Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 51 to 74 of 74

Thread: Chords

  1. #51
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Chords

    The bluegrass chop is not a strum in the normal way strum is used. It is more staccato, or choppy. A bluegrass musician doesn't say back beat either it's the off beat. Every style has it's own jargon.

  2. The following members say thank you to Mandoplumb for this post:


  3. #52
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Posts
    1,435
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Teak View Post
    And therein lies the error in this thread. Mandolincafe is bluegrass-centric and nearly everyone assumes people want to chop chop chop.
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    "Mandolincafe is bluegrass-centric"...ya think?
    Mandolin Cafe is not a bluegrass web site.
    Not bluegrass-centric.
    Never was.
    Never will be.

    To be "centric" a genre would need to be the focus or a majority of the web site. It is neither. Since I gave birth to this web site in early 1995 and direct much of the content I may have a bit more measured insight into this.

    Major sections of the Mandolin Cafe:

    MP3 page: other genres outstrip bluegrass 2 to 1.

    Bluegrass: 208 tracks
    All other genres: 406 tracks

    Chords: way too many non-bluegrass chords outside of Major, Minor and 7th. Non bluegrass chords far outstrip them. You are more likely to find 9 chords, 7b9, Diminished, Augmented, Major 7, Minor 7, etc.

    Forum: look closely because Classical, Italian, Medieval, Renaissance is a close second to total bluegrass posts in the section Music by Genre and Celtic hot on its heels. Now throw all other genres. Bluegrass Forums with that subject as their sole focus have been tried and tested--and to date have failed.

    Bluegrass posts: 55,243
    Celtic category posts: 48,623
    All non-bluegrass genre posts: 116,694

    Builder Database: once again, F model mandolins are far back in the pack against all other styles with bowlbacks and electrics being two very large groups.

    Tab Archive:

    258 bluegrass submissions
    708 reels and hornpipes alone

    I rest my case. Won't even get into other genres.

    News: maybe this is starting to get old, and I'm not going to count the well over 2K+ news releases here but you're just as likely to see a European classical album or CMSA posting or interview with a jazz, celtic, old-time or classical player; announcements about theory and improv books, etc. We don't even cover bluegrass bands because the mandolin is simply one voice in them. Bluegrass solo albums, yes, but not a lot of them these days.

    Workshops: bluegrass is not the sole focus of most mandolin camps these days and hasn't been for quite some time. Is it there? Sure, but it's not the majority. In fact, we can name several camps that sprung out of the simple complaint bluegrass was no longer supported well enough at any of the major camps so a select few have taken on that mantle like Monroe Mandolin Camp--which is even starting to branch out to related styles, Old School Bluegrass Camp in Canada to name a few.

    Publications: bluegrass is a solid minority today in the publishing industry. See for yourself for mandolin in the News area.

    I love bluegrass, I play bluegrass, and I know a hell of a lot about it. But I also play lots of other kinds of music as my main interest.

    Bluegrass is not a focus or even any kind of majority of the Mandolin Cafe. Are there plenty of musicians with an interest in bluegrass here? Of course, but as far as them defining this site as such, not a shred of truth to it, nor does the content of the global site support such a statement.
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Dec-27-2018 at 3:04pm.

  4. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Mandolin Cafe For This Useful Post:


  5. #53
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,758

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    Mandolin Cafe is not a bluegrass web site.
    Not bluegrass-centric.
    Never was.
    Never will be.
    If the Cafe actually was that bad, I wouldn't be posting at all.

    Fortunately, as you point out, there is enough mandolin material for all of us.

    However - my impression of the posts, particularly the long running threads on Bill Monroe, Grisman, et al., does make the Cafe seem more BG centered than it is. There is much more discussion of BG details than anything else, at least to my impression.

    "Bluegrass posts: 55,243
    Celtic category posts: 48,623
    All non-bluegrass genre posts: 116,694"

    That seems like app. half of the posts are BG related. That makes my point.

    I call tell you it is NOT Italian centered, although there is plenty space for us.

    But I do appreciate that you state clearly this is a mandolin website, not a BG mandolin website.

  6. The following members say thank you to DavidKOS for this post:

    Teak 

  7. #54
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Posts
    1,435
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    That seems like app. half of the posts are BG related. That makes my point.
    If you'd like to argue with me all day about this I'm more than happy to make you look really bad.



    Total genre posts: 171,937 as of the time of that posting
    55,243 of those are bluegrass

    55,243 divided by 171,937 = 32.1%

    32.1% < 50%

    Why not just take the easy way out and say, "OK, I'm wrong." Shall I continue?

