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Thread: Proper form for playing B major shape chords on mandolin

  1. #26
    Registered User Carl23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Proper form for playing B major shape chords on mandolin

    How I am working on chords (and scales for that matter)

    I have a file which shows the fret-board out to 12th fret (I've done computer design, so its an Illustrator type program, you could print out the same kind of thing and do it by hand)

    So, I mark every note of the chord on all strings (in this case B D# F#)
    All possible voicing will be represented in the graph, pick playable chord shapes and have at! (it will also help you learn the full fret-board)

    I've added an attachment, hopefully you can see it!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	smaller fingerboard.pdf 
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  3. #27
    Stop the chop!
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    Default Re: Proper form for playing B major shape chords on mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    4-4-6-7 (or indeed simply 4-4-6) is one of my favourite chord shapes, because it's moveable and has the root in the bass. That means it works for every major chord and can use any note on the lower two strings as the root. Takes the pain out of remembering specific chord shapes. Its companion shapes are 4-4-5-7 (or 4-4-5) for minor chords and 4-4-6-5 for seventh chords.

    Martin
    "root in the bass"? The mandolin is a soprano instrument. The low b in the 4-4-6-* corresponds to the open second string on the guitar. The bass is handled by someone else and I see no particular advantage to having the root note at the bottom of the chord. In fact, when chords get more complicated the first note to leave out is either the root or the fifth. For a B7 I would probably pick 2-1-2-* (no F#) or 2-4-6-* (no B). But, really, this s something the individual player has to work out on his own, to find out what fits his particular instrument or this particular song or the rest of the band.

  4. #28

    Default Re: Proper form for playing B major shape chords on mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    "root in the bass"? The mandolin is a soprano instrument. The low b in the 4-4-6-* corresponds to the open second string on the guitar. The bass is handled by someone else and I see no particular advantage to having the root note at the bottom of the chord. In fact, when chords get more complicated the first note to leave out is either the root or the fifth. For a B7 I would probably pick 2-1-2-* (no F#) or 2-4-6-* (no B). But, really, this s something the individual player has to work out on his own, to find out what fits his particular instrument or this particular song or the rest of the band.
    I call it "root in the bass" or "root on bottom" too. When I play with my wife (guitarist) I do the mandolin version of the boom-chuck when she solos, which benefits from have the root or 5th in the bass. There are also tons of common "bass-struma-struma" patterns for mandolin.

  5. #29
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Proper form for playing B major shape chords on mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by dadsaster View Post
    I call it "root in the bass" or "root on bottom" too. When I play with my wife (guitarist) I do the mandolin version of the boom-chuck when she solos, which benefits from have the root or 5th in the bass. There are also tons of common "bass-struma-struma" patterns for mandolin.
    Ralph makes a good point about frequencies, but I'm with you. The mandolin can be approached as having two "bass" strings and two "treble" strings because musical terms can be approached relatively, at least from a "musical philosophy" sense. Also, people can "pooh-pooh" the value of the mandolin as a solo, vocal accompaniment instrument all they want; I find myself in a different camp. I understand the inclination to normally consider it as belonging to an ensemble, but that doesn't always have to be the case. When playing solo vocal accompaniment, something that is new to me as is playing the mandolin at all, I find two approaches so far that I'm working on, one is to use "bass runs" following a chord structure, and the other is to use muting for a percussive effect. Add melodic fills between the lines and you have a lot of potential for this type of solo playing.

    Root on the bottom can be called "root in the bass" from this point of view, and a persoan can be well understood by most musicians using that terminology, IMO.
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  7. #30

    Default Re: Proper form for playing B major shape chords on mandolin

    In chord melody playing you might want a moving bass line using chord inversions including rootless ones. That would be a component of good voice leading, although in chord melody the melody is typically played on the highest string used. For a solo player, moving the bass and melody lines would provide an interesting contrapuntal movement not normally seen in bluegrass��

    So correct shape is just a matter of context and intent. YMMV
    Play it like you mean it.

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