Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Slide on a mandolin?

  1. #1
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    618
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Slide on a mandolin?

    Anyone do this or see any one else playing a mandolin with a slide? i recently witnessed this at a local bash when a mandolin player was doing so. I have been intrigued since and plan on picking up a slide on my next visit to my local music store.
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Stiver A style (eagerly awaiting spring 2020 arrival)
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Kentucky KM-950
    Harley Benton A style (Spare canoe paddle)
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)

  2. #2
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Kent, Washington
    Posts
    711

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    https://youtu.be/dP1KRvE6tYU

    I've always liked the slide mandolin here! Such a neat effect!

  3. The following members say thank you to Zach Wilson for this post:

    Ranald 

  4. #3
    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lancashire/UK
    Posts
    1,411

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Intriguing.
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....


    Fylde Touchstone Walnut Mandolin.
    Gibson Alrite Model D.

  5. #4
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Northeastern Indiana
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    I've seen Rich Delgrosso and Steve James play slide. GDGD tuning, I think? (May need some non-standard string gages.) I like playing slide on guitar, but the notes sure are close together on a mando.

    D.H.

  6. #5
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Steve James gives a lesson on slide mandolin in his book (with soundtrack) Roots and Blues Mandolin. He plays a great, whiney, Delta blues, but uses complex tuning (gG Dg Bd dd). I hear strings snapping even as I think about tuning to get this sound. I think I'd want an extra mandolin just for that purpose.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,451

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    I don't think Bill ever used one.

  8. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Largo, FL
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    I have seen Sam Bush play slide with an electric mandolin on several occasions. Don't remember if any of those tunes are on his recordings though. Probably could find some of his slide work on Youtube.
    rfloyd

    Kentucky KM-250

    Guitars:
    Santa Cruz VJ
    RainSong WS 1000
    Farida OT-22 OO
    Blueridge BR-142

  9. #8
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    618
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandoplumb View Post
    I don't think Bill ever used one.
    Bill Who?
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Stiver A style (eagerly awaiting spring 2020 arrival)
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Kentucky KM-950
    Harley Benton A style (Spare canoe paddle)
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)

  10. #9
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Charlottesville Va
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    Bill Who?
    Bite your tongue.
    When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk.
    Me, I'm just a lawnmower - you can tell me by the way I walk.

  11. #10
    Registered User Bob Visentin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by rfloyd View Post
    I have seen Sam Bush play slide with an electric mandolin on several occasions. Don't remember if any of those tunes are on his recordings though. Probably could find some of his slide work on Youtube.
    I saw Sam play slide back in the day with Newgrass Revival. He was playing a Dobro mandolin with high action just for slide. I think there is at least one Newgrass record with some slide on it.

  12. #11

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Yes, i play slide. Or did and kinda abandoned it.

    Imho, its not ideal, due to quick decay.
    Sams dobro is ideal.

    I use get up john tuning, with better success, or adad,.

    Problem too, imho, is that much past the 7th fret, it just sounds....wrong...it loses a lot of mando timbre.

    A heavy slide, imho, is a must. That, and practice with note accuracy, as its much more precise a movement compared to guitar or banjo (yes i slide on banjo, and, surprisingly, it works really well)

  13. #12
    Registered User Peter Mix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Waterville, Vermont
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    Anyone do this or see any one else playing a mandolin with a slide? i recently witnessed this at a local bash when a mandolin player was doing so. I have been intrigued since and plan on picking up a slide on my next visit to my local music store.
    Over the years I’ve found that the only way I can get the volume and sustain needed for slide (without feedback) is to use a solid body mandolin. Single strings sound like a high-strung guitar, so I’ve focused on 8-string electrics like the old Gibson EM200.

    A heavy brass slide works best for me, specifically the Rockslide with a ballend. It makes crossing strings as smooth as can be and the tone of heavy brass is fabulous.

    Reading glasses are a critical tool for me as well as intention. It’s hard work to play in tune.

    Here’s a YouTube snippet: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CFhRP51KcCw
    Peter Mix
    Carbon Fiber & Kevlar Mandolins
    Based On Lloyd Loar's Designs
    Waterville, VT 05492

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Peter Mix For This Useful Post:


  15. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,214

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Got a friend that open tunes his mandolin and plays slide, I don't think he can play in standard tuning.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  16. #14
    Notary Sojac Paul Kotapish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Alameda, California
    Posts
    2,418

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Yes, on occasion. As Peter notes (pun inevitable) above, it's really tricky to get the right balance, tone, and volume from an acoustic instrument, and I really have to ride the mic to get enough oomph. And the tiny fret spaces make intonation pretty unforgiving. When I get it all right, it's a pretty cool--if limited--sound. I've tried a bunch of different slides and haven't yet found one I consider ideal for my playing, but I tend to use an inexpensive, lightweight stainless steel tube or basic glass slide. I like the idea of a heavier piece of metal, but found it too hard to control on the mandolin fingerboard.
    Just one guy's opinion
    www.guitarfish.net

  17. #15
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    4,964

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    My $.02... I think it's a question of whether you want to add a little something extra to your standard mandolin playing, or whether you're really interested in slide as a unique "voice" for stringed instruments. If it's the latter case, then I think you're better off learning slide guitar.