  8. #55

    Default Re: Chords

    My apologies MandolinCafe.

    I was responding to a thread wherein the poster asked about using 3-note chords instead of 4-note chords. A lot of posters jumped in right away assuming the OP wanted to know how to make bluegrass chop chords. Maybe a follow up question as to what type of music the OP was interested in would have stopped the flow of of potentially wayward advice. And, in fact, the OP mentioned buying a Jethro Burns book or course. Jethro taught 3-note chords. And yet the early answers assumed the OP wanted to do the bluegrass chop.

    **That** is what I was referring to when I suggested that to many, MC is bluegrass-centric.

    My deepest apologies. The sun will likely rise tomorrow again.
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Teak For This Useful Post:


  10. #56
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    465
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I do it all the time, not necessarily like Jethro, but using three fingered chords can give a great chop. That being said I rarely play chop chords, but instead prefer to play melody using double stops while singing.
    Ditto ........and I sometimes use 2 finger chords if they sound right.
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Collings MT
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Kentucky KM-950
    Harley Benton A style (Current campfire tool)

  11. #57

    Default Re: Chords

    Originally Posted by pops1
    I do it all the time, not necessarily like Jethro, but using three fingered chords can give a great chop. That being said I rarely play chop chords, but instead prefer to play melody using double stops while singing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    Ditto ........and I sometimes use 2 finger chords if they sound right.
    Thank you, Pittsburgh Bill for making my point. :D
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

  12. #58
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,758

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    If you'd like to argue with me all day about this I'm more than happy to make you look really bad.



    Total genre posts: 171,937 as of the time of that posting
    55,243 of those are bluegrass

    55,243 divided by 171,937 = 32.1%

    32.1% < 50%

    Why not just take the easy way out and say, "OK, I'm wrong." Shall I continue?
    I'm wrong.

  13. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DavidKOS For This Useful Post:

    RanaldTeak 

  14. #59
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,960
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Chords

    Of course this is a thread about chords so this side discussion is off topic. But the problem comes in the choice of the concept of "bluegrass centric" -- using centric as an the adjective here is a "problem" --IMO?

    Strictly speaking that would imply bluegrass is at the "center" of the Mandolin Cafe discussions and that seems to have insufficient tractable meaning -- at least to me.

    The as noted the numbers show (and those numbers are available to anyone) is that posts dealing with something about bluegrass represent about 32% of those which are genre based. Next is classical at 28%, Celtic 15% and the other three combined are 25% obviously.

    So it is fair and correct to say that bluegrass is clearly the "dominant" genre identified topic based on total posts.

    But not by much over Classical -- that is the part that surprises me even though the numbers were there to be seen every day. I just did not have a reason to look at them.

    If asked yesterday I would have guessed bluegrass>Celtic>old tyme and all the others way behind.

    You classical people must be very quiet --doing so much posting as you do!

    As to chords I don't know why a person would not use whatever chord best works regardless of what music they play? I like four finger chop chords and I have big hands - -they used to be no problem. That is until osteoarthritis set in....
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  15. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bernie Daniel For This Useful Post:


  16. #60
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA
    Posts
    3,822

    Default Re: Chords

    Good points Bernie and I agree in principle, however the difference in genre posts with bluegrass in the lead is not a statistically significant different one...meaning, no real difference there between bluegrass and classical
    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

  17. The following members say thank you to DataNick for this post:


  18. #61
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    St Paul, Minn
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Chords

    We used to have a good quote on the wall (where I worked in a design engineering department):

    "Statistics are a group of numbers looking for an argument."

  19. The following members say thank you to ajh for this post:


  20. #62
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,960
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    Good points Bernie and I agree in principle, however the difference in genre posts with bluegrass in the lead is not a statistically significant different one...meaning, no real difference there between bluegrass and classical
    Good point you'd have to actually run the numbers and I am too lazy to want to do that -- however with nearly 174,000 posts i imagine you statistical "power" would be pretty high?
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  21. The following members say thank you to Bernie Daniel for this post:


  22. #63
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    7,960
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by ajh View Post
    We used to have a good quote on the wall (where I worked in a design engineering department):

    "Statistics are a group of numbers looking for an argument."
    Yes I like that really. And of course there is always the old saw "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics"

    (attributed to Mark Twain who actually disowned the phrase and claimed that he stole it from Byron Disraeli)
    Last edited by Bernie Daniel; Dec-29-2018 at 1:23pm.
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  23. The following members say thank you to Bernie Daniel for this post:


  24. #64
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Louisville, CO
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Chords

    On “bluegrass centricism”: I just wanted to say thanks to the Mandolin Cafe and everyone here for all the varied and terrific information, advice, and inspiration. I’m a relative newcomer to both mandolin and the Cafe, a bit more than a year in. I came here with a main interest and background in old-time music. While I dabbled in bluegrass banjo years ago, that never took, and I’ve since drifted away from bluegrass. Anyway, the Cafe has inspired me to check out many of the musical directions I can take with this great instrument, including bluegrass, ragtime, jazz, and classical. I haven’t dipped my toes into the Brazilian end of the pool yet, but who knows? My point in saying this is that, as a “non-bluegrass-centric” player, I don’t take the least offense in all the bluegrass discussion here.

