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Thread: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

  1. #51
    working musician Jim Bevan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    I feel quite uncomfortably embarrassed presenting an example of my own playing into a "who's interesting" thread, but at this point it seems relevant to the tone/genre discussion.

    Trying to get as rock as it gets, I simply turned every knob available to 10.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJA1IlQbqKI

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  3. #52
    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Tremendous!
    “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” -- Aldo Leopold

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  5. #53
    working musician Jim Bevan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Anyways, linking a video of myself being "interesting" is somewhat moot, since it's the only video I've ever posted anywhere — it's a dead-end for anyone who's interested.

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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    Come on, you know that was Byrds-influenced, at the least. Clapton made his bones imitating, and building on, other people's guitar styles.
    No, sir, I don't know that. And please don't tell me what I know or don't know. That is so arrogant. And as to your supposition, I have never made that connection before, nor seen or heard anyone else do so. And now that I have, I don't think it has any merit. What we in the audience perceive from the sidelines is very different from what those in the fray are thinking, trying, and doing. I've no way of knowing what Clapton was listening to, nor do you. I do know he was deeply influenced by, and tried to emulate somewhat, the guitar styles of the Three Kings: Freddie, Albert, and BB, more or less in that chronological order. He developed his own style(s), though, and much of his work is easily recognizable as his own. Of his contemporaries on the rock-blues scene, the only ones I recall him mentioning in interviews are Jimi Hendrix, whom he adored as a musician and a person, and Duane Allman, with whom he worked, producing some of the best music by either of them. Anything else seems more like ex post facto guesswork from people not in the know.

    Clapton's guitar work in this song is an outlier - unlike anything else Cream did. It's also unlike anything The Byrds did. You may think there's a connection; I don't. Even discussion of it seems like an outlier, starting as it did as an example of a guitar sounding like an electric mandolin, which hasn't received any response in kind. I think it's a great example, but I seem to be alone in that. So perhaps it's best to just drop it.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  7. #55
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Even though this thread seems to have boiled down to just three participants, I'll venture on. (I spoke too soon. I've been hammering away at this so long I didn't know someone else slipped in. Welcome to the madness, Jim. And good going! ) Because I've noticed something in listening to several of the examples posted, which I don't understand, and maybe someone can help sort it out. Leads played on electric mandolins don't sound particularly mandolinny; they could just as well have been played on electric half-neck guitars. But rhythm mandolin, electric or acoustic, does sound mandolinny, as long as it's 8-string. It's as if the mandolin loses its distinctive sound on single string leads. I've been puzzling over why that is. Perhaps if there were more examples of 8-string leads, that'd be different. I don't have an electric 8-string, so I haven't done much personal exploring in this area in a while. Well, I do, an EM-150, but I single-stringed it because I had such a hard time keeping the pairs in tune with each other.

    By the way, Jim, I think it's fine to use personal examples to make a point. (Clearly.) We know our own work better than anyone else's, after all. And it's not to imply we're interesting - at least in my case - it's just to illustrate a point or offer an example.

    I'm reluctant to post any more of my own stuff because I've done so many, and really, they're all old and not the best quality recordings. But I found one that helps to illustrate my point. It's the only one I've got that has a rock-style 8-string lead. I must warn you, it's more than a bit rough. It's an audience member's video, so the band is low and the audience is loud. The song is "Dixie Chicken," by Little Feat. It looks like I was having technical difficulties with the electric, and the song had already started, so I switched to the acoustic. (I know this is kind of against the rules as laid out in the OP, but I believe I'm following the spirit of the quest.) It took some doing to get the sound right, and by the looks of it, I barely managed to get it together in time for the first time I had to play that distinctive riff, at the 1:40 mark. But I did, and the sound on that is good and strong. Come time for the lead at 3:10 I was ready. If you can hear it over the audio clutter, I think I took a pretty good ride on it. I had some fun screwing around with the timing, and used the bit of feedback I was getting to good effect. I did more of that for the windup, starting around 4:35. I'm providing the times so as to help people avoid the torture of listening to the whole ruckus.