    I know I'm biased because I played slide on guitar for many years before ever picking up a mandolin, but it's so much better suited for the technique. More strings for playing full chords, the option of a bass line with fingerpicking, less critical intonation, and you can use a wider sweep for slide vibrato. A short mandolin scale necessarily means a "cramped" slide technique.

    There are some tricks on guitar that just aren't practical on mandolin, like the way I'd play a minor chord in Open E or Open D tuning by fretting behind a bottleneck slide (worn on the ring finger), to get the minor third. That's incredibly useful for playing slide with more chord variety, so you're not locked into major chord shapes. You can even fret ahead of the slide too. Or you can go in a completely different direction with lap-style slide guitar and a Stevens steel bar, using slants to get your alternate chords in open tuning.

    There is just so much more depth available on guitar for slide technique, compared to mandolin. I'm not saying you shouldn't try playing slide on mandolin, it can be a lot of fun! I just don't think it's a good platform if you really want to get into slide technique.

  18. The following members say thank you to foldedpath for this post:


  19. #16

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Visentin View Post
    I saw Sam play slide back in the day with Newgrass Revival. He was playing a Dobro mandolin with high action just for slide. I think there is at least one Newgrass record with some slide on it.
    He played it on "Lonesome and a Long Way from Home" in that 1975 album from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. In an interview with Mandolin World News, Sam stated that he bought a Dobro mandolin but the intonation was out and couldn't be fixed, so he used a slide with it negating the need for it to be in tune at each fret.
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

  20. #17

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    I have a few thoughts.

    First off, here's a few videos of slide mandolin in standard tuning.




    I started teaching myself slide mandolin by watching and listening to guitar players in open G and open A tuning. That let me maximize the ideas based on the GD and AE string pairs. It also let me learn the pentatonic scales and experiment with them while playing along, both with and without slide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kotapish View Post
    I've tried a bunch of different slides and haven't yet found one I consider ideal for my playing, but I tend to use an inexpensive, lightweight stainless steel tube or basic glass slide. I like the idea of a heavier piece of metal, but found it too hard to control on the mandolin fingerboard.
    Over the years, i've bought and used numerous slides on guitar. I prefer slides which are more secure/fitted (no Coricidan bottles). I love the knuckle slides and the Dunlop Shy Slide for still allowing the use of the fingers for fretting. I love glass for its smoothness, my Mudslide and Bigheart ceramics for their weight and smoothness, and my brass slides for being durable.

    A few years ago, I was considering getting a Peaceland Guitar Ring to have something a little wider than a knuckle slide, but which still allowed full finger use. As I was searching for user experiences, vids, and so on, I stumbled across the Jetslide.

    http://www.jetslide.com

    It's a ring with a slide bar attached, but goes beyond the rotating slides of that sort by only coming into play when you grab that tab with your pinky. It looked cool in that it supposedly gets out of the way when your pinky isn't on the tab. The various videos I found showed people using it just as described with no problem.

    So, I decided to order one, the brass (for weight) with the glass sleeve (for smoothness).

    https://www.jetslide.com/product-pag...s-with-glass-1

    The website has instructions for determining the correct size, but they offer a free exchange in case your sizing fu isn't up to snuff. I did the described paper tape procedure on their website, and then went to a jewelry store to double check, and the two measurements were identical. I placed the order.

    It arrived.

    It took no time at all to incorporate it into playing. Switching back and forth between use and release is fast.

    One of the stranger aspects to me is that when I'm using it, it feels weighty, like a heavy steel-guitar tonebar. Even with that feeling of weight though, it feels completely secure just using the ring finger and pinky.

    And it works on mandolin, using the same patterns I worked on for blues.

    It's semi-adjustable, but since it currently fits perfectly I can't comment on that aspect of using it. The ease of use has made slide an easy flavor/texture to add even for just occasional vibrato, as opposed to "Here's that song where I pull out the slide."

    I've never seen another slide which was so fast to bring in and out of play, and it leaves the hand and fingers free for everything else when not in use.

    Whatever you choose to do and pursue, good luck!

  21. #18
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,125

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?

    Sam bush plays it constsantly with a resonator mandolin. Here’s an example. https://youtu.be/oQ1plN4_sSk

    Check out ‘the ballad of string bean and Estelle’ from Laps in seven’ or ‘lefty’s song’ on storyteller

  22. The following members say thank you to David Lewis for this post:


  23. #19
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,041

    Default Re: Slide on a mandolin?


  24. The following members say thank you to mandocrucian for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •