View Full Version : duets for mandolins

Jan-27-2004, 6:02pm
Greetings one and all!

A mando-playing friend and I were tossing around the idea of trying to plays some duets, but don't have any music for them. Does anyone have any ideas along this vein? I am an almost-intermediate player (!) and he is better than I...either standard notation or tab would be fine. He heard a great duet version of Whiskey Before Breakfast once which is part of the inspiration. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated....thanks in advance!

Jan-27-2004, 6:06pm
There have to be millions of violin duets out there. Learn a couple of those and it might inform your ear enough to be able to creat duets from your favorite fiddle tunes.

Jan-27-2004, 6:23pm
MC member MIkeB recently posted a nice new tab of Muddy Creek with melody and harmony. #It can be found in the "Tab" section.

Jan-27-2004, 7:03pm
I have a book/2-cd instructional set out called Twin Mandolin Method which shows you how to create your own twin (or triple) arrangements using various types of harmonies, countermelodies and the like. Details of the book contents can be found at my catalog (http://www.btinternet.com/~john.baldry/mando/hokkanen.html). Also available through Elderly (http://www.elderly.com/books/items/46-18.htm).

Niles Hokkanen

Jan-27-2004, 7:56pm
On Chris Thile's Leading Off cd, there's a mando duet that he and Sean Watkins wrote called For All It's Worth. Very fun to play. Also in the Mandolin 2000 book, there are a couple duets (Minuet #4 and Kathy's Waltz) by Dix Bruce.

Jan-27-2004, 8:19pm
Bach Flute Duets are awesome and fun to play.


Jan-27-2004, 10:32pm
I don't know what skill level you are after, but Jay Buckey has a duet arrangement for "Ashokan Farewell" on his site...under Free Stuff...Tablature... http://www.jaybuckey.com


Martin Jonas
Jan-28-2004, 8:52am
Simon Mayor has four (I think) mandolin duets among the pieces in "The Mandolin Tutor", three of them are English country dances (Nonsuch, The Phoenix, Shepherd's Hey), the fourth is from Handel's Water Music. Nice to play.

Another good one is Westphalia Waltz. It's played as a duet by Bobby Osbourne and Jesse McReynolds on the Bluegrass Mandolin Extravanganza CD. Nigel Gatherer put a transcription here (http://users.argonet.co.uk/users/gatherer/tunes/tab/tab1/west1.html), which is intended for one mandolin with a lot of double stops. It works great as a duet with one of you taking the top note of each double stop (the melody line) and the other one taking the bottom note (the harmony).


Jan-28-2004, 10:54am
Definitely consider Niles' #Twin Mandolin Method. #It's what got me started writing harmony parts. #(Do not blame Niles for any of those duets in the Tab section here. #I take full responsibility. #Some are not bad, actually. Give them a try.)

I just ordered two books from Elderly full of duets. #Look in their books section.

Mike Buesseler

Jan-28-2004, 11:04am
The Mutopia Project (http://www.mutopiaproject.org/collections/gimo/) is a marvelous source of downloadable 18th c. duos written specifically for mandolin. Most they list are pretty easy. Be mindful of occasional typos.

Jan-28-2004, 3:35pm
"St Anne's Reel" and "Whiskey Before Breakfast" sound great played together as a sort of medley on twin mandolins. #In addition, Norman and Nancy Blake play a Norman composition called "Headlight Reel" that's just wonderful. #The song is on Norman's "Far Away, Down on a Georgia Farm" CD, although I don't know if it was recorded with Nancy or not.

Don Smith

Jan-28-2004, 3:38pm
Katje, any of the twin fiddle numbers recorded over the years by Kenny Baker, Joe Green, Byron Berline, Richard Green, while they were a Bluegrass Boy with Monroe can be played by 2 mandolin players. And they sound real good also, some of them better than the fiddles.

Jan-30-2004, 1:42pm
Looks like we've got years and years of things to practice! Thanks for everyone's suggestions...

Jan-30-2004, 1:58pm
Duets for mandolin you say. I have many duets. Including a double mandolin concerto by Antonio Vivaldi. He wrote seveal of these, I have the one in G call Maggorie Del Sol. It's a fantastic peice. Most people have heard them, they just didn't know it was mandolin or what it is called. This is a true mandolin duet.

Good luck in finding my music

Jan-30-2004, 2:12pm
In addition, Norman and Nancy Blake play a Norman composition called "Headlight Reel" that's just wonderful. The song is on Norman's "Far Away, Down on a Georgia Farm" CD, although I don't know if it was recorded with Nancy or not.

Don't think Nancy is on that album. Not to be a smart a$$, but Headlight Reel is a traditional Canadian tune.

Dan Adams
Jan-30-2004, 7:46pm
One thing that made our band unique was the twin mandolin tunes. We were a cross of bluegrass, old timey, and celtic, but no fiddle or banjo. The answer? Twin mandolins. About 1/4 of our fiddle tunes were done with twin mandolins. Different versions, and A model versus and F model. Sharp cutting tone of the F, and the more mellow rounded sound of the oval hole A model. Interesting contrast. We still need to find a fiddle player though!