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Thread: Technique question

  1. #1

    Default Technique question

    Hello gang. I'm currently playing on a 20.25" scale baritone ukulele tuned to octave mandolin GDAE tuning. I am playing melodies of old fiddle tunes and Irish / Celtic tunes.

    Do you fifths tuning players follow the standard mandolin fingering of frets 1 and 2 first finger, frets 3 and 4 second finger, frets 5 and 6 third finger, and fret 7 pinky? I forgot what book I got this from but I believe I quoted it correctly. Even though I'm on a shorter than normal (tenor guitar) scale instrument, some times the stretches can be a bit. There are times I think an easier fingering might work better, but am curious to know if players pretty much follow the rules. There are times where the pinky finger for fret 5 just feels more natural. Then again, when using the pinky for fret 5 and then fret 7 is immediately following you run out of fingers. Perhaps a position change is needed here?


  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Chicago - most lately but - home is in Northern Arkansas.

    Default Re: Technique question

    I try to what sounds right and what feels right. I have several different scale length instruments and for both melody and or chordal playing, each one requires listening to what I'm trying to accomplish. Just keep playing and watch the players like Eddy Davis, John Lawlor etc. and keep on experimenting, there isn't really one right way to play these instruments.
    Last edited by Dolamon; Feb-03-2018 at 11:55pm.
    Mandola fever is permanent.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    San Francisco, CA or forgotten East Galway, take your pick.

    Default Re: Technique question

    My tenor has a 21.5 inch scale length and I use "mandolin fingering" when playing it - same as I use when playing my 19 fret tenor banjo.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 Ome Juniper 19 fret open back tenor banjo
    20?? Mid-Mo mandola
    1969 Martin 00-18

    my Youtube channel
    Blog: rural.trad.punk

  5. #4
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Cornwall & London
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    Default Re: Technique question

    I play CGDA & tend to use ‘cello fingering; so 1 does fret 1&2, 3 mainly does ft3/but ft4 if there’s an extension coming up, 4 tends to do ft4/ but 5 if there’s an extension, then 5 does frets 5 6or 7 depending on what’s needed.
    The main thing is fluidity and on the longer scale length, so I like to be flexible rather than too locked in. (You’ve got to have some structure, just not get too shackled to it)
    It’s easiest to reach back with the index finger rather than forward with the little finger, so I will shift positions a lot on the TG and ‘cello and wouldn’t really be comfortable sitting down in 1st for long.
    I find I get much more out of the TG when I shuffle about the fretboard lots and don’t get too tied down too much with fingerings and positions.

    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Technique question

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. This is basically what thought as well.

  8. #6
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    South West UK

    Default Re: Technique question

    Well... I play in GDAD mostly... :D
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Paul Shippey custom "Tone" Octave Mandolin, Paul Shippey "Axe" Bouzouki,
    Phil Davidson A5 "Badgerlin" mandolin, Phil Davidson F5 mandolin,
    Mcilroy Tenor Guitar, Phil Davidson Tenor Mandola
    My band's website

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