Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: FFcP versus scales with open strings

  1. #1
    Registered User misterstormalong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South-East England
    Posts
    89

    Default FFcP versus scales with open strings

    I've been strumming chords for song accompaniment for a few months and now want to start picking out some melody. I just began to look at scales when I encountered FFcP. I'm thinking of starting with FFcP rather than scales using open strings, but is that a good idea or not?

    Rik

  2. #2

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Why not work on both? They are both useful and important. So is just learning some tunes.

  3. #3
    Registered User tkdboyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground, Indiana
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Don't limit yourself. Don Julin has an exercise in which you try to play the major scales in all keys in the first position (open), then I would suggest you move it up to do the same with FFcP. Then have fun doing the minor scales.

    Of course this is much easier said than done!

  4. #4
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,946

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    I use both , sometimes have 4 strings all ringing the same Note ( like 4 A's, 4 E's)
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  5. #5

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    FFCP is fantastic, but it does have some limitations-- the biggest of which is that open strings have a wonderful ringing sound that's impossible to emulate by fretting. You end up with a more uniform sound when playing with a closed position, and you have better control as to when a note "dies," but in most cases you can't just let it decay naturally for as long.

    The other big advantage that open strings allow is for drones where you let the open string ring while you play a melody line on a neighboring string-- great technique for old time songs.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to KEB For This Useful Post:


  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,541

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    I may think different than most others here but if you have just been chording and now want to start playing melody then I say start playing melody. Improvation using patterns, scales or what ever should be used after you know melody, not instead of melody. Mr. Monroe was a master of this. Just my 2cents worth.

  8. #7
    Registered User Atlanta Mando Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    730

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    You are learning to play the mandolin. Use open strings. That's what the mandolin is about. Learn some beginner fiddle tunes- bile em cabbage down for example. Start with the melody of songs first. Scales after. Songs before scales. Don't put the horse before the cart.

  9. #8

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Mandoplumb is right on the money. But, I'd suggest that FFCP is a great tool.... so, why not fit the melody INTO FFCP thinking.

    And, if you learn the FFCP fingerings, to use open strings and still keep that "mindset", just think of the nut as an "un-fingered fret". It's not such a stretch, and sort of merges the open string and FFCP philosophies.

    My 2 cents.... probably worth less.

  10. The following members say thank you to jshane for this post:


  11. #9
    Registered User KGreene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Only a novice myself but, I found it easier for me to work on both. Learning scales and arpeggios made it click for me to understand "how" melodies fit into them (and vise versa).

    I agree with Mandoplumb and jahane in keepin the FFcP mindset when using open strings.

    JMTCW
    2014 Gibson 'Harvey' F5G
    1917 Gibson F2
    2013 'The' Loar LM600VS
    2013 Morgan Monroe 4FJ
    Blue Chip Picks
    The Scallywag Social Club

  12. #10

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    I disagree with the idea that melody should be learned first. Mastery of the basic scales is the building block upon which playing melodies is built.

    I would start with scales in the first position, using open strings when needed, and then move onto FFcP scales. Both are extremely useful.

  13. #11
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Rafael, Ca
    Posts
    697

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    FFCP is part of the whole package that you should learn, and it is the only way to logically play up the neck and change to odd keys.
    That being said, I have found that a ton of the fun when playing the mandolin is in the open string keys.
    The use of open strings as drones is truly a kick in the pants, and you should not overlook open position keys.
    In fact they are almost unavoidable on mandolin, especially in Bluegrass.
    There are a lot of things you can do when you have the use of all of your fingers AND the open strings.
    That is the thing that really pulled me into playing the mandolin.

    You don't have to think of open string positions and FFCP positions as being different.
    They are the same info, but with FFCP the first finger is playing the part of the nut.
    In the end they are all the same notes, but to me the open strings provide a resonance and "feel" that is unique to mandolin.
    That feel is the part I like the most.

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CWRoyds For This Useful Post:


  15. #12
    Registered User Pasha Alden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Grahamstown South Africa
    Posts
    1,705
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Like one of the posts said I try and work on both. I enjoy picking melodies and strumming chords. It allows one versatility when playing with others.

    Not that I could play for the past month. So naturally my fingers are itching to play again, however, surgery was serious so I need to take it easy for another week or two.

    Happy playing.

    Playing:
    Jbovier a5 2013;
    Crafter M70E acoustic mandolin
    Jbovier F5 mandola 2016

  16. #13
    Registered User Bill Baldridge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Liberty, MO
    Posts
    593
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Of course the ideal is to learn both, but since the question is, "Where to start?" my recommendation is to start with the ffcp. The traditional method is to learn the open position first, I think because fiddle tunes are traditionally played in the open position and fiddle tunes are usually the first tunes taught to the beginning mandolin player. Not having to use the pinky finger also makes it easier for the beginner. To my mind, the trade off for not using the pinky is that each melody must be learned with its own key pattern. Once you have learned the ffcp method, the key does not matter and the full range of the neck is available to you. To end where I started, the ideal is to learn both methods, as each has its advantage.

  17. #14
    Registered User misterstormalong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South-East England
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Thanks for all the responses, which contain some very pertinent, if differing, advice!

    My immediate interest in melody is just to play intros and fills. The rest of the time I will be playing rhythmic accompaniments to my singing. And I only need to play in G, D and C. For A and E, I use a capo.

    FFcP looks like a great shortcut, but after playing up the neck for the melody bits I will want to get back to playing easy open chords.

  18. #15
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,429
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Learn both....... first position open has those lovely open tones that can be used as drones. Work into the FFcP scales so you can move melodies from key to key w/o the associated mental anguish of only knowing one way to do things ...the upper FFcP scales have their own tonal signatures that are just as useful and interesting and those lower ringing tones ....... patterns are easier to move....... an interval jump is always the same within a similar pattern depending on which finger hits / starts on the tonic / 1 ...... luck.. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  19. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,541

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Why use a capo in A. One of the easiest keys to play in. In my opinion you need to learn to think melody not scales. How you note that melody may be different, when I was learning I had never heard of FFcP so the way I learned probably was harder to transpose keys although after 50 years I can pretty much do it. But I still say all playing should be based on melody the song from The Sound Of Music is the only one I know that is based on scales.

  20. #17
    Registered User misterstormalong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South-East England
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: FFcP versus scales with open strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandoplumb View Post
    Why use a capo in A?
    I'm pretty new to this. I've been playing seriously for only about 7 months. My repertoire hasn't completely settled down. I have quite a few songs on the cusp of G or A. It's easier to use a capo than switch to playing E and F chords, but I promise to play in A without a capo eventually!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •