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Thread: Monroe Style

  1. #1

    Default Monroe Style

    I'm thinking about enrolling in the Monroe class over at peg head nation. How are they?

  2. #2
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    If it's the actual ''playing style'' of Bill Monroe you're interested in,look here :- http://christopherhenry.net/lessons/
    Chris Henry's one of the best Monroe 'stylists' out there (IMHO). Here's CH explaining how BM got part of his 'sound',
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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    This video is a secret gold mine,,once you figure it out, it will add one of coolest techniques to your playing...

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Think I'll check him out. I know the Murphy Method helped me a lot on banjo.

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    Registered User mandotool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesHall77 View Post
    Think I'll check him out. I know the Murphy Method helped me a lot on banjo.
    The Monroe style program at Peghead is run by Mike Compton..

  8. #6

    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Both of these are great options for learning Monroe. There are also many offers for first month free with Compton on Peghead Nation, so you could try that out. The videos are great and there are also transcriptions and MP3 play along tracks. His approach is to teach you songs and in doing so you learn Monroe stylings/technique. Chris Henry is also an expert. He has some videos that you can buy and the dvds that are available. I haven't watched his dvds yet. I have had some skype lessons with him and he is a great teacher.

  9. #7

    Default Re: Monroe Style

    I think Mike Compton knows more about Monroe style than anyone.
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    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    There's also a DVD of David McLaughlin from Murphy Henry as well. Everybody has their favorite, depends on what kind of learning mode you respond to best.
    Play it like you mean it

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  13. #9
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    I think that you can't go wrong with either guy. I would encourage you to go to Mike's camp, which is probably the best for all things Monroe, and you will get tremendous resources and instruction to get you on or progress along the Monroe path.

    There are basically two camps of Monroe instruction, each with their own merits: the Compton camp and the Henry/McLaughlin camp.

    We all have different tastes and if I personally were looking to sound exactly just like Monroe (which isn't everyone's goal), then with all due respect, I'd look into lessons with either Chris or Richard Brown.

    Close your eyes, open your ears, and tell me if this guys isn't channeling Monroe!

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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Master class..

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    I'd agree with Nick - attend the camp regardless of whether you use Chris Henry's tuition or not. There is absolutely nothing like watching & listening to a good musician - LIVE !.
    I agree with Nick once more in that CH can get 'that' sound,& i'd venture to say,that like Bill Monroe,he could 'sound like that' on almost any mandolin !. For me - it's not the sound of Bill Monroe's Loar mandolin that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention,it's the 'sound' of Bill Monroe himself using the technique that Chris Henry so expertly demos. - stunningly good - & T.D.Nydn nailed it with his comment,
    Ivan
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  17. #12
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    ...I agree with Nick once more in that CH can get 'that' sound,& i'd venture to say,that like Bill Monroe,he could 'sound like that' on almost any mandolin !...
    Last August at Summergrass Chris was playing an Old Wave A model as his Randy Wood was in for repairs. It was astounding how "Monroe" that Old Wave sounded in his hands, like a canon or beast!

    Chris sounded the same on my 94' F5L when he picked on it as well...btw: this is the second time that a really excellent player wailed away on my F5L. A bunch of top pros have played it but Chris and Scott Gates really went to town on it. It was these 2 experiences that convinced me that what I've got is really special.
    Last edited by DataNick; Mar-16-2017 at 12:47pm. Reason: Additional perspective
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    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Does Chris Henry use a non-traditional bridge? On the Murphy Method DVD it doesn't look like a standard wood bridge. Is it aluminum or something?

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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo75 View Post
    Does Chris Henry use a non-traditional bridge? On the Murphy Method DVD it doesn't look like a standard wood bridge. Is it aluminum or something?
    I think it's one of his dad's (Red Henry) specially configured maple bridges, IIRC
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    I really like, what peghead nation offers! I am a happy customer.

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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Once you start playing in the " staggered 16th " style,,it becomes totally addicting and very hard to stop,,one amazing thing about it,is that when your doubling notes,Noone else can tell,it sounds like your flat picking your brains out,but instead of single note soloing,,that extra nano second or whatever you get from the staggered way,gives you a chance to come up with and play some melodic ideas you wouldn't normally do....

