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Thread: Allman Brothers - Melissa

  1. #1
    Registered User John O'Brien's Avatar
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    Default Allman Brothers - Melissa

    Working on a new project with a new group of old friends. They're not exprecting me to show up with mando in hand and be able to play (only owned since early June!).

    We're going to work on "Melissa", the studio version from Eat A Peach, and I wanted to at least be able to strum a few mando chords as we go along. I can pick out notes by ear, but not so much with chording. Anyone familiar with the corresponding mando chords on this? I'm still working the two and three finger variety, hopefully I can string something together by next wednesday. Any thoughts?

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    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    They should be the same as the guitar chords.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    Yes, a chord is a chord, regardless of the instrument playing it. And since guitarists seem to love playing this song, for some unfathomable reason, I let them carry it and concentrate on the embellishment - the little licks Duane or Dickey throws in. I used to love playing this one in my old band, on the electric, as I figured out how to do that little slide lick at the end of the verses (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) by fretting below and bending the string up. This is harder to do on a double string acoustic, so ... never mind.

    Best thing to do is get the chords from a reliable online source (online guitar archive is my favorite) and play along with a youtube video. That's what I did - took a bunch of passes to get all those little licks but it was worth it. The crowd loved hearing this played pretty close to the record. I tried.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User spufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    Learned the great bassline about 35 years ago and still love playing this song with my brothers. The old Allman Bros. Anthology songbook is really good and accurate, if you can hunt one down. I have a well-worn copy from way back.
    Blow on, man.

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    Registered User John O'Brien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    Thanks all. I grabbed a copy of the corresponding chords. I just need something to pepper in here and there. There are two good guitarists involved, so, I just want to put some high registered tinsel on the tree. This will primarily be a writing and recording project, but we wanted to show up with something to work on that was somewhat common ground. Looks like I have roughly 9 chords to play around with.

  9. #6

    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    I love this tune, and I play it often in jams (on guitar). Though I have never played it on mandolin, I think some crosspicking would sound really lovely to play along with the strummed guitar part. (I read somewhere that it's Gregg Allman playing the strummed acoustic guitar part on the Eat A Peach recording.) If you are not familiar with crosspicking yet, I made a quick video of the opening chords and also tabbed it out using TEFpad. Be sure to pay attention to the pick direction when crosspicking. Look at the arrows below the TAB line in the first measure for the suggested stroke direction. Simply repeat that pattern for all measures. Enjoy!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koL28wlfhRg

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Melissa crosspicking.pdf 
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ID:	121800Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Melissa crosspicking.pdf 
Views:	245 
Size:	26.4 KB 
ID:	121800
    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

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    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    I like journeybear's idea of using the mandolin to parallel the lead guitar licks that embellish the vocal lines. My theory on why guitarists like the song - it has some great sounding chords that combine fretted and open notes up the neck, some lovely chord voicings that are not difficult to play. That's the charm.

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    Registered User wildpikr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    Mike

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    That crosspicking looks WAY too busy to me. I think it would conflict with the dreamy nature of the song. Granted, trying different ways to ride an old war horse can prove productive, but this seems a bit much. Maybe as an accent here and there, perhaps, but not throughout the song. IMO, of course, and YMMV. And TEHO.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

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  17. #10
    Registered User John O'Brien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    Well, the first rehearsal was partially cancelled. Two of the players had other commitments pop up at the last minute (one a child issue, the other a paying gig landed in his lap, can't begrudge that!), so three of us got together anyway.

    I've been singing with rock and metal bands since 1985, but this was the first time ever that I played a stringed instrument with other players. What an absolute thrill. These are friends that I've known for 30 years, they were suprised to see me show up with an instrument, and be able to speak notes and chords.

    We ran through Firefall's "Just Remember I Love You" twice in a slowed-countrified arrangement, then went through "Melissa" once. I ended up plinking a few notes here and there, concentrating more on the vocal. We only ran through "Melissa" once.

    During a water/tune break, I started playing a progression that I warm up with, and the other guys seemed to lock onto it, and within 30 minutes or so we completed a whole song out of it. I had scrawled out some lyrics the evening before, and they fit quite comfortably. Turned out nicely with a few nice changes in it, sounds sorta Jason Isbell/Avett Brothers. Can't wait until next week to iron it out and get some of the other players on it!

    Thanks all for your help and suggestions. I have a ton to learn, but the start of the journey so far has been pure joy. But Good Lord does my left pinky think it's being punished for laziness for these past 4 decades!

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    Default Re: Allman Brothers - Melissa

    I've been messing around with the Allman Brother's Ramblin' Man on mando, Fun tune.......

    G-F-C-G, G-C-D, C-G-Em-C, G-D-G,

    Little fills in certain spots are G-F-G, Cool tune on any musical tool!
    Live Full, Love Deep

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