  25. The following members say thank you to wormpicker for this post:


  26. #65
    Confused... or?
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Over the Hudson & thru the woods from NYC
    Posts
    2,148

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by wormpicker View Post
    ... say thanks to the Mandolin Cafe and everyone here for all the varied and terrific information, advice, and inspiration. I’m a relative newcomer to both mandolin and the Cafe, a bit more than a year in. ... the Cafe has inspired me to check out many of the musical directions I can take ... as a “non-bluegrass-centric” player, I don’t take the least offense in all the bluegrass discussion here.
    Thanks for saying what I couldda / shouldda / wouldda said 10 years ago (if I'd kicked my butt into gear!), and that, I'm sure, MANY have thought in the interim. With all credit to Scott and his appointed admins, the Cafe is THE class act on the internet!
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

  27. The following members say thank you to EdHanrahan for this post:


  28. #66
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA
    Posts
    3,822

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    Good point you'd have to actually run the numbers and I am too lazy to want to do that -- however with nearly 174,000 posts i imagine you statistical "power" would be pretty high?
    Yeah, who wants to enter 174,000 posts one at a time with a genre classification...an easier way would be totals by month with at least 30 months worth of data...then you get into month by month comparisons, etc. I'll do it if someone wants to give me grant money, LOL!
    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

  29. #67
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA
    Posts
    3,822

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    Yes I like that really. And of course there is always the old saw "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics"

    (attributed to Mark Twain who actually disowned the phrase and claimed that he stole it from Byron Disraeli)
    Then there's: "Statistics is the art of torturing the data to make it confess to what you want it to"

    ...Back to the OP's concern, it seems that a fair amount of posters did reply in the context of bluegrass, but by no means are four-fingered major chords necessary in playing mandolin. That chord is used preferentially in bluegrass as a rhythmic device by "chopping" the chord in a percussive manner; and as some have pointed out, there are variations: some play all the notes when chopping, some play just the bass notes, and most of the current Nashville guys don't play notes at all.

    I think we have to be careful about preferences versus what's essential...YMMV
    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

  30. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DataNick For This Useful Post:


  31. #68
    Stop the chop!
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    europe
    Posts
    1,217
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandoplumb View Post
    The bluegrass chop is not a strum in the normal way strum is used. It is more staccato, or choppy. A bluegrass musician doesn't say back beat either it's the off beat. Every style has it's own jargon.
    Most bluegrass is in 2/2 time. Offbeat refers to the cracks between the beats. Backbeat is the accenting of the 2 and 4 in 4/4 time.

  32. #69
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    Most bluegrass is in 2/2 time. Offbeat refers to the cracks between the beats. Backbeat is the accenting of the 2 and 4 in 4/4 time.
    That may be true musically, but I've played BG for 50+ years in the appalanchain mountains ( where it all started) and I've never heard a BG musician say backbeat. As I said each type of music as well as most anything else has it's own jargon.

  33. #70
    Stop the chop!
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    europe
    Posts
    1,217
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandoplumb View Post
    That may be true musically, but I've played BG for 50+ years in the appalanchain mountains ( where it all started) and I've never heard a BG musician say backbeat. As I said each type of music as well as most anything else has it's own jargon.
    What I tried to explain is that "offbeat" and "backbeat" are different things, not different, genre-specific, words for the same thing. The chop in standard bluegrass falls between the beats in 2/2 time. The backbeat on, e.g., the hi-hat in bebop, or snaredrum in rock, falls on the 2 and 4 in 4/4 time. Hence, in your example, the word "offbeat" is (most likely) correct and "backbeat" wrong.

