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Thread: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

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    Registered User flatpicknut's Avatar
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    Default fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    I'm not even sure how to search for this, and a few Internet searches didn't work for me.

    Sometimes at the end of a bluegrass song, there will be a quick extra fast mandolin or guitar strum or two thrown into the strums. Is there a name for this type of ending? Are there any specific rhythms, or is just it just an individual thing? I guess I need to try to find an example in particular and then try to slow it down to figure out what is happening. In the meantime, thought I'd ask here!
    Doug Brock
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    Like the Bill Monroe way he does the fast strummy things? Sometimes people do a variation of shave and a haircut...guess you could do whatever you want.

    Ta Ta Ta Ta
    Ta-ta-ta-ta
    Ta

    All downstrokes on 1st four, fast up down in middle, then end with a final down. My wrist has to be very loose for it to sound good.
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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    You're just trying to fill up a last measure and resolve the tune. Some folks just do all the strokes using the tonic chord. Some folks throw in a 5 chord for the next-to-last beat. (Or something close to that.)
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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    Registered User flatpicknut's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    You're just trying to fill up a last measure and resolve the tune. Some folks just do all the strokes using the tonic chord. Some folks throw in a 5 chord for the next-to-last beat. (Or something close to that.)
    It isn't the chords but the rhythm I'm wondering about. It seems to have a bit of syncopation and a couple of extra fast strums thrown in. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually (maybe by slowing down the music), but surely someone can explain the rhythms to me.
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    Registered User Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    Can you post a link to an example?

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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    I think what you are talking about is what is best shown at the ending of Monroes recording of Rawhide. The whole band appers to be doing it. I dont know how to describe what is happening just listen and listen and listen again until it's in your head then try , try and try again to bring it out thru your hands. I do it but couldn't tell you what I'm doing except to say it's all in the rhythm. Wrist must be loose.

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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    People do it different ways. It's all pretty close to "shave & a haircut" rhythm. Depends on the song; you try to kind of make it match the feel.
    Just listen to lots of endings while holding a mandolin in your hands.
    You'll reproduce it soon.
    You can't help it!!!

    Addendum: Okay. I'll try. In terms of quarter notes-Q and eighth notes-E:

    Q EE Q Q <Q rest> Q Q [all downstrokes except the second E]

    You can vary the last 2 Qs (and all the rest) with imposed eighth notes if they fit.

    I hope that helps a little. But seriously, listen, listen, listen, repeat. It will come.

    (Rawhide ending adds QQQQ before the above.)
    Last edited by Philphool; Feb-22-2019 at 8:30am. Reason: more thoughts
    Phil

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    Registered User flatpicknut's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    I need to go back and find the couple of songs that I heard it on this week. Unfortunately I've listened to about ten bluegrass albums this week.
    Doug Brock
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    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    In addition to Monroe, study some guys like Mike Compton, Ronnie McCoury, Timmy Jones.
    Timmy Jones hits a couple of nice ending licks at 9:40 and 19:45 in this video. Probably better examples out there but found that quickly.
    All about a good wrist I think!

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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    I don't mean to disagree with others but I don't do all down strokes, and if you're trying to do it get the rhythm in your head and hands. If it comes out all down strokes fine if not fine, just don't worry about it. Several years ago I was talking to Geroge Shuffler about his cross picking. He informed me that one down and two ups would not work on guitar. I told him that I wish he hadn't told me that because that was the way I did it. He said he could not get out of it unless he did two downs and one up. My point being we all do things different so listen to everyone and do what works for you.

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    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    Totally agree with Mandoplumb. I don't use all downstrokes either.

    I was just simplifying and giving a "skeleton" to work from in my post above.

    Heck, I probably don't do it the same way twice!
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    Shave and a haircut, 2 bits is a frequent ending rhythm...

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    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Egerton View Post
    In addition to Monroe, study some guys like Mike Compton, Ronnie McCoury, Timmy Jones.
    Timmy Jones hits a couple of nice ending licks at 9:40 and 19:45 in this video.
    At 9:40 sounds like

    1 & 2 digidi|Dot-digidi-dot-dot|digidi-dot-dot &|

    Looks like dud-d-dud-d-d-dud-d-d.

    Imitates the sound of ricochet bowing on fiddle.

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    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Soper View Post
    Shave and a haircut, 2 bits is a frequent ending rhythm...
    I love rythmic sentences. What else you got?

  17. #15

    Default Re: fast rhythmic final strums of bluegrass songs?

    I don't know huge amount about country, but I have heard at least these two variations: Sometimes someone (fiddle) has a melody bit on top, I am thinking of the beverly hillbillies (Ballad of Jed Clampett) ending for example, it had a V I too. And the last two notes can have the singer go 'hee haw' too. :-)

    There is also a completely different thing where the back-beat keeps going as normal and the improv lead does a standard break down to the root on a downbeat, everyone hits that downbeat hard, and the music stops or pauses. Don't know if there is a name for that either, but we do it all the time.
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