View Full Version : Dumb Question (part 1?)

Mar-07-2005, 11:31am
I'm a very new mandolin player, but I've played guitar for years. Recently I started an Insurgent Country band and we've been playing for a few months now.. we were using the mandolin for an extra strumming instrument, just doing chops opposite of the standup bass, but since we've seen Split Lip Rayfield, we are wanting to do a lot more with the mandolin. I've bought some beginner books and am learning songs like Farewell To Whiskey and Golden Slippers.. but they aren't really helping me with the songs we are doing..

So my question is, when playing the mandolin in a full band (guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin) should I do little licks between each lyric, or between the verse and chorus? or is it more tradiontial that the mandolin player strums or does chops and then plays a solo now and again???

I can post an MP3 of something we are working on if that would help…

thanks a ton for any help I can get!


David M.
Mar-07-2005, 3:30pm
Keep hanging out here at the cafe and you'll learn lots.

Your answer: #you can do all those. #Depends on what sound you're going for. #I wouldn't overdo the breaks, tho'. #Chopping should be the foundation, especially if you don't have drums. #Strumming mando all the time sounds weak. Chop; stum a tad; breaks; fills around the vocals -- share fills w/your other players like the fiddler, etc. Share breaks w/the guitar and banjo after the chorus (before the next verse).

Oh, and listen to lots of stuff.

Mar-07-2005, 5:19pm
Thanks for the help! I appreciate the advice..

David M.
Mar-08-2005, 9:48am
Hey, Sub, maybe post this in the Bluegrass section. That sounds like where you're headin', not Rock. You'll get good takes on the real way to apply mandolin to a band. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Mar-08-2005, 5:33pm
yeah.. weird. The last band I was in was Punk / Surf, now I need to skip all the way to the Bluegrass section! maybe I just wanted to stick a toe in the rock mandolin water first!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Mar-12-2005, 11:12am
Welcome and feel free to experiment...that's where the cool stuff comes from...

Mar-30-2005, 2:38pm
Velly intellesting forum.

I'm a fairly new mando player (2 years) and most of my friends play Rock. We got together a couple of weeks ago for a jam. Played a fair amount of Stones (Country Honk, Tumblin' Dice) and even tried Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. I'd like to do some lesser-known Kinks (Village Green Preservation Society, Harry Rag, Dedicated Follower of Fashion) and such.

Heck maybe even some Reggae-mando. The Reggae beat seems to go well with a mando chop.

Mar-30-2005, 3:40pm
Just play guiar on the mandolin neck and tuning. As David Lindley says...it's all the same instrument.


Ken Sager
Mar-30-2005, 5:11pm
Yes, but where can you find a guiar these days?


But seriously, folks, the question that needs answering is when to insert breaks, lead-ins, riffs, etc. That depends entirely on the statement the band as a whole wants to make, and the overall musical conversation going on in the piece. A LOT of musicians add licks, riffs, fills, etc., where they only muddy what is otherwise a nice song. Be tasteful, and work with the band to arrange a nice balance with all instruments.

YMMV, good luck,

Mar-31-2005, 12:40pm
Play with it, record it, and see what sounds cool and what does not. Make a note of that and keep the stuff that works and toss out the stuff that dont.

Stepping outta the box and just going nutso sometimes is a great way to learn something new.