Tango My Love

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is a tango written for mandolins by Joseph Gioe, probably in the 1920s. I found the sheet music online at:


    I know nothing more about the tune, but I like it -- it falls really nicely under the fingers on mandolin. I've added a tango rhythm on tenor guitar.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Ozark tenor guitar

  2. woodenfingers
    Martin - very cool. Definitely caught the latin tango with that one. You should give Brazilian Choro a try. I recently joined Artistworks for online lessons with Mike Marshall. There's a video with him playing Tico Tico - he's good!! I found a youtube of him and the Dawg playing Tico Tico, not a great rendition but it is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPOWM-Z46ko. It's on my list as a future challenge.

  3. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is an Italian-American tango for two mandolins and guitar, written in the early 1920s by Joseph Gioč (1890-1957), in-house composer for O. Di Bella Music in New York. I found the lead sheet many years ago at a now-defunct website. It's still available through the Wayback Machine:


    I have previously recorded this just on mandolin and tenor guitar, from the leadsheet (see above). Since then, Sheri Mignano has posted the original second mandolin and guitar parts in her Dropbox thread, so this new take has the complete arrangement. I've also added a mandocello bass line, extracted from the guitar part, making it a mandolin quartet.

    1890s Giuseppe Vinaccia bowlback mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello

  4. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Very nice martin. You play it well.
  5. Gelsenbury
    Wow, a whole quartet! Well done.
  6. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Ginny and Dennis. Actually, some of my previous lockdown videos were quartets as well -- all of Evelyn's arrangements are for four instruments. It works surprisingly well to add rhythm tracks to the existing lead rather than the other way around. My inner metronome seems to be largely steady. The biggest challenge is with pieces that don't have a strong inherent rhythm, such as Caccini's Ave Maria which I have recorded yesterday and posted in the classical section (link).

  7. Frithjof
    Martin – Both videos are gorgeous. I like your 2014 recording with only tenor guitar to accompany the mandolin as well as your new quartet version.
  8. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Two fine tango deliveries, Martin; I especially enjoyed your more recent version above. I too find it easier to record the melody and then add the backing tracks after.
  9. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Nice Martin, this Tango has a a good feeling to it.

    About recording, I find it much easier to play to a click track and then line the other instruments up afterwards, but it does become very slightly less rhythmically expressive in the process. When I record with a click track it’s more to do with syncopation and accent. Whatever, it all sounds like music!
    I guess with Tango it’s maybe better that the melody section decide on the rhythm.
  10. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, all! I'm still finding my way with recording melody-first after ten years or so of using click tracks. One obvious advantage of this approach is that it's fairly easy to get an actual video of me playing. It's not so good if you want to swap the lead between instruments or if the lead part has longer rests.

  11. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    That's one of the reasons I love slow airs, and especially the Scottish ones, Martin. They are played lyrically, as though sung, and the timing is much freer with a rubato feel, allowing the player to hold notes for longer than their written value, and as such a metronome or click track is of no real use. I believe it was Ali Bain, the great Shetland fiddler, who when asked how long a long note should be held when playing a slow air, replied that he usually held the note till he saw a tear forming in the eye of a member of the audience!
    Your tango, or any other dance rhythm, does of course demand a different approach, and strict timing becomes the order of the day.

    I have found that using my Tascam recorder along with the camcorder gives me a good audio track and it is much easier then to sync the audio with the camcorder's visual and audio output then delete or mute the camcorder's audio when you have them lined up. But you know this already as your videos show!
  12. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, John. I found a way of getting the audio synced with the video that's pretty hassle-free as well as loss-free with no degradation of audio or video quality at any stage. I'm recording the video with the built-in webcam on my laptop, and the audio with a Zoom H2n recorder in USB microphone mode plugged into the laptop. Then, extract the audio track using FFMPEG and import into Audacity. In Audacity, I can overdub additional parts to the existing lead in the same way as I've always done. You may have noticed I always play a bar of crotchets as count-in when recording the video. That's to give me a cue for the accompaniment. After mixing, I export the entire audio track without trimming it. That's important, as it still has exactly the same length as the original video. That means I can use FFMPEG again to replace the audio on the video track with the mixed audio exported from Audacity and it will be perfectly in sync without any further adjustment. The mixed video is then trimmed to the right length using LosslessCut without needing to re-encode.

  13. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Those technical details aside: nice tango, aptly played!
  14. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I really like the timing on this one, Martin.

    Just one more technical detail, please!
    Another way is it to play the melody while listening to the click track on headphones in one ear. At the end of the 64 bar click track there are 6 measures of silence followed by four loud, sharp clicks. When you have finished playing, you pull out the headphone jack and let the click play out loud. It’s registered onto the end of your present instrument recording track.
    Then you visually line up all those clicks from each track, and finally snip them off.

    (More slow airs, please! )
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