Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 32

Thread: The blues on mandolin?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    682

    Default The blues on mandolin?

    Recently, I went to a guitar center and bought a bunch of jaz picks and I find they're giving me lots more control over what I am doing. A friend also showed me a blues scale on guitar which I am playing on the mandolin. As far as the blues go, how are they played? Is it just improv and go with what feels good to you, or is there a method to the madness?

  2. The following members say thank you to TheBlindBard for this post:


  3. #2
    Registered User Galileo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beavercreek, Ohio
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Don't know how much theory you've had to this point but here's where you basicically dive in. A 12 bar format is the form you'll start with and this usually is a I-IV-V chord structure. Does any of this sound familiar? Just trying to get a feel for how much you have at this point.

    Robert

  4. The following members say thank you to Galileo for this post:


  5. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    682

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    I know generally how the notes go. I know how to construct the basic blues scale. I know the whole-steps and half-steps. I know that from E string, first fret is F, F#, G, G#, A, A#-BB, B, C, C#... and the same goes for the other strings, changing the notes depending on the string. That's about it.

  6. The following members say thank you to TheBlindBard for this post:


  7. #4
    Registered User Galileo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beavercreek, Ohio
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    You will get a lot of opinions on this, but with the blues scale you can cover the chord changes just fine. Listen to a bunch of blues on guitar and you'll see different ways this is handled: repeating motifs and phrasing, melodical/lyrical soloing, etc. Most blues mandolin you hear is generally centered around string band styling. That is not to say you can't approach the mando the same way a guiatrist might. The big difference is you can't bend mando stirings the way an electric guitarist can. You might check out some of the Steve James Homespun videos or Rich DelGrosso's educational material, both of those sources are very helpful. Heck, put on some of your favorite blues CDs, find the key, and just noodle with the blues scale in that key to start out.

    Just my two cents...YMMV

    Robert

  8. The following members say thank you to Galileo for this post:


  9. #5
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York and Washington DC area
    Posts
    16,024
    Blog Entries
    23

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBlindBard View Post
    Is it just improv and go with what feels good to you, or is there a method to the madness?
    If you listen to recordings and live music a lot and have some jam experience, you can develop a blues intuition. It looks like just doing what feels good, but in reality it is a developed intuition about where to go.

    You can learn the science of it too, and the combination of experience and knowledge is unbeatable.

    Its like everything else, you gotta know what you are doing. But you can get there through watching and listening, combined with instruction (formal or informal).

    Once you know what you are doing, you can just do what you feel. Because what you feel will be the right thing to do.
    As much as I post, I pick a whole lot more. Just sayin'
    We cannot put off living until we are ready. -- Jose Ortega Y Gasset

    The entire staff
    funny....

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JeffD For This Useful Post:


  11. #6
    Registered User pefjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    678

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    I second Rich DelGrosso and his book Mandolin Blues. Learn the pentatonic scales, those are the blues scales combined with slides and pull offs, hammers, etc.. Also listen to one of our own members
    I have the world in a jug, and the stopper in my hand.

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to pefjr For This Useful Post:


  13. #7
    Registered User pefjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    678

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    another good one
    I have the world in a jug, and the stopper in my hand.

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to pefjr For This Useful Post:


  15. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    682

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Ah, nice. Right now, I've just been playing blues scales, pentatonic ones. Making stuff up off of the top of my head that sounds bluesy. I rather enjoy it. allows me to get lost in the simplicity of making music, without worrying about hitting a bad note or something.

  16. #9
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Check out Jim Richter's Youtube channel. He'll show you.
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.
    Gibson custom ES-335 guitar.

    Visit my YouTube page
    Member, Long Island Mandolin Players social group

  17. #10
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Here's a lesson on Blues Shuffles he did.
    Eastman 605 and Kentucky 300e mandolins.
    Gibson custom ES-335 guitar.

    Visit my YouTube page
    Member, Long Island Mandolin Players social group

  18. #11
    Registered User Marc Woodward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Devon, England
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Hi, just picked up on this thread, and thanks to pefjr for posting my vid - hope it was helpful!
    There are various other videos on my YouTube page and if you have a look and want any tips just ask

    Meantime here's one to be going on with ( and I refer to this in the tuition video above):


    Cheers
    Marc
    http://www.youtube.com/marcowoodward


    Andy Manson 3 point F5;
    Gibson 1920 F2;
    Vega Guiseppe Pettine Special;
    Weber Abrasoka octave mandolin-
    and various others!

