• The BIG BOOK of Mandocello Chords, by Harvey Reid

    The BIG BOOK of Mandocello Chords by Harvey ReidYork, Maine — Mandocello players finally get their due with the publication of The BIG BOOK of Mandocello Chords, a compilation of over 2,000 chords compiled by noted musician, educator and author Harvey Reid.

    The BIG BOOK is 128 pages of mandocello chords from Woodpecker Media, Reid's music publishing company, and a continuation of a series of chord books that includes banjo, guitar and ukulele resources.

    Appropriate use for any instrument in C-G-D-A tuning (mandocello, mandola, tenor guitar or tenor banjo).

    From the author

    • Most chords have 4 string pairs sounding.
    • Open and closed-position chord types are both included.
    • The complete fingerboard, with note names & scale positions shown for every note of every chord
    • Exciting new partial capos ideas are included, with a dozen ingenious and never-before-published ideas of how to get new resonances and chord voicings without leaving standard tuning.

    Additional information

    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Explorer's Avatar
      Explorer -
      Just as a observation: the number of chords ("over 2000!") enumerated includes chords formed through the use of partial capos at different positions on the neck. If you don't make use of such devices, the number of chords available to you is appreciably less.
    1. Charlieshafer's Avatar
      Charlieshafer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
      Just as a observation: the number of chords ("over 2000!") enumerated includes chords formed through the use of partial capos at different positions on the neck. If you don't make use of such devices, the number of chords available to you is appreciably less.
      Sure, but that's the way it is with all instruments tuned in fifths. The movable chord shape up and down the neck and across the strings makes it a great way to get all sorts of different chords with minimal work. It may be lazy, but they are different chords regardless of the hand position. I kinda doubt anyone will be using 2000 distinct chords anyway, especially in one tune. Although one session we were playing in hot and humid weather caused the instruments to change tuning so fast we gave up retuning. We sort of gave up on the concept of 12 distinct tones, and went with the just-then-invented "infini-tone" system, which didn;t rely on pretty much anything. I think we played 2000 chords that day, if only by accident. We changed the name of the band to the Randomtones.
    1. Explorer's Avatar
      Explorer -
      You seem to be making the case that many chord books include massive sections on chords utilizing capos which cover only two or three strings. You would be wrong in such an assertion.

      Other than the chord books from Reid, who also sells partial capos, I've never seen such an emphasis outside of books which teach using, say, an E sus capo to make it easy for someone to play guitar without really needing to learn how to play. That kind of system is touted a lot, but marketed as a "play without much work!" kind of thing.

      It seems you're confabulating chords using open strings with chords which require an additional mechanical capo to fret two strings.

      "Place the two-course capo across the two bottom strings. Now your open strum pitches are DADA. Here's the chords you can build on having that partial capo in place."

      I'm not saying that some folks don't benefit from going that route. I'm just noting that fact about this book, so that people can make an informed choice about their money.
    1. Charlieshafer's Avatar
      Charlieshafer -
      I know what you're saying, but I don't use a capo on either my mandocello or cello, and use barred chords frequently when moving chord shapes rapidly. It's a perfectly acceptable tool. In the case of the mandocello or cello, the large reaches almost force you to use simple shapes.

      In either case, all I'm saying is that movable chord shapes are an integral part of playing any instrument tuned in fifths, from violin/mandolin up to cello/mandocello. It's part of the nature of the beast. Most people are only going to be using 30-40 chords over the course of the year, and I'm thinking most really won't care if it said 2000 chords or 500 chords.

      It might be a different way of shaping chords, but hey, it it offers a way to play the chords that one may not have thought of, it's still useful.
    1. Explorer's Avatar
      Explorer -
      Again, movable chord forms, including chords with either a finger barre or a capo, are different from chords using a two-string partial capo at, say, the second fret and then fretted five or more frets higher.

      You've twice defended partial capos as being movable chord forms. Do you actually think they are the same thing?

      I understand thinking that one could study partial capo use and derive usable chord forms from the ones which aren't too spaced vertically. However, in a book of mandocello chords which makes the case that it is authoritative, those derivable chord forms should *already be included*.

      And if the derived chord forms are impractical on mandocello, and rejected as forms without the partial capo because the author claims that he only included forms which are practical, then that undermines further the idea that they are helpful for non-capo use.

      Her's some examples.


      I was going to link to the Amazon page sample which showed the use of the partial capo, in order to demonstrate how the partial capo use is not like a moveable chord form with the fingers... but someone deleted that image from the Amazon page.

      Harvey Reid's own website states that the Amazon page has inside images, and that was true until recently. That's where I initially got my information, directly from the book.

      I don't know if someone other than the originator can delete those sample pages, but it's curious that they are gone.
    1. Robert B's Avatar
      Robert B -
      It seems like it would be a really useful reference.
    1. Explorer's Avatar
      Explorer -
      I agree that getting more usable options right out of the box is good.

      Requiring someone buy an additional tool, which the author happens to sell and promote on his website, isn't quite the same as "out of the box" in my view. Maybe it's the same in the view of others, but that still requires a redefinition of "out of the box."

      Quite a few years ago, I was looking for a learning course to take me to the next level. I was not a beginner in any way, but had been playing in a few styles. I had no interest in bluegrass, and never have played in that style (no offense intended, it just isn't on my radar in any form), so I instead bought the Andy Statman "Jazz Mandolin" course from Homespun.

      And the very first recording stated, "Now i'm going to show you how to take the skills you learned from my Bluegrass Mandolin course and how to apply them to jazz."

      The packaging and Homespun catalog description had no mention of it being a continuation of a different course, and Homespun stated in a phone call that it was meant to be a standalone course. They suggested I learn bluegrass in order to get to jazz. *laugh* that was when I instead harnessed the awesome power of my Marantz half-speed cassette deck and learned from actual jazzers.

      Anyway, ever since then, I try to alert people to when an instructional course or other musical tool is not what it is advanced to be. I can't imagine anyone objecting to true information.
    1. Charlieshafer's Avatar
      Charlieshafer -
      You seem to be equating the use of a partial capo with actually using your index finger to form the barred chord. As I said, I don't use a capo, I use my fingers, ergo there's no need to purchase anything extra from anyone, and the chord shapes are perfectly legitimate. There's nothing here that elevates this into the realm of shady advertising. You want to use a capo, fine. You don't, fine. If you can form the chords without the use of a capo, great, don't get one.

      Frankly, the presenting of the partial capo is probably useful for those with small hands, who otherwise wouldn't be able to take advantage of the instrument.