    What I'm trying to say here, is that the double-string lead may be more in keeping with the notion that an electric mandolin can have its own distinctive sound. The single-string sound sounds fine to my ears, and the approach lends itself to playing rock with an appropriate level of gusto. It seems to be a trade-off - the right sound versus the right feel. The more I've been thinking about it, the more I've come to believe that it's perfectly OK for an electric mandolin to sound like an electric guitar. Indeed, how could it not? The music is being produced the same way with the same physics. As long as the comparison isn't being made in a pejorative sense, what's the diff? For the distinctive mandolin sound, double strings are a must - but at the cost of losing the string-bending, which is a big part of rock playing. Without bending strings, rock can sound kind of stiff. Anyway, that's as far as I've gotten in my thinking, and it's late. So if someone has some thoughts on this, I'd like to hear them. And maybe I'll try to find a better way to say what I'm trying to say in the morning.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

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    Lucinda Williams and Eric Von Schmidt (who would have turned 90 5/28/21), the night devotee met hero (and both my heroes)

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  9. #56
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Very funny. Thank you!

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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Whatever!



    Have a nice day, everyone!

    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    Lucinda Williams and Eric Von Schmidt (who would have turned 90 5/28/21), the night devotee met hero (and both my heroes)

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  13. #58
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    I’m sorry, after reading a little more closely...Yes, you are right, I often tend to assume that what seems obvious to me should also be obvious to everyone else. It’s a failing.

    But to explain, for musicians of my generation and inclination, understanding EC’s influences is like breathing. We also recognize a nod to Roger McGuin without much discussion.

    In case you still don't hear it...

    https://www.facebook.com/Musicofcrea...4331800601470/
    Last edited by lowtone2; Jun-06-2021 at 11:35am.

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  15. #59
    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    I don't think we need to apologize to anyone for using the same electronic tools to amplify our instruments that other musician also employ. Acoustic in front of a microphone, or plugged in with single coils, humbuckers and piezos. Options we share with the rest of the sting world.

    While the purists send disapproving vibes toward the mando-rebels, there is some guy out there playing a shovel rigged three stings and a pickup.
    “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” -- Aldo Leopold

  16. #60
    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wright View Post
    Thanks for listening.

    The key is body size, in my experience. Tom Buchanan's acoustic 10-string is 14.25" scale but substantially larger than his 8-string mandolins. A smaller body does have more acoustic focus in the smaller range, but who performs without at least microphones these days?

    Here's a CD's worth of solo acoustic 10-string.

    https://tomwright1.bandcamp.com/album/5-x-2-2
    20 Small Cigars just became my theme song for today. What fun! Thanks for sharing.
    “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” -- Aldo Leopold

  17. #61
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    Come on, you know that was Byrds-influenced, at the least. Clapton made his bones imitating, and building on, other people's guitar styles.
    Absolutely. The first time I heard EC acoustic I assumed he'd been going for Robert Johnson clone. He's on record talking about how much he's emulated RJ - which is obvious (well, to some ).

    Re the electric mndln emulating a choked-up elec guitar: of course it can, as can ukulele, tenor guitar, and pretty much anything with strings. Electricity is a great equalizer. (When I put my lever 'celtic' harp through an amp it makes it sound like a full orchestral harp; i used to gig with an inexpensive A/E classical guitar - sounded just like a concert classical through the amp.)

  18. #62
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Before anyone gets excited - above about EC is complimentary. (And yes I know a ukulele has nylon strings) Consider the U-bass - sure it can rock. I play pinball wizard on my charango, Latin, reggae.. Someone play a drum with me and I'll rock any instrument.

    Demurely

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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    Before anyone gets excited - above about EC is complimentary.
    Seems to me that EC can be as creative as (almost) anyone IF he has someone pushing him hard and challenging him to come up with something as good as they're playing - with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker behind him, he did that. But that's brain frying hard work, how do you keep that going for ever? It sounds like (recently) left to himself, he prefers to coast along with 'cool Dad' music, acoustic or electric. See, he comes from Surrey UK, where I live now, and he's an archetypal Surrey Man - trimmed beard, neat expensive looking hair, sports coat, kind of professorial. There's lots of 'em like that here - excellent musicians, but now it's kind of like - Hamptons rock? A few years ago we went to a charity gig at a local polo club (really), with Surrey Ferrari Owners' Club motors on display for our admiration - maybe 18 of them parked in a line (brought about by Nick Mason of Pink Floyd?). Gary Brooker from Procul Harum opened up (he's from East London, think The Bronx?). "Good afternoon Surrey", he said - "Thanks for giving up your day's yachting..."

