View Full Version : Slide Mando

May-13-2004, 12:49pm
Hi there

Ira , Duuuude , Ted ?

Look at the photo ;-)

Killer Blues mandolin ... !

Cheers, Renéhttp://de.geocities.com/bluesmandolinman/mandocafe.jpg

May-13-2004, 1:08pm
if photo don´t show up please copy the following link and paste it in your browser ( worth the efford)


I really hate this kind of problem when uploading a photo. It seems to work easy but sometimes it works sometimes it doesn´t aarrggghhh

Sorry http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Michael Wolf
May-13-2004, 1:36pm
Hi Rene,
nice to see you, if the person on the photo is you. Very nice mando. I'm a reso fan, too. I play a reso-tenor.
Would you please tell me something about the slides you are playing? Seems like an interesting idea. Never seen this before.

All the Best

May-13-2004, 2:34pm
Wow, that is so cool, what a great lookin' reso! And yeah, what kinda slides are those, look kinda like the slip-around ones you can get that leave your fingers free? Please tell us more!

May-13-2004, 6:39pm
ditto, ditto, ditto- i dig the look of that mando, and those sure do look different from my glass tube slide. tell us more!!!!!!

(aka...wish i had a resonator!):blues:

May-13-2004, 7:06pm
Do you tune that thing standard, or do you use an open tuning?

May-13-2004, 8:37pm
good question, i was wondering that myself, as i've heard that most folks who do mando with slide (sam b.) use an oepn tuning.

Michael Wolf
May-14-2004, 1:30am
I wonder, if these are realy slides, or if Rene is only playing that much, so he's got blisters on his fingers. But I hope these are slides.

I also wondered baout the tuning and if a two-peace-slide enables one to play in fifths. This would be a great advantage, when you want to switch from normal mando playing to slide.

What scale length do the mando have? It looks relative long to me on the photo.


May-14-2004, 2:41am
Glad you like the photo ;-)

To answer your question what slides these are I will try to post another picture !

But I am surprised that you don´t know the guy on the photo because that is the MANDOCRUCIAN Niles Hokkanen !!!

Yes the scale length is longer than "normal" mandolin but I don´t have my Reso on hand to messure it. Regarding the tuning Niles uses on his Reso I am not sure but i think it is standard tuning. Niles is a Monster Mando Player ( all styles) and get´s the best results out of standard tuning ( but as i said I am not sure ).

I myself only play ocasionally with "open tuning" GDGD on my 40´s National Style 0 Mandolin. Really prefer standard tuning and fretting instead of slide. If i could play as good as Niles maybe I would play more often...but you know : It´s a long way to the top.

Hope the new photo shows up too !

Enjoy !


May-14-2004, 2:58am
here the link if photo doesn´t show up ggrrrrr:angry:


(copy and paste in your browser)

May-14-2004, 3:03am
Lug nut covers?

Michael Wolf
May-14-2004, 4:33am
Oh ha, Niles Hokkanen? I only know him from articles, but have no recordings from him. It's a shame, I know. Still have to explore the mando world.

I can imagine, that with two slides you can play some chords and stay in standard tuning. Will try this. Thanks for the idea, Rene.

May-14-2004, 9:31am
Niles is a Monster Mando Player

Amen Brother!!!


May-14-2004, 11:17am
Niles is taking "cool" to a whole new level, thanks for the pic! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif

May-14-2004, 12:04pm
Yes Jacob ... Lug nut covers !!
Only Niles is able to explore what is behind the wall !

And believe me it sounded terrific when he played some Blues for me. That was in 2001 when I visited him at his home in Virginia for some personal mando instruction. No Book/CD can ever reach privat instructions !!!

The main advantage of a 2 slide is that you can play double stops. Double stops = To my experience one of the best tools you have on a mandolin. Dig in that double stop - attack the strings really hard - and bend them up... make your mandolin screaming the Blues.... Lord have mercy.

Thanks Niles for showing me new paths


May-14-2004, 1:04pm
just broke out the mando to do some digging and bending of the double stops- woohoo! thanks rene

also noticed in the pic above that niles has lugnut covers on 1st and 3rd rather than 1st and 2nd fingers? rationale?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif?

also, any specific type of lugnut cover? make, model, material???

May-14-2004, 1:50pm
the second finger is free for fretting...

and many double stops are played with the first and 3rd finger and not with first and second for example the following double stop in G :

1.finger e-string first fret
3.finger a-string fifth fret

don´t know anything about the material of the nuts but should be heavy stuff...

by the way if i am talking about string bending that means of course fretting ( not sliding ) ...just to avoid misunderstanding of my poor english.

May-14-2004, 3:01pm
"... Dig in that double stop - attack the strings really hard - and bend them up... make your mandolin screaming the Blues.... Lord have mercy."

