[QUOTE=Ivan Kelsall;1049919]I listen to LOTS of Bluegrass every day. What i mostly hear in songs,is the Mandolin player 'chopping along' behind the other instruments along with the Guitarist.The Fiddle & Banjo are playing the 'tune' & improvising as they go.At a 'point in the proceedings',the Mandolin player will begin his own 'accompaniment' to the song & the Fiddle/Banjo will step back until the Mandolin player's done his part,then they'll step in again. For me,that's just a way of 'sharing the lead spot' & letting the Mandolin add it's own flavour to the song. Very often (watch lots of YouTube clips),you will see the Mandolin player 'improvising' on the melody (not chopping), during a song,adding another ingredient to the sound of the Fiddle & Banjo.Usually the Mandolin doesn't try to take over any more than the Fiddle or Banjo players would - it's a 'group sound'. For any player to try to 'hog it' & to overplay the 'solo' part is just bad musicianship & bad manners (IMHO). In a well rehearsed group,all this is sorted out during their practice sessions - pulling a 'surprise' on stage can lead to a 'crash & burn' situation - not good !,
Monroe used the chop generally when he didn't have strong rhythm players. He often played lines behind vocals. I'm not justifying ####### by any means, as stated above, we play back up most of the time and most of us do not put much thought into playing back up which is probably the the most important thing we do. My point is that good back up does not consist solely of the offbeat chop.
Your post is confusing on this, on the one hand you say "What i mostly hear in songs,is the Mandolin player 'chopping along' behind the other instruments" and then you say, "Very often (watch lots of YouTube clips),you will see the Mandolin player 'improvising' on the melody (not chopping), during a song."
By the way, why all the quotation marks? They are used to indicate irony in the context used here. Are you being sarcastic? I can't tell. We use the space bar after a period (.), too. The style used makes the post difficult to read and the meaning ambiguous to say the least.