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Thread: Monroe Style Mandolin Question

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Monroe Style Mandolin Question

    The first time I heard her I said she has Monroe down perfect. I listened some more and decided she was doing what Monroe was trying to do. She has the attitude but much smoother.

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  3. #27
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    Default Re: Monroe Style Mandolin Question

    Thanks for all of the replies, gives me a lot of food for thought. I guess what I've learned from them is that there's no correct answer to the question, which I kinda thought was the case. As I stated before, I never thought that holding the mandolin a certain way was going to make me sound like Bill Monroe, but was wondering if his playing posture had any real effect on his sound. Would he sound the same if he held his mandolin in the way that Mike Marshall recommends? I mean, the angle that the pick hits the strings has to have some bearing on tone. And if the posture was in fact a part of the overall sound, then I may as well mimic it to the best of my ability if my goal is to get as close to his sound as possible.

  4. #28
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style Mandolin Question

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    You want approximately a right angle in your picking arm so that your arm/hand is parallel to the strings. This also means your mandolin neck should be parallel-ish with the ground. This lessens the tension in the system and gives your picking hand easy access to all 4 courses for double stops and brushstrokes.

    For many this is easier to accomplish with the single shoulder strap method. This method also allows you to keep the back of the mandolin further off of your body for better tone instead of using those ridiculous metal tone "guard" contraptions. Below is a video example of what I'm talking about. I did another lengthy post on this in another Monroe thread but I'm not sure which one...


    Thatís the tune Andrew Marlin played on his last instrumental album, isnít it?
    Nice tune, and great job playing it. Very monroe like!

    I can get into that parallel position with the strap over my right shoulder, but it seems to lock me in that position. With it around my neck i can get into that position and also move the instrument around easier, playing over the fingerboard and with more angle. I know that people who play with it over the shoulder can get around just fine, but itís easier for me around the neck. I love that style of playing though, itís so rhythmic and bluesy.

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