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Thread: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

  1. #1

    Default Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    I have seen endless threads of fantastic information on this forum about mandolins, but seemingly little about choro music. Hopefully I can share some of my passion for choro and enthuse some mandolin players to branch out into it a little!

    The bandolim is often used to play choro music in Brazil. It has 4 or 5 courses, and is similar in appearance to an A-style mandolin. The main differences seem to be a flatter fingerboard, and a wider lower bout (typically 30cm). You can read a lot more about the history of choro elsewhere, but for me the style I prefer is with an all-strings and percussion arrangement of Jacob do Bandolim. His ensemble consisted of 2-3 violoes (nylon strung six or seven string guitars), a cavaquinho (a steel strung ukulele for rhythm playing) and pandeiro (a single head hand held drum with jingles). The small number of players gives lots of opportunity for melodic, harmonic and rhythmic invention, which gives the style its fascination. In Jacob’s music, the bandolim has the exclusive lead role, playing the written melody and improvising. The harmony and form is typically simple, but the melodies can be extremely chromatic and taxing for the soloist.

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    Brazilian bandolistas
    Jacob do Bandolim
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    Ronaldo do Bandolim
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    Hamilton de Holanda
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    Danilo Brito
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    Dudu Maia
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    Luis Barcellos
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    Deo Rian
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    I'm going to hopefully write a bunch more:
    - sources for written music
    - famous composers
    - modern choro interpreters
    - recorded backing tracks
    - some basic harmonic analysis

    Let's get things started with a few videos of choro being played in the traditional style of a soloist with a 'regional' accompanying group.




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  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
    I have seen endless threads of fantastic information on this forum about mandolins, but seemingly little about choro music.
    Yes, seemingly little... In actuality quite a bit. Try searching for the term "choro" or any of the artists you mention. Of course, it is nice to put it all in one thread but there is a vibrant interest in choro here. And we always appreciate new discoveries for videos and players.

    Here are a couple of threads with sources for written music:
    Choro Instructional Material: Recommendations
    Choro Sources
    Jim

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    Registered User Amy Burcham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Andy - yes you will find a LOT of choro love and opining here! Also if you are looking for a real-world choro watering hole - check out the Mandolin Symposium. Previous year choro faculty has included Hamilton, Danilo, Dudu, Almir Cortes, and Choro das 3 - don't know yet which Brazilian bandolinista will come to teach along with Tim Connell in late June this year, but you can bet it will be wonderful. Centrum, up in Port Townshend also has a great choro workshop in April.
    *mandolin mind, beginner mind*

  5. #4

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Yes, seemingly little... In actuality quite a bit.
    Hi Jim, I didn't mean to imply there was no information on this board about choro, sorry! I've discovered lots through reading threads on here, and it's an invaluable resource for book and album reviews etc. In hindsight, discussion would have been a better choice of word!

    Amy - I live in the UK so the chances of my visiting for Centrum are small! I usually get across for Brazil Camp and had the fortune to study with Rogerio Souza and Alessandro Penezzi this year. Maybe some day in the future.

    Don't know if you are aware but Dudu has a regular Youtube slot called Casa do Som where he invites guests to play on a track with him. Fabio Peron has the same arrangement as well (Fabio Peron convida). They are both worth checking out, although they do veer away from choro frequently. It's a great opportunity to check out close ups for technique.

    Dudu Maia - Casa do Som
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKL...GFSW-_W5PrpxOw


    A beautiful version of Vibracoes at 20min


    Fabio Peron Convida
    https://www.youtube.com/user/fabioperonconvida


    Fabio tears up Jacob's Assanhado with Gian Correa

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Thanks for posting those wonderful videos. Dudu is great! A fantastic musician and a real nice guy as well. I contacted him a few years ago about when he might be in New York City and we were able to set up a two-day workshop which we repeated the following year as well. I love any version I have heard for Dudu playing Vibracoes. Fabio is one bandolimist I was not aware of.
    Jim

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    Registered User Amy Burcham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Dudu is a treasure. I didn't know about these channels nor about Fabio. WOW. Thanks!
    *mandolin mind, beginner mind*

  9. #7

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    One more for 2014 - looks like Danilo Brito might have a new album coming down the line. This track is absurd!



    Last thing is a version of Vibracoes I recorded with cavaquinho, sete cordas and percussion, I've removed the bandolim so you can play over it like a backing track. I've followed the harmony in the Chediak white book vol.1. It's not perfect but let me know if you find it useful as I have a few more I can share.


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    Registered User Justin Carvitto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    [QUOTE=AndyC;1357554]One more for 2014 - looks like Danilo Brito might have a new album coming down the line. This track is absurd!

    He has a new release on iTunes dated November 2014. I haven't checked to see if the video is a track on the album.
    dunno

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Great stuff...keep it coming, muito obrigado.

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    I've also created a Choro North America on Facebook. Listing jams and upcoming performances. Request membership and I'll approve it. Over 100 tracking it currently.

