Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Need some advice.

  1. #1

    Default Need some advice.

    I play mandolin, guitar, and bass. Most recently I have been playing all three in a Bluegrass/Roots/Old Time band where I was mostly on mandolin. That group broke up after about 9 years because one member wanted to retire and the BL wanted to go on to other projects.

    I have been subbing on both mandolin and bass since then along with playing bass at church. I have also been actively looking for a new gig while avoiding Craigs List and hoping to stay out of bar gigs. I subbed on bass for a group I really like that plays mostly 50's, 60's, and 70's rock and roll. They already have a bass player and two guitar players. They have invited me to one of their practice sessions and asked me to bring only my mandolin.

    My concern is that I don't really see that mandolin will fit well into their song selections. I know I am familiar with almost all of their songs and I can play rhythm on the mandolin with no problem. But almost all of my single note playing is in the Bluegrass area, and I have no idea what to play single note wise for classic rock and roll. I am confident that my bass and guitar playing would fit in well with their song list, but as I said, except for subbing assignments with them on those instruments, they already have that covered.

    I should mention also that they know other folks I have played with and have probably already discussed my level of skill on the various instruments. I do read music fairly well, but they use mostly charts without notation. I really hope they ask me to join their group, so what advice can you offer as to how I can prepare for this "audition?" I don't know exactly what they are expecting from me, so maybe I should just go with what I already know and see what develops. What do you think.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts,

    One_Dude

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    Regardless of what you think, they asked you for mandolin, so don't sweat it. Perhaps they are looking for a new direction. Give it to them.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  3. The following members say thank you to Br1ck for this post:


  4. #3
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    KC MO
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    I've been playing with a casual Saturday morning group (banjo, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, and me on mandolin) that does some bluegrass, some gospel, some country, and some alt rock. The mandolin is such a flexible instrument and can enhance the band sound in so many ways. You can fill in the spectrum nicely when you strum or pick arpeggios or whatever. You can throw in lead lines when the situation warrants. You can fill in for dramatic string lines by using tremolos. We do Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt," and the mandolin tremolos can really help build the intensity. Lots of options for the mandolin!
    Doug Brock
    Silverangel Econo A (in work at Ken's shop); Eastman MD315, MD505
    Pisgah Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Portland, Ore.
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    You may be surprised how many parts originally played by piano or guitar can be picked up by a mandolin player. I always look for fills and turn-arounds. Guitarists will love you because you will enhance the overall sound without stepping on them.

  6. #5
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,658

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    Itīs all about how the music is put together. So a mandolin might fit in a rock band. But if the musicians do not know what they are doing even an all bluegrass cast suck at playing "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" (or "Wagon Wheel" if that is more of a pet peeve to you).

    Forgive me the extreme example that must follow. Itīs about "In The Hall of The Mountain King" by Peer Gynt.

    Some classical footage:



    And hereīs the rather obnoxious (but I find it extremely cool and well put together - though not my kind of music -) version by the cello-heavy-metal-group Apocalyptica:



    Now all you have to do is to pull off some stunt that is as cool as that and no matter what genre they will ask of you, you can do it.
    Last edited by grassrootphilosopher; Aug-13-2019 at 12:41pm. Reason: back to the 1st grade spelling courses
    Olaf

  7. The following members say thank you to grassrootphilosopher for this post:

    JL277z 

  8. #6

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by grassrootphilosopher View Post
    ... And here's the rather obnoxious (but I find it extremely cool and well put together - though not my kind of music -) version by the cello-heavy-metal-group Apocalyptica:

    Interesting! Not my type of music either, but they seem to have done alright with it, they seem to be very capable musicians. (I wouldn't be able to play all those way up high on the neck notes, but I think I could handle the hair-tossing part pretty good.)

    Quote Originally Posted by grassrootphilosopher View Post
    ... Now all you have to do is to pull off some stunt that is as cool as that and no matter what genre they will ask of you, you can do it.
    Good point.

  9. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,576

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    Find a song list on Spotify or Pandora or whatever that contains a lot of the music you’ll be playing with them. Listen, and play along. Work on turn around a, fills, some lead stuff, and maybe harmonize with some of the lead guitar stuff. Otherwise, just be yourself and keep an open mind...

    Good luck!
    Chuck

  10. #8
    Registered User tree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,353

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    It's good ear/brain training to try to pick out parts from other instruments. If you start with a simple, iconic guitar (or saxophone, or piano, or whatever) lick or two you can build it into a solo just by hanging around on or near the notes in the chord, or using parts of scales, or double stops, or some other musical technique.

    It might seem daunting but just keep it simple and try what sounds good to you - you can do it easier than you might think. Plus, EVERYBODY starts off not being able to do what they'd like to be able to do.
    Clark Beavans

  11. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    1,047

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    IMHO, making music is making music, regardless of genre. If you've got the ear and the chops, you can play anything. It's just about finding a comfortable fit in the mix. I say go for it.
    Mitch Russell

  12. #10

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    Thanks to all who offered advice; I think your input will help. I attend a local jam twice a month that is usually Bluegrass and Country, and last night I tried finding the melody instead of always playing rhythm and I am starting to get the idea of finding fills that lead from one chord to the next. When my turn came I played some older (50's & 60"s) rock songs that were more rockabilly and that went well also.

    I have another week to do some wood-shedding, and beyond that I think I will just go with the kind of stuff I already play. As someone mentioned, they were very specific about asking me to bring my mandolin only, so maybe they have something new in mind to add to their song-list.

    I'll let you know how everything turns out.

    Thanks again,

    One_Dude

  13. #11
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    You can really play anything on mandolin. Currently I'm playing in a bluegrass band, a grateful dead acoustic cover band, a 90's rock string band, my own solo stuff (which is a lot of Bluegrass, Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan and other random stuff).

    If you need notation, you can always try searching "song name + sheet music" or "song name + violin sheet music" and you can usually find that information.

    Just curious - what are the tunes you are having some troubles with? I have a pretty large collection of music notation that I've built up over the years - if I have your tunes, I'd be happy to send them over.

  14. #12

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbruno View Post
    You can really play anything on mandolin. Currently I'm playing in a bluegrass band, a grateful dead acoustic cover band, a 90's rock string band, my own solo stuff (which is a lot of Bluegrass, Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan and other random stuff).

    If you need notation, you can always try searching "song name + sheet music" or "song name + violin sheet music" and you can usually find that information.

    Just curious - what are the tunes you are having some troubles with? I have a pretty large collection of music notation that I've built up over the years - if I have your tunes, I'd be happy to send them over.


    That's a great offer; I don't know their song list yet, just that it's 50's, 60's, and 70's rock selections. I will probably know more after I attend their practice on the 22nd. After that time I may take you up on your offer.

    Thanks, One_Dude

  15. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Columbus, GA
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: Need some advice.

    Also remember, the mandolin is sometimes a percussion instrument. Those chop strokes can sometimes add a lot.
    David Hopkins

    Breedlove Legacy FF; Breedlove Quartz FF
    Gibson F-4, (1916); Blevins Octave Mandolin, 2018
    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric;
    Recording King Resophonic Mandolin; Slingerland Songbird Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

Posting Permissions

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