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Thread: Fiddle tunes that don't work on mandolin?

  1. #26

    Default Re: Fiddle tunes that don't work on mandolin?

    And merry christmas, season's greetings and all of that - to all. Jeff my Friend, a hoist to you and me - I enjoy talking about music and mndlns here with you!
    Randal Scott

  2. #27
    Registered User Paul Cowham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle tunes that don't work on mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    I tend to agree that overdoing tremolo doesn't really work well in Celtic music. Chordal things are nice to fill the sound out, and having enough sustain helps. That's partly why Sobell instruments (fantastic sustain) are so suitable. But here is an Irish air played beautifully, in my view at any rate.

    Thanks Dagger,
    I agree that is a lovely arrangement/performance and also a great way of playing an Irish air on the mandolin.

    Simon's mandolin playing in this clip reminds me of the way that Aaron Weinstein, or a jazz player generally might approach a slow tune, i.e. using chord melody. Obviously these styles of music are very different, but Simon's use of the instrument seems similar. This is clearly advanced stuff, but it does show that slow tunes can be played very effectively on the mandolin without overuse of tremolo. Anyhow, here is Aaron playing a well know slow tune which may make for an interesting comparison. Both players in these clips pick over the fingerboard, i.e. a long way from the bridge, which seems to make sense for a slow tune.

    Last edited by Paul Cowham; Dec-23-2021 at 8:09pm.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Fiddle tunes that don't work on mandolin?

    I don't find East Clare reels or the like to really sit well on the mandolin.

  4. #29
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle tunes that don't work on mandolin?

    I agree with Dagger and Paul that sustain and technique (and a good instrument) make almost any slower tune work. This ventures into the realm of 'good taste' and 'artistry', and (as usual) I've been quite a 'snob' about this stuff.

    I guess the issue, for me at least, is how can you do something that has never been done before, e.g. slow airs or East Clare reels on a mandolin, that sounds right and good in the cultural sense?
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  5. #30

    Default Re: Fiddle tunes that don't work on mandolin?

    Here's an effort at a Scottish air, Mary Young and Fair, playing in a very laid back and solo style.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u7o...ew?usp=sharing

    I'm not sure iof this link to a file on a Google drive will work, but if not, go to www.clachanmusic.co.uk for the audio and a folder of resources (I put this stuff together for a student a good few years ago).

    John

  6. #31
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle tunes that don't work on mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post

    I don't know about this "tremolo sounds classical" thing. I play more and more classical and I play enough to finally impartially look at all my folky playing. What I see is that classical players, even informally, put a premium on playing musically and beautifully. Folky players (and I am one through and through) put the premium on getting the tune out. I wish folky playing emphasized beauty more.

    As an example, a classical player will more often than not go up the neck on the D string, so as to keep with the timbre of the wound string and not introduce an arbitrary and seemingly jarring contrast using the plain A string. I find this wonderful, and I notice this more and more and it jarrs me more and more.

    I am with Niles that there are many many things we can do to sound more beautiful, more musical, and play more expressively, but in many of genres in which mandolin is common, this aesthetic does not predominate.

    And yea, poorly played or brute force tremolo is boring and jarring too. At the suggestion of Jacob Reuven at a workshop I learned how to moderate the speed of my tremolo with the volume of my tremolo, and increase the expressiveness gigantically.
    great points about tremolo and other stylistic issues.

    "tremolo sounds classical" - Well, it definitely sounds Italian!

    BTW, Simon Mayor's use of upper positions on that video was brilliant.

  7. #32
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle tunes that don't work on mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    great points about tremolo and other stylistic issues.

    "tremolo sounds classical" - Well, it definitely sounds Italian!

    BTW, Simon Mayor's use of upper positions on that video was brilliant.
    Ha! I often think "tremolo sounds Finnish" since that's what I first started on and the folks I listened to used tremolo and often need to cut back on it when playing Swedish or Danish music (or the American variants in the Upper Midwest).
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  9. #33
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fiddle tunes that don't work on mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Ha! I often think "tremolo sounds Finnish" since that's what I first started on and the folks I listened to used tremolo and often need to cut back on it when playing Swedish or Danish music (or the American variants in the Upper Midwest).
    Thanks for the info - I can't say I have a lot of experience with Finnish mandolin music!

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