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Thread: Adad tuning on mandolin?

  1. #1
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    I broke an E string and replaced it with an A string. No way it was going up to E without collapsing the top, so I left it in D and worked on some things like John Reischmans Ponies in the forest. That got boring after a bit, so I then messed with bring the G's up to A. That was really cool! I'm a dunce when it comes to playing anything by ear though.

    Are there any tunes in ADAD (instead of GDAE) tuning? How about some tab in that tuning? How about recorded music there?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Pete

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    mandolin's Lord Voldemort mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Tunes are just tunes - play them on any instrument, or in any tuning that you want to.

    If you were using the Andy Irvine mandolin/Irish bouzouki tuning (GDAD) you just have to play the notes on the E-string 2 frets higher than normal. The tuning gives you an open D drone on top, which is nice in keys of G and D, especially when you are playing across-the-strings a lot.

    ADAE gives you an open A on the bottom, great for the keys of D and A (and Dm and Am). So there are a few notes on the bottom string which you now play 2 frets lower than usual.

    GDGD (or AEAE) open tunings - the scale on the two bottom strings is fingered/fretted the same on the top two.

    =======================0=2=4=5=========
    ===============0=2=4=5=================
    =========0=2=4=5=======================
    =0=2=4=5===============================


    You can work out the new/altered fretting for those tunings, or ADAD, on paper by mathematical logic of altering the tablature you'd been playing from. However, it would be a good idea to get away from all that and work on your ear more.

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    Tuning an A string up to D? That was brave, Pete. I'd expect the string to go before the top, though.

    Ditto everything that Niles says. But there are fiddle tunes from various traditions that were made to be played in other tunings. In Shetland, [/I]AEAE[I] is used for some tunes; Padraig Kelly from Co. Clare in the West of Ireland also used this tuning for his version of The Foxhunter's Reel. I believe there are several alternative tunings used in Old Time fiddling (for which you might want to consult the relevant forum), including AEAE and ADAD - all of which are, of course, applicable to the mandolin as well.

    Approach your instrument with a healthy combination of innovation and tradition and you can't go wrong.

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    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (c3hammer @ April 13 2007, 02:16)
    I broke an E string and replaced it with an A string. No way it was going up to E without collapsing the top, so I left it in D and worked on some things like John Reischmans Ponies in the forest. That got boring after a bit, so I then messed with bring the G's up to A. That was really cool! I'm a dunce when it comes to playing anything by ear though.

    Are there any tunes in ADAD (instead of GDAE) tuning? How about some tab in that tuning? How about recorded music there?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Pete
    instead of ADAD, try (D)DAD. Drop that G all the way down.. that's common to several old time fiddle tunes..

    midnight on the water
    bonaparte's retreat
    whiskey before breakfast

    many more sound great there. Nice for imitating some of the bouzouki sound on the mandolin too in Irish tunes, such as

    Banish Misfortune
    I Buried my Wife and Danced on top of her

    etc. Sometimes I've dropped my mandolin or tenor guitar to this tuning in a session and we'll go for a couple hours. Most of the core tunes in an Irish jam will work on the pipes, hence having an octave and a half + a drone in D is a pretty good place to be on the mandolin
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    Registered User Ken Berner's Avatar
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    I use ADAD (open D) tuning on tenor banjo, which is very versatile for those with short fingers. Another good open tuning (G) is GDGD.
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    Thanks for the replies fellas!

    I've been super busy lately and sorting out tunes in different tunings is not the wisest use of my time right now

    whistler, I went with an A string guage (0.014") on the E course. It was way to much to get that guage to go up to E on the E course so I left it in D. A up to D on the A course would have been pretty crazy to try.

    Dan, I'll give that DDAD tuning a try. I know a couple of those tunes in regular GDAE tuning. That would be a good start for transposing for me as I'm a newbie at that kind of thing.

    Cheers,
    Pete

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    Quote Originally Posted by
    whistler, I went with an A string guage (0.014") on the E course.
    Yes, that's what I assumed you meant, Pete. But it wouldn't make any difference in terms of tension on the string or stresses on the instrument, whether it were in the E-position or the A-position.

    Anyway, enjoy your experiments with mutant tunings::

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    I use a variant of the tuning Dan mentioned: drop one of the G strings to D and raise the other to A. You end up with D/A DD AA DD and it gives a lovely 5th drone in the bass, making the mando sound huge.

