What kind of music do you play on your Collings?

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Thought I'd try to get the conversations going again.

    What kind of music do you enjoy playing? What would you say your 'level' of playing is? Do you play in a band, or get together on any kind of basis, with others, to play? What are your musical goals?
  2. mandopete
    Most of what I play would be called Bluegrass, but with a tendandcy towards a more progressive interpretation of that genre. The only reason I mention it here is that I feel like the Collings MF-5 is perfectly suited for this type of sound. It's not as dry as a Gibson, which I really like for a "traditional" bluegrass sound.

    This is why seeing Jesse Cobb of the Stringdusters switch to Collings makes perfect sense to me (you can see a video elsewhere in the welcome message to this group). Kym Warner's (same video) style and sound make sense as well.

    I play in band called Stay Tuned. We rehearse on a somewhat frequent basis (more often than Haley's comet) and my goal is to become completely adequate.

  3. CelticDude
    Hello Barbara,

    Mostly I play traditional Irish and other "Celtic" music, something I started on tin whistle too many years ago. However, I really like the mandolin because I can play other stuff easily - Led Zeppelin, other rock, a little blues, even a little classical. (Try Black Dog on a whistle; not so effective.)

    I play in a band that does mostly contra dances, with the occasional wedding or private party thrown in. I've become somewhat dissatisfied with it, so I'm not sure how much longer I'll be in it.

    I've had the Collings less than a week, so I don't know whether I'll play some stuff on it, and other stuff on the Goldtone. We'll see. I don't want to totally neglect the Goldtone....

  4. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    DWP, I got my new Collings almost 2 months ago. I just about can't put it down! I'm in a band, and we get together twice a week for practice. In the band, I switch between my mando, my OM and my tenor banjo. But, as of late, I find myself saying... well, I USUALLY play that on my (OM or TB), but, I think I'll play it on the mando today! It gets better sounding EVERY DAY! I'm in LOVE! Barb
  5. CelticDude
    Barb, Yes, I've told myself the GoldTone should get played every other day, but there's always a reason to play the Collings. I even still like the Goldtone, but, well, it's not a Collings. And the whistle only gets played at gigs or rehearsals; the mandos are just too much fun.

    You guys practice twice a week?? One of my gripes is that we can't the entire band together once a week. I understand the reasons; my 2 fiddlers are professional-level musicians, one with a new baby, and one making her living as a musician. But it's still frustrating. - DWP
  6. MT_player
    Here's a sound sample of my band. I used my Collings MT for this recording
  7. mandopete
    Sounds great!
  8. MT_player
    Thanks mandopete, glad you liked it
  9. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    MT_Player, those were great! The Watson Blues was my fav! Is that an original tune? Where are ya'll located?
  10. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    CelticDude, I'm interested in hearing more about the contra dances. What tunes do ya'll play, what kind of other instruments are in the band? I've watched some contra dance you tube videos, but have never witnessed one in person! Where are ya'll located?
  11. Rick Schmidlin
    Rick Schmidlin
    I play every style I can Blues,Old Time,Jug Band,Rag Time,Blue Grass,Retro Rock,Celtic,English Italian,Samba's, My MF5 sound good on all.
  12. CelticDude
    Hello Barbara,

    I first started contra dancing back in 1978, in my hometown of Enfield, CT. Through the 80's and into the early 90's there was something of a contra dance revival in Connecticut and Western Mass. Great fun, for a non-athletic type like me, and social too.

    Contra dance music is pretty much just reels and jigs, of any style. There is a style called New England contra dance music, for example, though it undoubtedly draws from others. So at any given dance you will hear Irish and Scottish tunes, French Canadian, old time, and maybe something a little out there, like Klezmer reels.

    My band is called Celtic Knots, and we started playing together in 2003. At that time we were a guitar, whistle/flute (me), and 2 fiddles. Fiddlers have come and gone, although one of the original fiddlers is still with us, and we recently added a flute player. At one point we had 3 fiddlers! All have come from the local music school, HARTT, and have been just killer musicians. Kind of fun, in a humbling way, to play with people that much better than me.