This reminds me of one time when I was having fits working out some riffs and just plain ATTACKED the whole thing in a fit of frustration, turned out that's exactly what was missing, attack! And here I was afraid of being too rough with my little mando when it wanted to play rough all along, I'm not so gentle anymore, and it likes it.

Now to dig around in the garage & find me some lug nuts.

May-14-2004, 4:43pm
Glad you guys find my approach to slide interesting.

I came up with the Two Slide Solution ten years or so ago. (Maybe it was even longer). This is a result of thinking function. The question was not "How much can I get out with the (conventional) slide)?", but rather, "What is it that I'd want to do, utilizing a slide type technique?" The first question concerned itself with mechanics, while the second is about overall sound without preconceptions of how it was to be done.

Even in an open tuning (GDGD) your doublestops are 5ths and 4ths. #You've got the 5ths in standard tuning anyway. Unless there's 3rds in the tuning, there's going to be a lot of jumping around with the slide, unlike on (open tuned) guitar where you are only 1 or 2 frets away, in either direction, from the note you want. If you want to do that sort of Bob Brozeman 30's Hawaiian/swing stuff, it doesn't matter cause lots of fast single string lines moving up and down the neck with the slide gives you that sound.

On single strings, slanting the slide of bar is standard technique, but if you do it on an 8 string mando, the slant is going to put the pair slightly out of tune, which is why Bush uses only 4 strings.

Conventional slides also keep you from using open adjacent (higher) strings while playing a note with the slide. #Because I can use the rounded tip to play notes, I don't block adjacent strings. #It's like using a steel guitar "bullet" to play on just one string. #So I can do dobro licks and such. #I can also split strings with the slide.

As far as barring, in standard tuning, it's pretty much perfect 5ths, so the slide doesn't need to be long. If it can cover 2 courses, that's as much as you need. #So, the question still remains: How can I get all those other intervals with a slide, whether it is blues guitar, or country lap steel vocabulary? Alternate tunings? That gives you a little bit more. #But that's still thinking inside the box.

But TWO SLIDES ....... I can play a whole variety of doublestops including the 4ths and the major and minor 3rds. And when 5ths are included, triplestops with the slide(s). And because I'm not having to slant the bar/slide, I avoid throwing the courses out of tune.

Plus because I have two slides, there is an alternative to the stacatto, lots of shifting one slide, approach. With two slides, I can transition in the 2nd slide fairly seamlessly (sonically), between notes or runs. Hence "Vigilante Man" ala Ry Cooder type stuff is now on the menu.

Incidentally, the bottom half of the slides are cylindrical for playing on two strings. Keeping the hex edges on the top half, rather than grinding them down as well, was just to retain that little extra bit of weight/mass. It the slides are too lightweight, it's hard to get anything out of them. #The inside threads were drilled out and the holes enlarged so they can fit over the fingertips.

My National is still tuned in 5ths, but low, either down to E (E-B-F#-C#) or to Eb (Eb-Bb-F-C). #With regular mando strings, this is where it just sounds the best, something I discovered accidentally when messing with it after it had sat 6 months unplayed in the closet.

I was doing something like "Vigilante Man" and the instrument sounded better than it ever had before. Very Ry Cooder (guitar) sound. When my wife picked up an instrument to play along, it became obvious that I wasn't in G anymore. #Over the months it dropped down to somewhere around E or Eb, where the whole instrument came alive. #So, instruments may have their own "voice" and vocal register. And if there's where the instrument sounds best, that's what it should be tuned to. (more function thinking)

Niles H

<span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>&copy;2004 Niles Hokkanen</span>

May-15-2004, 8:25am
Thanks for the inside scoop Niles, innovative thinking like that is what breeds progress, IMWO. Nice to have folks like you taking things to a new level & then sharing with us all. Would still like to see you make it out west sometime for a festival or two.

May-15-2004, 10:12am
niles- same goes for up here in new england, though i wouldn't know if i should go to rythm camp, blues camp or rock camp 1st.

would the lug nut covers still be functional if someone couldn't modify them ( i am lousy with that sort of stuff)?

May-16-2004, 12:50pm
Yeah Niles

I just tried the E (E-B-F#-C#) tuning on my National. The action on this mando is a little on the high side so the less string tension is perfect for easier fretting !

And sounds BOMBASTIC Bluuuesy!

Thanks, René

Oppsss dropped the lug nut ;-)

May-16-2004, 9:13pm
you better pick it up before i do rene!

so, do you actually use the lug nut covers? if so, have you modified them?

May-17-2004, 12:51pm
actually use them...? well some noodling around but not serious . But anyways it´s kind of mind opening.

modifying? see above what Niles explained ...

May-24-2004, 11:36am
goin lug nut cover hunting today. i'll let you know what i find.