  34. #71
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    What I tried to explain is that "offbeat" and "backbeat" are different things, not different, genre-specific, words for the same thing. The chop in standard bluegrass falls between the beats in 2/2 time. The backbeat on, e.g., the hi-hat in bebop, or snaredrum in rock, falls on the 2 and 4 in 4/4 time. Hence, in your example, the word "offbeat" is (most likely) correct and "backbeat" wrong.
    Sorry, I thought you were correcting our terms. Most BG pickers I know wounding know the difference in 4/4 and 2/2 including myself. Isn't 2/2 cut time and the difference is really how it is written, a half note recieving a beat, two beats to a measure? If so you could count it either way. I have never played BG by written music, don't even think you can write music that accurately portrays BG. I don't mean to be disagreeing just my knowledge of music theory is limited. Years ago I played horn by written music and I sing by it in church choir so my knowledge is more than most of those I play BG with but still very limited.

  35. #72
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Near Abilene, Texas
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Re: Chords

    Two finger, three finger, four finger, five ... Okay, so you've really only got four fingers among your five digits, I only wrote that because it sounds like a nursery rhyme. Starting over ...

    Two strings, three strings or four strings? -or- Why you should learn your full chords

    Even that kind of title is misleading or at least not universally applicable. Arguments can be made: Not everyone should learn full chords, not everyone should learn chord theory, not everyone should even learn to play a mandolin or any stringed instrument at all. It depends on what you want to do, and how much you want to know. So a better title might be, why I myself should learn full chords. I can answer that pretty easily, and maybe it could help someone else.

    Much has been made of Jethro Burns' advice to play three string chords. Well and good. For myself, I often play only two or three notes of a chord (two or three strings) and that is often all that is needed. What people need to ask themselves if they care about Jethro Burns' mandolin playing is Did Jethro learn full chords? Did Jethro learn chord theory? Did Jethro think knowledge of full chords was important?

    So to get to the point, the reason I think it is important for me to know how to play full chords on all four strings in a variety of positions and voicings is simple as it regards actual playing: Choices. Pretty simple, but very important. I have more reasons than that, from a comprehensive musical perspective, but when it comes down to playing in a group or solo, having choices is the reason.

    Sometimes people wonder How can I learn doublestops? And there are PDFs and books devoted to doublestops. But the simple answer is to learn your chords. If you know your chords, the doublestops are easy. They're two notes of a chord and you can find and play them when you want them, using less fingers and changing faster than a full chord. You can add harmony doublestop notes into your melody playing if you know the chord shapes under the melody. It's a simple thing.

    Three string chords? No problem when you know the four string shapes.

    Actually knowing how to build chords and all the ways to play chords is what allowed Jethro Burns to know what two and three strings to play at any given time. It also will work for me, and for anyone else who thinks this way.

    Now, once a person (myself) believes this, the question is whether to devote your time to learning just doublestops in the beginning, or just three string chords in the beginning, or all about full chords and chord theory in the beginning? For me, the answer was to learn full chords and learn chord theory as soon as possible. The first chords I learned on mandolin were simple two or three finger chords that used either three or all four strings. That was great. But I also immediately began to either figure out or look up all kinds of variations for playing chords on all four strings, and soon began studying more about chord building theory. So my bias is toward learning full chord fingerings as early as possible. After that, knowledge of doublestops and three string shapes is automatic and requires little or no study.

    The only reason I'm posting these thoughts is because I do study chords a bit and practice this stuff sometimes, and it was a focus of my practice this morning. Maybe my rambling thoughts can help or encourage somebody else. Most of us can't help being passionate about our music, and this thread hasn't died yet, so thanks for reading my opinions.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  36. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mark Gunter For This Useful Post:


  37. #73

    Default Re: Chords

    For the OP, I would, and did, start with triads and expanded to extended chords. With the extended chords, I learned where I could drop one of the 4 tones, depending on context, like a rootless minor 7 or a minor 7b5 without the 7. And then learn the 3 common inversions (and then learn the 3 'uncommon' inversions'). Don Steirnberg's soundslice course "rhythm and repertoire" is a good resource if you're looking beyond bluegrass, ala Jethro. A good teacher wouldn't hurt either.

    Bluegrass players, and some folk/country folks, use the 4 note major shapes and fortunately there are only 2 of those shapes. Some folks thing that doubling notes is kind of a waste of a finger that could be making a more interesting tone depending on context.

    Lots of work. Give yourself a few weeks to master that in all 12 keys

    ymmv
    Play it like you mean it.

  38. #74
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Louisville, CO
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by ige View Post
    I do not have long fingers and I have problems using 4-string chords.
    I can't remember whether this has been pointed out yet, but one benefit of working on 4-finger (not just 4-string) chords from the beginning is precisely to stretch your hands so that you'll be able to make the best use of your not-so-long fingers. I can tell you that's made a big difference for (short-fingered) me. Getting your pinky into your fretting will increase your left-hand facility by, well, about 25% (or, is it 33%?).

  39. The following members say thank you to wormpicker 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
  •