    You can check out some of my arrangements in that tuning on the Mel Bay Mandolin Sessions website here:

    http://www.mandolinsessions.com/apr06/Lamento.html
    http://www.mandolinsessions.com/jun06/english.html
    http://www.mandolinsessions.com/aug06/Dobrudja.html
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    The GDGD will stress your neck and top much less than AEAE if you like that variant- it's a cool drone tuning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (jmcgann @ May 06 2007, 07:29)
    The GDGD will stress your neck and top much less than AEAE if you like that variant- it's a cool drone tuning.
    and GREAT for slide!
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    aka aldimandola Michael Wolf's Avatar
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    We have a Ayurveda Hospital here in my town and they have indian concerts regular.
    This week I saw Snehasish Mozumder accompanied by tablas.

    http://www.raga.info/indian-music/mu...-Mozumder.html

    It was a classical indian performance. He called it semi classical because he was actually playing a vocal style on the mandolin. And he also played kind of a "short version" of the pieces. They played two ragas in one and a half our, normally they are much longer.
    His tuning is ADAD and he actually played a octave mando, but he calls it mandolin. He told me, that he can do the glissandi much better on a longer neck and this is important since he can't bend the strings like a sitar.
    I find this an interesting use for ADAD tuning. You may be able to hear some samples of him on Amazon. He doesn't seem to have a website.

    Cheers
    Michael

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    I LOVE his playing. Have his CD "Mandolin Dreams". Highly recommended.

    It's interesting that he uses that tuning...

    "Mandolin Dreams" is hard to find but there are two used copies on Amazon now for about $10.



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    Smokin' hot mando and tabla with Snehasish Mozumder and Siar Hashimi:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwcSfcT3QVQ
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    Roger Tallroth of swedish folkmusic "supergroup" Vasen, uses ADAD as his "standardtuning" on 12-string guitar, tenorguitar, mandolin, mandola etc.

    Check the group for some high-speed string folkmusic, www.vasen.se. They've several cd's out and tours Europe and the US on a regular basis.

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    I talked with Roger the last time I saw Vasen, he tunes his 12 string ADADAD, the low A is a fourth below the low D in DADGAD. Fantastic band!

    Seth

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    Quote Originally Posted by (klezmusic @ June 01 2007, 16:33)
    I talked with Roger the last time I saw Vasen, he tunes his 12 string ADADAD, the low A is a fourth below the low D in DADGAD. Fantastic band!

    Seth
    You got that right, Seth!!
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    Beverly came home a few years ago with a $3 Northside sampler CD, the sticker said cheaper than food. Hah, not cheaper! We were hooked, Beverly bought a nyckelharpa and started learning it, I was transcribing tunes from Vasen and other CDs and playing them on bouzouki, I attended Swedish fiddle workshops to start to figure out the bowing, etc. There's no return

    Seth

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    aka aldimandola Michael Wolf's Avatar
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    Jonas,

    I didn't know that Roger plays tenor guitar. Is there any recording with him on tenor?

    I saw them years ago at Rudolstadt festival on a very big stage with a light show like a rock act. That was monumental and really impressive. And it was funny in the same time, because they have a very dry humor that I liked very much.

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    I don't know the recordings well enough to say off hand which have Roger on tenor, but in the recent concert they played in Camden NJ, he did play a tenor on stage when he was playing with a bigger festival ensemble. Not while the trio was playing alone, tho.
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    Their newest release Linnaeus Vasen lists Roger as playing a Martin tenor, as well as 6 and 12 string guitars. I'm not sure which tracks used the tenor, it's a great album.

    Seth

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    that new album is really nice, btw...
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    I use it on my OM sometimes, but I mostly stick with standard or GDAD.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    If you were to use a particular alternative tuning regularly, would it not make sense to assign one mandolin to that objective - i.e. tune one mandolin to that alternative tuning and keep it there, while your other mandolin(s) are tuned normally. I would think that it would be better for the instrument to keep it at one tuning all the time.

    Or perhaps I am trying to justify MAS.
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    aka aldimandola Michael Wolf's Avatar
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    I think it's not practical to change tuning all the time on a double stringed instrument indeed, especially during a gig or at the session. Also at home I found that I've got no lust to retune my mando or OM daily to practice in different tunings. But on the tenor guitar you can easily jump between tunings, even in between a set of tunes.
    I play mainly GDAE and GDGD, needing only one instrument.

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    This one has turned into a rather fun project for me. #I've never really worked on anything by ear before. #I always have to write things down to get them sorted out, so it was just like learning from tab or sheet music anyway.

    I keep going back to that ADAD tuning and can't seem to even think about regular bluegrass anymore. #The last few weeks I even came up with one of my first tunes. #It would be interesting to see what you folks think of it.

    I have no idea what key it's in or what type of music you'd call it, but let me know what you think.

    http://www.c3di.com/images/mando/ves...s/thebrick.mp3

    Thanks for all the links and suggestions. #It's been really fun to work on this stuff.

    Cheers,
    Pete

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