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Thread: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)?

  1. #1

    Default What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)?

    I have recently started to play the mandolin and though I love the Stanley Brothers, Old & in the Way and Grisman collaborations with Garcia, I am by no means a bluegrass diehard. I mainly like singer/songwriter stuff like John Prine, Van Morrison and Randy Newman.

    Playing the mando is fun though and I want to keep getting better at it. I do wonder though in what direction my mando playing will eventually go. Anybody identify with this?

    What genres do folks play? Anybody stumble upon any genres that they surprisingly gravitated towards?



    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    I play old time, old country, a little blues, couple of celtic tunes, eco folk rock, a few bluegrass songs, and something that is a mixture of most of that.
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    Registered User Joey Anchors's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    I’m play jazz and blues.
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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    Many years ago I played on a local TV show. During the interview part of the program, the host asked me what genre of music I played. I simply said; 'I don't play in any particular genre, I just play and write whatever pops into my head.'

    After nearly 40 years in both radio and music, I have been exposed to a very wide variety of music, and I am sure that in one way or another, all of it has influenced me in some way . . . so to pin my 'style' down to one, two or even three genres would be impossible.

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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    Mainly old time, American Folk songs and some Bluegrass.
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    One of my favorite things to do is just noodle around over whatever my wife happens to be listening to on pandora, so in that sense pretty much all genres I guess.

    A couple nights ago on the back porch a few I remember were Al Green, new order, Sade, INXS, neil young, foghorn stringband, johnny cash, marvin gaye, david bromberg, richard thompson, pat benatar, cyndi lauper, the dead, garcia/grisman, social distortion, and bunches more I either forget or didn't know who they were in the first place. We aren't generally very genre, culture or decade specific in this house.

    If it's got rythm & melody, it's music of one form or another and as long as I can find the chords and/or the right scale I'll try to play along. Often times I hear a song and try to think about how a mandolin might fit in, or how it might be arranged if played with different instruments and what might be played on the mandolin if it were one of those instruments.

    Most of what I actually "know" and play most often on mandolin though is just old time fiddle tunes though I guess. A couple irish tunes. I hope to some day be able to play a few classical pieces, but for now I just try to find ways to make minuet in G sound interesting and occasionally play/butcher the first few bars of Bach cello suite no1, as far as that goes.

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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    Old Country, Rockabilly, Folk, Showtunes and did I say Rockabilly
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    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    Klezmer is fun. Contradance, old-time, rock, rock & roll, a little bluegrass, old jazz, some new jazz, maybe some big band, swing is more try than do, TV themes mostly 60s, pick a random radio station & play along. Irish trad and Eastern European folk music, French folk, reggae, old country that’s old.
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoogus View Post
    ... Anybody stumble upon any genres that they surprisingly gravitated towards?
    That aptly describes a thing or two for me. Mndln did get me into playing four-string banjos - I was seeking more volume, more dynamism for solo performing. I then spent about a decade with "jazz" banjo - jelly roll, ragtime, ellington, standards...really was my primary interest during that period. And it came about through mndln. It was a heck of a lot of fun. I recall, shortly before packing it in (too athletic for my worn hands..) I was arranging monk for plectrum bnj.

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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    I prefer waltz's, old time, Stephen Foster, folk and some easy jazz.

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    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    I guess I get the nerd-of-the-day award as the first to list classical. That's my background, so it's a natural fit. (And there's a lot of sheet music in the house for violin, which adapts well to mandolin.) Handel, Bach, Telemann, Corelli, playing around with the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata on mandola.

    The surprise has been how much I'm enjoying the Celtic stuff. I always liked listening to it, but didn't know much about it.

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    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    If it has notes and I like it I'll play it.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    My main styles are general Scandinavian-American and Finnish-American music. As in, Scandinavian and Finnish music, but filtered through an American playing mentality. Either mine, or whomever I've learned the tune from.