    Of course, I have been shifting to mandolin as my repertoire on it increases.

    We play as many Irish tunes as I can get out of us, and we also play some of the genres listed above. We have made forays into such non-contra stuff as slip jigs, strathspeys, and tunes in 7/8 (mostly to torture the guitar player...).
  13. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I love those kinds of tunes. I recently got a great book, the New England Fiddler's Repertoire, filled with dance tunes. What would you say the desired tempo range is, for playing for dancers?
  14. MT_player
    Thanks Barbara, glad you liked our demo! The Watson Blues is a Bill Monroe tune that he wrote for Doc Watson. The opening guitar run was Doc Watson's contribution to the song.
    We're located on Long Island, NY. Thanks for listening!
  15. CelticDude

    For contra dancing, the tempo falls between 108 to 120bpm. 120 is actually a bit fast; I shoot for 112 when I practice, and figure most times a dance won't go faster than 116. But it can depend on the caller and the energy level of the dancers.

    The New England Fiddlers repertoire is a nice book. I got mine at least 20 years ago. IIRC the new edition has chords?
  16. tango_grass
    Bluegrass, Dawg, Finnish, Jazz, Choro, Swing, Swedish, Balkan(Greek, Bulgarian, Macedonian, etc).............

    Play my Collings in a BG group called The VZ Valley Boys, and play other instruments with many other groups.
  17. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Yes, the new edition of the New England Fiddlers has chords, plus the tunes are arranged alphabetically. My fellow bandmate has one of the earlier versions of the tune book.
  18. DougC
    I'm an Irish fiddler for 20 years. So I play irish tunes on the mandolin. Kind of weird, having a whole set of tunes for mandolin. I play them without knowing that I've ever played them on mandolin. My wife plays klezmer music on violin and has a band and I am playing some klezmer. The world of modal music is so much more interesting than 'grass (although I love bluegrass and was a flatpicker / singer for a number of years). I'd like to learn some jazz standards and Bach but I do one thing at a time - maybe two.
  19. Bill Auld
    Bill Auld
    Interesting, DougC ... I've played Irish fiddle for 35 years and so have a rather large number of tunes - very much the same as you. Curiously, though, I'm not trying to play Irish stuff - trying to do 'grass stuff! Played guitar (blues) for many years as well, so the mandolin is a real combination of things - playing tuned in 5ths and pickin'!
  20. Mike Bunting
    I play bluegrass primarily, but have done a fair bit of work with singer/songwriters and such.
  21. jessboo
    i like to play heavy metal on my mt
  22. mandopete
    Cool, you doing any GWAR?
  23. jessboo
    no just stuff from PLAGUED BY SAINTS. a couple of young guys i work with. it's a great outlet out side of the old time stuf played at the weekly jam.
  24. mandopete
    Oh my...I thought you were kidding

    I guess I shouldn't admit to playing funk on my mandolin. But hey, if it's good enough for Jim Richter, it's good enough for me.

    Rock on!
  25. jessboo
    ok i like to try to play the blues.
    funk i like good funk. i bet it sounds pretty good
  26. Russ Partain
    Russ Partain
    Well Bluegrass of course!
  27. Paul Lucas
    Paul Lucas
    My MT (SN 465) and the Wild Onion String Band play music that fits somewhere between Old Time Music and Bluegrass. More towards the OTM side of the spectrum then the BG side.

    We are playing two gigs this weekend in Chicago. The North Center Farmer's Market on Saturday and the Horsehoe Sunday evening.

    Check out Wild Onion String Band on MySpace -> http://www.myspace.com/wildonionstringband
    for more details.
  28. Steve Ostrander
    Steve Ostrander
    The lost Hitch Hikers (guitar & mando duo) play songs by the Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Neil Young, CSN, Buffett, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Paul Simon, Steve Earle, Jethro Tull, etc.
  29. dulcillini
    Barbara: I probably play Celtic and hymns the most. I am starting to get into some movie themes like "Fiddler on the Roof", etc. Also, since traveling recently to Italy, I am wanting to learn some Neapolitan songs.

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