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Thread: Strumming like guitar?

  1. #51

    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankdolin View Post
    If I play a song like "Yesterday" for example, and sing, it's gonna sound pretty damn silly if I use chop chords. You do what you gotta do and what's right for the song. And I don't strum a mandolin like a guitar, I strum it like a mandolin.
    Yes, strumming a mandolin along with a vocal should be done in the genre of the song. Now, there are legit bluegrass groups that perform songs from a different genre and make them sound great, chops and all. But those are seasoned pros who know how to pull it off.

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    I stumbled across this video today. I would say Sir Paul does a fine job of strumming on this song. Amazes me that it was in tune right out of the box too!




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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    Two pages in and I still don’t know what people think strumming like a guitar is Not do I know what proper mandolin strumming is and honestly I don’t care. Why does it have to be one way or the other. Your strings your instrument hammer away at it anyway you want. I plan to do that and if it’s musical even better!
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobP View Post
    I would say Sir Paul does a fine job of strumming on this song. Amazes me that it was in tune right out of the box too!
    Ah, yes - the magic of music videos!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    Two pages in and I still don’t know what people think strumming like a guitar is Not do I know what proper mandolin strumming is and honestly I don’t care. Why does it have to be one way or the other. Your strings your instrument hammer away at it anyway you want. I plan to do that and if it’s musical even better!
    It IS a bit funny, now that you mention it - no one's come out and said specifically what one way or another is, nor why either would be inappropriate for the other. Plenty of assuming, though. Perhaps it's due to the guitar and its many uses and variations being so prevalent that its sound is so accepted. It's become the standard as a result of its omnipresence.
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  8. #55
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    I agree, "strum like a guitar" in the context of this thread is undefined ... and I went back to the OP to get the gist of his meaning, I thought maybe he was asking whether it is okay to strum chords as backup on the mandolin, analogous to how people strum chords on a guitar; that is, simply strumming chords without reference to particular technique.

    But the post is confusing to me. There's this: "can we do chord strumming somewhat guitar like (where one signs and strums chords in guitar)?"

    Ah nevermind ... I couldn't understand what he meant by signs ... but obviously he meant sings

    So the answer is of course yes. He even stated he sees people doing it, so he knows you can do this. He has answered his own prior question ("Is it possible ...").

    And finally, "I have seen people doing it but then the chord sounds quite different from those of guitars and I think guitar chords sound better."

    So the OP question transmigrated into simply a comment from OP that he dislikes the sound of backing vocals with mandolin chords; he prefers guitar backing.

    Well,there is no need to unpack any of that IMO.

    But as to "like guitar" I have some comments.

    1. Many guitar chords are played with only four strings. It's fairly common, for instance, to play a D7 chord with a "C7" shape up the neck muting the 1st and 6th string ... and many other "jazz" chord forms are often articulated using only four strings, and are often strummed with left hand finger lift muting for a more percussive rhythm. Not "chops" in the Bluegrass style, but hey, jazz chops if you will. Get your chops up dude. That type of playing works very, very well on mandolin.

    2. Very simple guitar strumming is often used to good effect in a somewhat "campfire style" - there's no reason you can't play a mandolin the same way.

    3. The familiar and wondrous "Boom-chick" style of alternating bass & strum can also be done on mandolin in some instances, but it lacks the available bass notes of guitar and so that would be a style I'd use sparingly or not at all on mandolin. (I choose to use it rarely, example in key of C playing 523X and alternating between C (5 on G string) to G (open G on G string)).

    In the end, I think you play chords on the mandolin like a mandolin, and on guitar like a guitar, while letting technique of one inform the other wherever you will it. Please yourself; you may or may not please others ... obviously mobi (OP) will not be impressed, but to each his own.
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    Aha. Most instructive and insightful, even well-observed. I've done precious little guitar playing since picking up the mandolin over 50 years ago. I've played with plenty of guitarist, naturally, and picked up this and that - though mostly I've observed their left hands, reading chords while jamming - and not their right hands so much, to sort out differing strumming techniques. So thanks for that.

    And also, thanks for returning to the OP and analyzing it, in an effort to assist in steering the thread toward addressing the original intent. This is one of my favorite gambits when I surmise a thread has wandered a bit far from its raison d'Ítre. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't, but it usually does at least remind people of why we're here and what we're (supposed to be) talking about.

    Another thing I do is look at the OP's input since the start, to see if the question has been answered to his/her satisfaction, or whether additional guidance has been offered. In this instance neither has occurred. In fact, mobi hasn't even logged in in nearly two years. Now, there's no way of knowing whether he/she has been keeping up with this thread, bumped up from its five-year-old status last week, as that can be done without logging in. But as far as being able to determine how well we are succeeding in answering the original question, it's impossible to say. Which is not to say there haven't been some good points made, but it is a bit less satisfying when an OP starts a thread and then checks out. It's helpful to participants to know if their participation has been useful to the OP. In this case, I guess we'll just have to decide among ourselves, or for ourselves, the usefulness of the discussion.
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    mobi hasn't even logged in in nearly two years
    I remember when mobi was here posting a bunch of questions (and in this case, sort of a rambling non-question question)

    lol funny thing is, it has harvested two pages of comments this month, and only a single page when posted in 2015 ... I guess it is only now coming of age.
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    Yes, this thread has opened up, just as a mandolin does, with use.

    I know you meant 2016, a typo, for sure. And this thread owes its second chapter to the mysterious hannarase, whose one and only post (so far) was in response to the five-year-old question - which may well have been answered quite adequately long ago, Threads have lives of their own, irrespective of those of their contributors.
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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    You guys! I didn't even think to look at the date of the OP or the reply I replied to. If I had I may not have replied but it has generated some interesting commentary so, to me, well worth it.
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    There are a lot of these "zombie" threads around. They are just as compelling conversations as they were originally.
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  16. #61
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    Well, this old thread seems like a good excuse for me to embarrass myself by posting a recent video of me strumming a mandolin (sort of) like a guitar while signing. We've seen the examples by the pros; here is an example of an amateur - surely the type of thing to put mobi off mandolin strumming in favor of guitar. I recorded and posted this in the newbies group last month as an example of something I was working on at the time. I was working on learning the lyrics and preparing to rehearse with the guys for adding the tune to our set list ... not for solo mandolin ... but this is a solo mandolin recording with nothing but strumming on the mandolin while I struggled to remember the words in time

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cmn9jODfD7c

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  18. #62
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    I thought that was just fine. You didn't embarrass yourself too much. Your timing was good and singing on pitch. And your choice of material -impeccable. Shel Silverstein was a longtime resident here, a bit of a legend and legacy.

    One suggestion, though. It's quite a habit mandolin players develop of playing on the back beat, especially in bluegrass bands - and even if they don't they're bound to hear it a lot, and thus will influence their rhythm approach. But for solo accompaniment, it's better to stress the down beat. Strum on each beat, or use a swing-style "sock" rhythm, it'll sound fuller.

    BTW, ukulele has been used for generations as a rhythm instrument in Hawaiian and Polynesian music. And soprano uke is even higher pitched than mandolin. This lends credence to the notion of using mandolin the same way. It's just that most people aren't accustomed to it, not that it can't or won't work just fine.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    Loved it, Mark!

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strumming like guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Well, this old thread seems like a good excuse for me to embarrass myself by posting a recent video of me strumming a mandolin (sort of) like a guitar while signing.
    For a minute there, Mark, I thought you were going to be translating for the hearing impaired

  21. Aug-18-2021, 6:02am


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