  19. The following members say thank you to Marc Woodward for this post:


  20. #12

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    There is a magic bullet for bluesy (as opposed to straight blues) based mandolin, and it involves "extracting" one pentatonic scale from another. To play a bluesy mandolin solo in E for instance, you play notes from the E minor pentatonic scale, the relative minor scale from within the G major pentatonic scale, but played from E to E. The scale is minor but is generally played over major changes. It is different from just playing twelve-bar blues scales.
    But Amsterdam was always good for grieving
    And London never fails to leave me blue
    Paris never was my kinda town
    So I walked around with the Ft. Worth Blues

  21. #13
    Registered User pefjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    678

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fretbear View Post
    There is a magic bullet for bluesy (as opposed to straight blues) based mandolin, and it involves "extracting" one pentatonic scale from another. To play a bluesy mandolin solo in E for instance, you play notes from the E minor pentatonic scale, the relative minor scale from within the G major pentatonic scale, but played from E to E. The scale is minor but is generally played over major changes. It is different from just playing twelve-bar blues scales.
    Run that by me again ....real slow... I have an idea of what you are talking about , but can't quite put it together, so if you would explain further, I would appreciate it.
    I have the world in a jug, and the stopper in my hand.

  22. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Magic bullet for bluesy. Funny I posted a question about this scale ages ago. I had a book on rock guitar way back when (an American book) and the blues scale they used throughout was exactly the same. I wondered where it was derived from. It was very easy to use on the guitar and sounded quite impressive with a lot of hammers on and off. It sounds less impressive on the mandolin. Easy in first position G, for instance, but more uncomfortable as you move up the neck. In fact what fingering can anyone recommend for blues in G in second and third positions, for example. I use just fingers one, two and three in second position and then have to add four in third position. Any thoughts on this?

  23. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    So you have the magic bullet Don Julin's blues scale and Marc Woodward's one and then you get the Andy Statman blue's scale, which, if I remember rights is: g, bflat,b,c, c sharp, f, e.

    Which one to choose, or mix all three!

  24. #16
    Registered User pefjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    678

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    What works for me now is the basic box pattern pentatonic. Sure you need that pinky when up the neck, but the same pattern. Then, add a slide, pull off, hammer, double note, doublestops, and a kitchen fry pan drum beat if it sounds good. You have basic blues scales and then along comes a Jimmy Reed, blowin a harp in his own scale and it sounds great with a guitar, and no one has duplicated "Big Boss Man" to this day. That one and a few more of his writings can't be copied, and neither can Jimmy Hendrix. They have their own blues. Andy Statman is also one of a kind, hard to copy, a mixture of bluegrass, blues, old Jewish Am sad notes, and popular 50's rock. His "Since I met you Baby" is a copy of a 50's hit done Andy's blues style.
    I have the world in a jug, and the stopper in my hand.

  25. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    682

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Could anybody tell me what it is for a minor blues scale, if there is one? how many half-steps and whole-steps it is for the pattern? I really like how you can take the general pattern and do it anywhere on the mandolin, it's nice.
    Thanks

  26. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    682

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Also: what do you mean by a box pattern? is that the basic pentatonic blues scale?
    Thanks for all of the help

  27. #19
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sarasota or Myakka - pick 'em
    Posts
    9,143
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by ald View Post
    So you have the magic bullet Don Julin's blues scale and Marc Woodward's one and then you get the Andy Statman blue's scale, which, if I remember rights is: g, bflat,b,c, c sharp, f, e.

    Which one to choose, or mix all three!
    It's beginning to look like there may be as many blues scales as there are players. That can't be, of course - statistics and probability prove otherwise. But I have my own, which I'll get to in a minute. First I have to say this is probably not remembered right. A blues scale has to include the V note, which in G is D. And that Bb, B, C, C# section is suspect. IMO, natch. YMMV.