    You aren't from Reading are you Andy?

    Al
    Al in PT

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    Registered User Amy Burcham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Danilo had advance copies at the Symposium last year. Pega Ratâo is on it and so are 8 other fantastic tracks.
    Thanks for the backing tracks, Andy!
    *mandolin mind, beginner mind*

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    Registered User DSDarr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Also keep in mind that the great bandolimist/guitarist Almir Cortes will be here (Seattle -- Portland as well) in mid-April most likely, along with João Paulo Amaral. This is about a week and a half prior to the Centrum Choro workshop. A workshop is in the planning and probably a house concert as well.

    David

  15. #13

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Any thoughts on right hand technique for choro, particularly pick grip? As a guitarist, my go to grip is pinched between thumb and index finger tip, rather than the finger side grip which most people seem to demonstrate for bluegrass playing. I'm experimenting still, any opinions though?

  16. #14

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    try looking at :56 1:28 and 3:09 of this segment from the longer video you reference. Has a lot of close ups throughout the video. I never tire of listening to this. 1973. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xask...7678C10FDBECF7
    Al in PT

  17. #15

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Just stumbled on this beautifully done version of Jacob's Ternura. Vitor Casagrande seems to do a wonderful job of dynamics on this.
    Al in PT

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  19. #16

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    I've been meaning to study some more of his playing, he has a superb command of dynamics and phrasing! His group Agua De Vintem have plenty of videos on Youtube.

    Fresh off the press, Grant Ziolkowski with Heitor Garcia and John Beard. I met John a few years ago and I have always enjoyed jamming with him, he's encouraged me to dig into choro a lot this year, so thanks John! Here's two sets from the Whiskey Lounge a week ago, lots of Jacob tunes.


  20. #17

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Another 2 accompaniments from the Chediak No.1 Book - Jacob's Implicante and Bole-bole.





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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Muito Legal!

    Keep goin'on

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    Registered User Nick Royal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Choro Das 3 will be performing in Santa Cruz Sunday June 21st, so I would imagine they will make a visit to the Symposium the
    following week too. Their mandolinist is Elisa Meyer, who not only plays that instrument, but others as well!

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  25. #20

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Anyone have special string choices for their bandolims?

    When purchased mine had some heavy flatwounds which I kept on there for a year or so (I wasn't seriously into playing it then). Last September when I started taking it more seriously, I put on a set of J74s and the sound blossomed instantly. Unfortunately, the beautiful ring on the G and D didn't last long; they sounded dead after a couple of weeks or 1-2 hours per day.

    Christmas brought me a set of Elixir Nanoweb lights. As many have suggested the original tone for the wound strings is not quite as bright as the D'Addarios in a straight side by side, but the longevity is there. I wouldn't be changing them yet were it not for taking it in for a proper set up. The gauges match well with the sets sold by Rouxinol so must be fairly close to a 'traditional' bandolim to my thinking at least. I imagine the heavier gauges are more appropriate for bluegrass playing?

  26. #21
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    I got some Rouxinols but they didn't sound in tune for some reason esp on the g course. It might not be the strings tho -- might be the mandolin. I switched to Elixir Nanoweb lights and that worked out better. I think the gauge is similar to the Rouxinols.
    Jim

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  27. #22

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    I had a friend bring back a box of Rouxinols from Brazil. Dudu told me that they are not very well made, that from batch to batch they can have flaws or break easier, though I've never experienced it. I believe that he has changed to J's as well, though he may be on something else now. I'll ask him in April at the workshop. I have really liked the Rouxinols, they give my bandolim a very good sound. Jim, I would have the course of your G checked. I was having similar problems on my Collings F5, and my friend/luthier found a flaw in the depth of the groove at the bridge. Once fixed the problem vanished. Your problem with the G might be because the Roxs are smaller diameter than regular us strings, they may be bringing out the issue.
    Al in PT

  28. #23
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Bergstein View Post
    Jim, I would have the course of your G checked. I was having similar problems on my Collings F5, and my friend/luthier found a flaw in the depth of the groove at the bridge. Once fixed the problem vanished. Your problem with the G might be because the Roxs are smaller diameter than regular us strings, they may be bringing out the issue.
    I still have that batch of Rouxinols from that order that (I think) you were part of. I will check the bridge. It is maddening and I find that now with the Elixirs I have similar problem, so you may be right. I did have a luthier look at it a few years ago. I wonder if a new compensated bridge would be the final solution.
    Jim

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    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  29. #24

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Enjoying string chat, more to say soon.

    Epoca de ouro (what remains of Jacob's original backing band) do a live streaming event every Monday, starts in a little over an hour from now. Portuguese language but tghg the music is universal!

    http://radios.ebc.com.br/epoca-de-ou...va-da-carreira

  30. #25

    Default Re: Então, chora bandolim! - A choro thread

    Jim, my luthier had to look very very closely as Elmer Fudd would say.
    Al in PT

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