attempting to tab out some stuff so I can recall it it down the road. So far I have been working on putting "Hesitation Blues," and "Nobody Knows You When Your Down and Out" on paper and am getting ready to tackle "32-20 Blues." What is getting in the way is my right hand only seems to work well when I am not thinking about it. If I try to slow it down to figure out what I am doing I lose it.

    Point is, in a rambling sort of way, one of the reasons I signed up with this group is to not only have some fun but to try and learn from ya'll. In return, I would be glad to post what I get done if anybody is interested. Not vouching it will be perfectly tabbed out but it should give ya the basic gist of it all.
  44. bluesmandolinman
    "I would be glad to post what I get done if anybody is interested"

    I would be definitly interested !

    Glad to see somebody trying to give back anything and not only consuming what others are providing.....
    I feel many more users should start thinking in that direction
  45. mandomansuetude
    Great tips here ...a gold mine really...what a terrific resource...glad I looked in ...
    Nice of you to share ...
    I play a trumpet and there was a time when trumpeters kept a handkerchief over their fingers on the valves to prevent others from stealing their riffs.

    Friendly folk you mandolin pickers ...thanks for letting me "pick" your brains....Wm.
  46. bluesmandolinman
    Ladies and gentlemen,

    please welcome to bluesmandolin society Mr. Anthony Hannigan ..... check this video .... insane runs fill-inns solos etc starting from 0:50 wow !

    Hope he will keep us buisy with watching some more videos that hopefully will come

  47. S. Bracken
    S. Bracken
    Hi to everyone. I just joined this group and it looks great. Anyone from Canada, Toronto specifically?
  48. Bert Deivert
    Bert Deivert

    here is a demonstration of the riff I use for Special Agent. By the way, the mandolin on the video here and at the Finland gig video (on the mandolin line page or youtube/bdeivert is tuned down one and a half steps. So from low to high... E B F# C#. Good for singing in E and playing in G position. Since I sing in E, A, B, and F# most of the time, it is a cinch to play the mandolin in G, C, D, and A positions, respectively.

  49. bmac
    I used to see you on the subway and in front of the Met in NYC. I was always in too big a hurry to stop and talk but I enjoyed seeing (hearing) you. My primary thought was: "Gee, this guy is brave taking his National on the subway!". Loved hearing you!!

    At least I think it was you.?.?.
  50. acatasus
    The National is the perfect mando to take on the subway. If anyone steps out of line, it makes a great weapon!
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