    What I generally play is a modified pentatonic scale, with a couple of flatted tones thrown in. These are sometimes called the blue notes. The minor scale in G is G A B D E G - five notes, hence the name. (The IV and VII tones (C and F#) are omitted from the standard scale to produce this.) To these I add Bb and F, for G Bb B D E F G. (Note: Though C should be there, I don't usually play it, except of course when the song goes to the IV chord. Also, A gets passed over most of the time, in favor of Bb, at the IIIm spot - except, again, during the IV chord, of which it is the V tone.) This is what these look like on the strings:

    Pentatonic:

    o--x-x-x
    o-x--x-x
    o-x--x-x
    o-x-x--x

    My scale:

    ox-x--xx
    0xx--x-x
    o-xx-x-x
    o--xx--x

    Note: o = open string ; 0 = unplayed open string

    You see what a box pattern looks like there. These patterns repeatr up and down the neck and exist in all keys. I'm using G because there are open strings, and G is a pretty commone key for the mandolin. Not the blues, so much - that would be E and A - but for the mandolin. Once you get familiar with this you can transpose this to other keys. My favorite key for blues is probably A. You get that low G to A hammer-on, among other things.

    My standard blues run goes something like: G BbB D E | G FE D BbB | G where separate notes are quarter notes and the notes pushed together are two eighth notes - sort of. Since a lot of blues tunes are in 6/8 or 12/8 shuffle rhythms, these are played to correspond with that; I'm just trying to figure out some way to indicate longer and shorter notes.

    Hmmm. This got a lot more involved than I had intended. I know it looks like a lot, but once you get the hang of it it'll be pretty easy. There's a lot to learn, but the best approach is bit by bit. The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step, the 15 minute solo begins with a single note, all that. Well, rinse and repeat, and repeat, take two whatevers, and call the Rock 'n" Roll Doctor in the morning, in a couple of weeks. Um, better make that in the afternoon.
    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

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  28. #20
    Registered User pefjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    678

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBlindBard View Post
    Also: what do you mean by a box pattern? is that the basic pentatonic blues scale?
    Thanks for all of the help
    No, a box pattern is a movable full scale, a pentatonic scale is only 5 notes and a pentatonic blues scale is ....uh undefinable,.... unless you have the recipe. It could be the basic 5 pentatonic scale of 12356 , or it could be 6, or 7 notes by adding notes with slides, hammers, pull offs, chords, tremolos, double stops, etc. It's a creation of your very own style. Watch Marc's video in post #6 again and again until it sinks in. Google: movable mandolin box scale patterns.
    Last edited by pefjr; May-21-2013 at 12:58pm.
    I have the world in a jug, and the stopper in my hand.

  29. #21
    mandolin's Lord Voldemort mandocrucian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,572

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?


  30. The following members say thank you to mandocrucian for this post:


  31. #22
    wannabe mandolin wizzard bluesmandolinman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post
    the money is well spend on this one and is has all you ever need to know
    Carl Martin - Everyday I have the Blues

    My gear : 1927 A0/Ajr , JM-11 , Fender 346 white XH

    www.bluesmandolin.de

  32. The following members say thank you to bluesmandolinman for this post:


  33. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    682

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    I still am not entirely sure what you are talking about-- could you possably try describing how you do a box pattern or is there a "pattern" to it like with the basic blues scale you could describe, possably?

  34. #24
    Registered User JimRichter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Posts
    1,729
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    box patterns have a basic predictable pattern that allows for intuitive playing and easy transposition. my tablature page has some free charts for you. Additionally my e book discusses them at length and my recordings use them extensively.

    http://www.jimrichter.com/?page_id=15

  35. #25
    Registered User "Umm, fish?"'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: The blues on mandolin?

    I like to think of the blues in terms of playing with tensions/resolutions of half steps. Play around with ii-biii-iii, iv-bv-v, vi-bvii-vii-i, and even ii-bii-i transitions. Especially the iv-bv-v. That's a very bluesy sound.

    But it always seems like a very playful music. Always trying to make tons of dissonance and then come out of it (or not). So be playful. Don't let the dissonance scare you away.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Andy

    "Not to know the mandolin is to argue oneself unknown...." --Clara Lanza, 1886

  36. The following members say thank you to "Umm, fish?" for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •