View Full Version : 5-string chords

Apr-26-2005, 11:31pm
Hey y'all,

Looking at a 5-string electric and wondering if there is a book/website ect to help with chording on a 5-string. I play on a regular acoustic mando and my mandobird has only 4 strings. I worry about changing back and forth (I play dobro as well as electric guitar)..any insight...references?
I might pull the trigger soon after hearing "Back to Back"

Apr-27-2005, 12:51am
old can-o-worms,; combine: jazz tenor banjo/mandola cgda,and mandolin gdae.
= cgdae
more stuff in past, see archived threads.

Theres a link for a chord grid generator on the cafe home page.

Apr-27-2005, 8:52am
Thanks...sounds like a lot of work...but I appreciate the response...

Jim Garber
Apr-27-2005, 9:01am
I recall asking Tiny Moore how he did it. Basically used the upper strings and sometimes the lower C for melody but used the lower four for chordal backup/comping.

Bear in mind also, that jazz guitar players rarely if ever use all six for comping. I think the same apllies here.


Apr-27-2005, 11:39am
Jim, Good point. You met Tiny Moore? Man that is awesome!!!

Jim Garber
Apr-27-2005, 11:54am
Tiny was a regular staff member of Fiddle and Dance Western Week for both years i was there. An amazing musician, great teacher and a nice guy. OI ordered my Roberts 5 string thru him.

I couont myself very lucky to also participate in a one time only workshop in WV with Jethro Burns, my other jazz mandolin hero.


Apr-27-2005, 12:02pm
WoW!!!! What's the deal with the Roberts mando? Sorry, if that seems like a stoopid question, but I'm sorta new to the electric mando thing...

Jim Garber
Apr-27-2005, 12:10pm
Roberts made the Tiny Moore model 5 string based on Tiny's Bigsby one. Here is a picture from emando.com. (I could not link to the actual page.


Jay Roberts
Offered two models. The "Tiny Moore" was a copy of Tiny's original Bigsby—a 5-string electric with two pickups and an odd-looking "Mickey Mouse ear" scroll. It was also available as a left-handed model. The "Tiny Moore Jazz 5" had one pickup and eliminated the scroll. Tiny played, endorsed, and sold these in his later years. The gadget on the side of the mandolin, below the scroll, is a bracket for attaching a saxophone strap—Tiny's preferred method of holding the instrument. Jay made these instruments in Yuba City, California. Don't know whether he is still active (or alive, for that matter).


Apr-27-2005, 4:41pm
What a sweet looking axe....

Jim Garber
Apr-27-2005, 5:03pm
I opted for the same one but with a black finish. It sounded pretty good esp when Tiny played it.


Apr-27-2005, 7:57pm
Gee imagine it sounding good when Tiny played it...tee hee. Any pix of your axe? And how do you use it?

Apr-27-2005, 7:58pm
how do you use it? DOH! What genre of music do you play? Jazz?

Jim Garber
Apr-27-2005, 8:22pm
I used to play more swing in the old days but these days mostly concentrating on classical and Italian and more playing the acoustics. I am sad to say that the electrics I have are just sitting in their cases.


Apr-27-2005, 8:53pm
Jim, that instrument has a flat fingerboard, or, some arch?

Jim Garber
Apr-27-2005, 9:10pm
Flat fretboard.


Brad Weiss
Jul-12-2005, 10:06pm
So Tiny played on the CGDA strings (i.e, like a mandola) for chords, and like a mandolin for melody? Cool. Complicated, but cool--

Totally separate (sort of) question- does your basic Schwab have a radiused board?

Sorry for the 2-parter...

Joel Glassman
Jul-15-2005, 10:13pm
I spent some time with Tiny in the 1980s--
He didn't really play straight rhythm on the mandolin,
just an occasional 2 string 3rd/7ths line.