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  26. #17

    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Quote Originally Posted by Hubs View Post
    I really like, what peghead nation offers! I am a happy customer.
    many paths to enlightenment...

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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    I asked Bill Monroe for his autograph once,and he said "sure,hold this",,and then hands me his mandolin...

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  29. #19
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    From Nick - " It was these 2 experiences that convinced me that what I've got is really special." Nick - i'd venture to say that if a top player played almost any of our mandolins,we'd be amazed at 'what we have'.

    T.D. - I have Bill Monroe's autograph,but his mandolin was in his case on the floor beside him. As it was,i was only 3 years into playing banjo & mandolin was 40 years away. I really love the 'staggered 16th' sound,but i really haven't figured it out = i haven't spent any time trying to = too busy pickin'. I really should spend some time with that clip of CH's,that's exactly the 'sound' that i associate with Bill Monroe - & forget the 'Loar' input,Bill Monroe would have sounded like that on almost any mandolin.

    So, is it the sound of Bill Monroe's mandolin we all hanker after,or the 'sound of Bill Monroe' ?. I know which i'm going for - for 'some' tunes,
    Ivan
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  31. #20
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Ivan,,I believe it is not his "mandolin" ,but his sound..I'm from that school of thought,,,the staggered sound is not difficult once you understand its mechanics,,basically,in a nutshell,,you double every note,,and every note,or new note,you start with an upstroke,,it has a very unique sound,,the exciting sound of real flat picking ..once you srart,,you just can't stop....I hope only you read this,because it's a secret technique...

  32. #21
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Most folk who've read any of my posts re.playing, know that i use music stored on my PC to 'pick along to'. A favourite 'Monroe tune' of mine,although i believe that Kenny Baker wrote it,is ''Northern White Clouds''. I have the Baker / Monroe version on my PC & i've been playing it for a couple of months now. I was playing it again yesterday, & it dawned on me that for most of it,i was using the 'staggered 16ths'' technique. On the track i have,there's no mandolin break,so i was doing the ''Bill Monroe bit'' & there it was.

    One of the reasons i can learn something new pretty quickly,is that i'm darned good at 'copying'. That's why i've always learned to play by looking & listening rather than by 'reading' (TAB). In this case, i was obviously going for the 'sound' that BM would have produced. I've heard enough of his playing over 53 years to know what it sounds like to be able to try to do it. Although i'm not a 'Monroe stylist',for most of his tunes that i play,i do try to 'play it like Bill'.

    TD - Yesterday,after realising what i was doing,i stopped a while to analyse it & it's just as you say - double every note - down /up - next note along - down / up............! That said,sometimes,like others,i can do something on 'automatic',but when i begin thinking about it,it drifts away. It's a bit like when i come up with a tune of my own. At first,it's great,then i start to fill it out & the original bit gets lost. I agree re. the 'sound'. IMHO,it's 95% the technique & 5% the mandolin tone. Bill Monroe played many mandolins other than his Loar over the years, & he always sounded like Bill Monroe on any of them,& mostly they were not Loars,
    Ivan
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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Excuse me,,,every new note is a " upstroke" ,,( picking towards your head),,so it's up,down,, new note,,UP,then down..gives like this rythmic picking sound that is unmistakable,,

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    Registered User Manfred Hacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    Excuse me,,,every new note is a " upstroke" ,,( picking towards your head),,so it's up,down,, new note,,UP,then down..gives like this rythmic picking sound that is unmistakable,,
    ?????
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    Excuse me,,,every new note is a " upstroke" ,,( picking towards your head),,so it's up,down,, new note,,UP,then down..gives like this rythmic picking sound that is unmistakable,,
    Been working on this morning. Dn/Up is hard habit to break! Distinct sound difference tho

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  38. #25
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Monroe Style

    Mark..very much so..it's a backward type switch,,I try to emphasize the first upstrokes to get the feel going..

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