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Thread: Mando Jargon

  1. #1
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Mando Jargon

    If it hasn't been done elsewhere in the forum, could we please discuss the jargon I see everywhere, bark, dry, etc. They are only reference points, I know, but what say you??
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    The one that really grates with me is 'mando' - but I'm crotchety, I know.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Its just plain difficult if not impossible to describe the subtle differences in sound using words. As soon as I think I know what something means, someone plays a video clip as an example and it seems I was wrong. Or people resort to onamonapoeia, which is more effective in some ways and misleading in others.

    But I will give a few of my favorites, and let the discussion begin.

    Bark is a quality of a chop chord well played. Its not to short where you can't hear which chord it is, but it is not so long as to be more than a percussion element. Sharp, loud, distinct tone, like a bark.

    Dry versus wet I have heard lots of different explanations. I will leave that alone, except to say I have heard of wet tunings, where the strings are ever so slightly out of unison, to give a sort of chorus effect. I sometimes use wet tuning, not intentionally though.

    Another you hear a lot is woody, and the only way I can explain what I mean is to site its total opposite. Metallic. I think we can easily imagine what a metallic sound would be, so woody would be the other end of that.

    And here is another one, I can only explain through its opposite. Throaty. To my understanding the spectrum is from nasal to throaty. And we can all imagine a nasal sound, so throaty is the opposite.

    I hope that helps.

    There is a term I use, which I don't see others using too often, creamy. By that I mean the full bodied thick sound of a classic Gibson. Like the difference in taste between say 2% milk and half and half. I don't know how to define full bodied and thick without begging the question so I guess I am as fast and loose with these terms as anyone.
    Last edited by JeffD; Aug-08-2016 at 12:58pm.
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  5. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Near-totally subjective terms; hard to express a consensus on what they mean.

    "Bark" seems to have some relation to volume, and a piercing quality that cuts through ensemble sound when the mandolinist is playing "chop" chords -- mostly in a bluegrass context. The typical carved-top, f-hole characteristic of strong attack and quick decay, accentuated by relaxing the fretting fingers and not letting "chop" chords ring, contributes to a "bark" sound. There's also "woof," which I've heard, which seems to be non-synonymous with "bark," oddly enough. "Woof" seems to designate a more bassy sound.

    "Dry" to me seems to imply a more treble and mid-range emphasis, somewhat opposite to "woody," which implies more bass, but I hear mandolins described as having a "dry, woody sound," which would seem contradictory to me.

    The real problem with defining terms such as these is that they mean different things to different people -- and that people hear things differently, and prefer different sounds. If we stuck to terms like "treble" and "bass," "loud" and "soft," which have broadly accepted connotations, we might avoid talking past each other. It becomes like Justice Potter Stewart's definition of pornography: "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material...But I know it when I see it..." So, I won't try to define a "dry" mandolin sound, but I know it when I hear it (I guess...).
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Not sound related, but two words that make my skin crawl:

    gibby
    adi

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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Ludewig View Post
    Not sound related, but two words that make my skin crawl:

    gibby
    adi
    Yes. Terrible. I didn't even know what adi meant until a year or so ago when figured it out.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    A term I use, deliberately, because there aught to be such a term, is "mandolinner". I suppose I could say mandolinist, but that seems to imply a specific genre. What we need is the equivalent of "fiddler" for "violinist". That is what I am going for anyway.
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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    onamonapia
    OK, that's a perftly ornery spression
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    I s'pose, but at least it has a specific unambiguous meaning.
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    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Onomatopoeia
    IM(NS)HO

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    onomatopoeia is, sadly, not an onomatopoetic word itself. Still looking for a better, more swooshy or chopropoptimized word.
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    Registered User Atlanta Mando Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    I think of dry as the opposite of having lots of overtones and almost internal reverb of sorts. Again, subjective I know.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    This subject actually gets discussed now and again although I'd be hard pressed to find older threads.

    My favorite is "Plays like butter". I'll probably find some if I search for that term.
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  18. #14
    Plays Well With Others Nate Lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    A term I use, deliberately, because there aught to be such a term, is "mandolinner". I suppose I could say mandolinist, but that seems to imply a specific genre. What we need is the equivalent of "fiddler" for "violinist". That is what I am going for anyway.
    I like to use "mandolinner" as well!
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    Registered User jmkatcher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Don't forget "hog".

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Then there's "your old oval hole Gibson sounds tubby" (not corpulent, lol)
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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    A term I use, deliberately, because there aught to be such a term, is "mandolinner". I suppose I could say mandolinist, but that seems to imply a specific genre. What we need is the equivalent of "fiddler" for "violinist". That is what I am going for anyway.
    Just be glad you don't play piano!
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  23. #18

    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by jmkatcher View Post
    Don't forget "hog".
    I thought it was "hoss"?

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    Registered User jmkatcher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I thought it was "hoss"?
    Referring to "hog" for mahogany. "Hoss" is another annoyance, thanks!

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    I can't explain dry and woody, but I know it when I hear it.....
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    Registered User UlsterMando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Yes. Terrible. I didn't even know what adi meant until a year or so ago when figured it out.

    Adi ??
    Refrets, I've had a few . . .

  29. #22
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Adi, "First name abbreviated of Mr. Dassler, creator of "Adidas" sport shoes!"
    Ok, I'll go to my corner now.
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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by UlsterMando View Post
    Adi ??
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  33. #24
    Registered User UlsterMando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron McMillan View Post
    The one that really grates with me is 'mando' - but I'm crotchety, I know.
    I Quite like Mando. For me it implies informal familiarity.
    A bit like Ron as opposed to Ronald.
    Last edited by UlsterMando; Aug-08-2016 at 5:31pm.
    Refrets, I've had a few . . .

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando Jargon

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    Adi, "First name abbreviated of Mr. Dassler, creator of "Adidas" sport shoes!"
    Ok, I'll go to my corner now.
    Ummm... nope.
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