    Now, where's my tin hat?
    Last edited by maxr; Jun-07-2021 at 10:52am.

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  21. #64
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Paul Glasse in Austin Tx is the real deal and as fine a person as you'll ever meet. A few CDs and lots of Youtube videos. paulglasse.com
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfSRBwtxEAg

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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Thanks All for your suggestions - that gives me a great deal to listen to! And for the comment - as a Caribbean taxi driver once said to me - "some folks they are wise, and some folks they are otherwise".

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  24. #66
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Here's Kevin Russell playing a a little mndln-esque figure on guitar 1:46". Of course, what you don't get with mndln is that crunchy low end electric guitar (reason suggests, this, and other aspects of elec gtr is why it slayed the world)




    For me man what turned me on to mndln was LZ III. JPJ's tasty accents on bridges on 'that's the way' and page's lonesome prettines on pedal steel was a sound I couldn't shake. Pete Drake on Ballad of sir frankie crisp... Mmmm.

  25. #67
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    In case you still don't hear it...

    https://www.facebook.com/Musicofcrea...4331800601470/
    Hey, folks! I was offline for a couple days. What'd I miss?

    Well, now! Will you look at that? Thanks for taking the time to look that up. So now we know, instead of guessing and assuming what might have been the truth. You see, unlike most people, I don't care that much who is right, but what is right - what is the truth. And now we know. Oh, I heard a similarity, all right, but I had no reason to assume there was a connection, without hearing so from the man himself. People on the sidelines can say whatever they want, and sometime it resembles the truth, but it isn't. Would have been nice to have seen that some time ago. Could have avoided some sturm und drang.

    I can't say I'm completely surprised Clapton was trying to emulate The Byrds, but I thought it quite unlikely, him being such an ardent blues fan. I'd never heard him say much about his contemporary rock guitarists, other than the ones I've mentioned, and George Harrison (how'd I overlook him? ). He's mostly talked about black blues guitarists, from Robert Johnson up to contemporaries, as being his main influences and idols. So this is from pretty far afield. The guitar is also played differently from McGuinn - these solos are trilled all the way through, while McGuinn tended to let his notes ring. (The biggest exception being the ends of solos in "Eight Miles High," which are accents.) Also, the tone here is more trebly, more mandolinny. Yes, Clapton was pushing the boundaries of rock guitar, but most of the time it was still blues-based. I imagine Jack Bruce pushed him toward other areas. After all, this was one of his songs.

    That's all I was saying to begin with - Clapton's guitar sound on "Dance The Night Away" was the first thing I heard that sounded to me like what an electric mandolin could sound like. I'd heard mandolin on rock songs before, but it was always acoustic. And I've heard little else of this sort as great since.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    Lucinda Williams and Eric Von Schmidt (who would have turned 90 5/28/21), the night devotee met hero (and both my heroes)

  26. #68
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    OK, anyway ... As to interesting electric mandolin ... From a historical perspective, would the early use of rock mandolin qualify?

    I've mentioned them before - Shocking Blue had a lot more going on than their one worldwide monster hit, "Venus." They were pretty big in Europe, and the nabobs of their native Netherlands. They were early roots-rockers, and also innovative in their instrumentation. They incorporated sitar into their sound better than most, and also included mandolin on 14 songs, by my count. (A bit of banjo here and there, too - nobody's perfect. ) I had a list, but lost it, so I've spent some time recreating it for you. These aren't all rockers, and some feature it just as a rhythm instrument. Even so, when they used it, they incorporated it into the sound for that song, so it wasn't just a novelty item. To my mind, they're important historically for being among the first bands to explore rock mandolin.

    Their mandolin history begins with their third album, "Scorpio's Dance," on the title track( not the excerpt with similar name that's the lead track). It's more fully integrated on their fourth album, "3rd Album." (They don't count their first album, which didn't have their female singer, Mariska Veres, considering the original lineup to be a different band.) "Velvet Heaven" has a very nice lead, though it's acoustic. It's also the most traditional-sounding use; it got wilder. "Inkpot features it twice, including on a rollicking version of "Jambalaya." Their next album, "Attila," is the one to have if this is what floats your boat, as there is mandolin on five songs. The next album, "Dream On Dreamer," has it on two tracks, then they're done. The following album, "Good Times," was their last. Robbie van Leeuwen, lead guitarist/mandolinist/sitarist/chief writer had gotten pretty well burnt out. Also, their star was fading, it seems, and they were sort of reeling in their innovation in order to stay afloat. The used synthesizer one one track, another track was an attempt to "go disco," but they seemed a bit, I dunno, ordinary with their sound. They could have been any band, rather than the unique, innovative one they had been for years.

    I've included the chrono list at the bottom, with url's. Three songs I'm not 100% sure have mandolin, as they did a lot of tweaking in the studio, but I think they do. I've embedded a few clips of the more fully realized songs. Sorry, no footage. There are lots of those, though most of them are lip-sync and not live.














    Scorpio's Dance
    Scorpio's Dance
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iEHs_ADS5c
    3rd Album
    Velvet Heaven
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q3HBfSdYfI
    I Saw Your Face
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH8hf1h_ovc
    Inkpot
    Navajo Tears - rhythm only
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-UnDhnZDB4
    Jambalaya
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QhTkhrdISg
    Attila
    Never Release The One You Love ? lead @ 1:50
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtVcFXaMvKA
    Rock In The Sea
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26EdgArV9HI
    Will The Circle Be Unbroken
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIJIT3TjzSE
    Early In The Morning ?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndj8pRcNVVQ
    I Built My World Around You
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QREvBdg4fDg
    Dream On Dreamer
    A Little Bit Of Heaven ?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL3dVIaVKxo
    Wild Rose
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12DK7GmRVFo
    Last edited by journeybear; Jun-08-2021 at 12:53pm. Reason: neatness counts
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    Lucinda Williams and Eric Von Schmidt (who would have turned 90 5/28/21), the night devotee met hero (and both my heroes)

  27. #69

    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    has anyone said Hayes Griffin yet? https://www.hayesgriffin.com/

    His album Midwestern Swing is great and features quite a bit of electric mando

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  29. #70
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Armandinho Macedo
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

    The entire staff
    funny....

  30. #71
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishing_with_john View Post
    has anyone said Hayes Griffin yet? https://www.hayesgriffin.com/

    His album Midwestern Swing is great and features quite a bit of electric mando
    I really miss his Tiny Moore Tuesdays. He made great transcriptions and analysis of Tiny's solos and comping too.

  31. #72
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Hey, folks! I was offline for a couple days. What'd I miss?

    Well, now! Will you look at that? Thanks for taking the time to look that up. So now we know, instead of guessing and assuming what might have been the truth. You see, unlike most people, I don't care that much who is right, but what is right - what is the truth. And now we know. Oh, I heard a similarity, all right, but I had no reason to assume there was a connection, without hearing so from the man himself. People on the sidelines can say whatever they want, and sometime it resembles the truth, but it isn't. Would have been nice to have seen that some time ago. Could have avoided some sturm und drang.

    I can't say I'm completely surprised Clapton was trying to emulate The Byrds, but I thought it quite unlikely, him being such an ardent blues fan. I'd never heard him say much about his contemporary rock guitarists, other than the ones I've mentioned, and George Harrison (how'd I overlook him? ). He's mostly talked about black blues guitarists, from Robert Johnson up to contemporaries, as being his main influences and idols. So this is from pretty far afield. The guitar is also played differently from McGuinn - these solos are trilled all the way through, while McGuinn tended to let his notes ring. (The biggest exception being the ends of solos in "Eight Miles High," which are accents.) Also, the tone here is more trebly, more mandolinny. Yes, Clapton was pushing the boundaries of rock guitar, but most of the time it was still blues-based. I imagine Jack Bruce pushed him toward other areas. After all, this was one of his songs.

    That's all I was saying to begin with - Clapton's guitar sound on "Dance The Night Away" was the first thing I heard that sounded to me like what an electric mandolin could sound like. I'd heard mandolin on rock songs before, but it was always acoustic. And I've heard little else of this sort as great since.
    So, I was right, although stupid to think so, but just got lucky. And arrogant to assume that anyone else heard the obvious. OK, got it.

    That could have been a great tune but for that crazy lyricist.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin - who's interesting?

    Yep.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    Lucinda Williams and Eric Von Schmidt (who would have turned 90 5/28/21), the night devotee met hero (and both my heroes)

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