    Also play American old-time. Can follow along in other styles, but those are what really catch my ear.
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    I’m also mainly into bluegrass, old-time, folk, and blues. But I’m starting to dip my toes into jazz. Been learning All of Me, and the chordal complexity of a jazz standard is opening up the fretboard to me in new ways. Plus those changes just sound really cool.

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    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    It took me years to realize that there is such a thing as blues mandolin (guess I wasn't paying good enough attention), but that's what I gravitated toward. Also "folk music", whatever that means.

    D.H.

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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    There are other genres? Oh, I guess you must mean old-time

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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    "We have both kinds of music here, country and western" - The Blues Brothers
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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    First, I don't play very much Bluegrass at all....but I do play some.

    Mostly, I play:

    Italian and Sicilian music

    jazz - Dixieland, swing and bebop and blues

    Classical music including Renaissance and Baroque

    some Irish trad

    English Country dance

    Klezmer

    Russian balalaika tunes

    Choro

    music from Latin America

    music from the Middle East, Afghanistan, India, etc.

    some Cantonese music

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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    I'll (attempt to?) play anything with a tune and a rhythm, but in a group setting I lean heavily towards country, folk, and relatveily mainstream classic rock. If there were more demand for jazz around here I'd be working a lot harder on that, especially since the stuff I write myself is basically jazz-inflected folk with some hints of bluegrass. (Yeah, that's one reason I still have a day job.) Here lately I've been picking up more reggae, which I find particularly enjoyable to play when there are also a uke and a cajon involved.

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    No Bluegrass. I thought I'd be playing Blues and Jazz when I first bought a mandolin, coming from a guitar background where that was most of what I played. Instead, I fell down the following rabbit holes:

    60% Irish trad
    20% Scottish trad (mainly pipe tunes)
    15% Cape Breton trad
    2% Shetland trad
    2% Breton trad
    1% Macedonian, Eastern European and other odd-time trad

    It surprised the heck out of me that I ended up here. I blame the concept of "learning fiddle tunes" which is often recommended for newcomers to mandolin, as a way to get familiar with the fretboard. But you can see where this might end up!

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  27. #21

    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    I actually think about that question a lot, and have come to the conclusion my genre/style of playing is just whatever came to me as a guitar player. I don't fit in perfectly anywhere. Having played in a classic rock band for 30+ years, I incorporated mando and some of the songs I have a mando part to learn and follow, and other songs I just made up mando parts in lieu of guitar parts to work with the song. Any given song I play could have open chords, chop chords, lead lines, whatever feels right. For example, our setlist now includes these mando songs:

    Gone/Crossing Muddy Waters: John Hiatt
    Mona Lisa & Mad Hatters/Captain Fantastic: Elton John
    The Weight/Dixie Down: The Band
    Ripple/Friend of Devil: The Dead
    Galway Girl: Steve Earle
    Amie: Pure Prairie League
    Maggie Mae: Rod Stewart
    Ho Hey: Lumineers
    Losing My Religion: REM
    St. Robinson and Cadillac Dream: Counting Crows
    Mr. Bojangles: Jerry Jeff Walker
    I Am: Train
    Going to California/Battle of Evermore: Led Zeppelin

    Really love the Counting Crows version of Graham Parson's Grievous Angel, that's on my short list.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    I started with and will always love the contra dance repertory.

    I moved into Irish and Scottish music with a passion that surprised me.

    I moved on to old time, with the passion still on me.

    And now I find that classical music has taken a hold of me and won't let go.
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    Old time, gospel, country, rock & roll, folk, celtic, western swing - some better than others, and I'm just starting to learn.

    Also have been working on learning classical, bluegrass and jazz tunes a bit. I like bluegrass music (which is a relatively new development for me) but I can't play it very well, and my voice is not high enough to sing lead on most of it, so I find bluegrass very difficult.
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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    Laurel Canyon, country folk, country rock.

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    Default Re: What genres of music do you play on mando (besides bluegrass)

    I went back to playing straight,traditional bluegrass,but since I play solo,I often take it to places a mandolinst shouldn't go...

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