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Thread: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

  1. #1
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    Default Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    I attend a Blues Jam regularly and play guitar. I would like to play a a mandolin song from time to time. Any suggestion for songs that might work at a Blues Jam.
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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Have a look at the posts entitled "Blues, Stomps & Rags," #1-50 down the Forum Page under the heading, "Jazz, Swing, Blues, Bossa, Choro, Klezmer, Ragtime."
    More blues than you can shake a stick (or perhaps a back cat bone) at .

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ps-amp-Rags-50
    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.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Check out Rich Delgrosso, Gerry Hundt and of course Jim Richter for ideas and inspiration.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Almost any song will work on mandolin, it will just be different. Depending upon your proficiency, what key you choose might make a difference. There are lots of songs that are blues based, but not in the "blues" genre: "Route 66", "Chains", etc. Lots of Western swing music is blues: "Milk Cow Blues", etc.

    You can even do songs which are not blues form, but do them in a blues style. David Bromberg does "900 Miles" in a very bluesy style on his album,"The Blues, the Whole Blues, and Nothing but the Blues"

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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices






    ...

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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    I have a few favorites lately in different styles on mandolin, Green River (CCR), Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning (Rev Gary Davis) and Diving Duck Blues (Yank Rachell). All are a lot of fun on mandolin.

    Yank played mandolin on Diving Duck. I worked out a cool mandolin version of Keep Your Lamp based on Larry Campbell’s guitar arrangement, it’s a favorite with the worship band I play in. I worked out Green River on mandolin, based on my own finger style guitar arrangement, during my first year of mandolin, and made a video tutorial of it - before I could even play it fluidly. When I play it on mandolin now, I still use the same licks and forms that I showed in that video. It works. I’ll put a link to that here, in case you’re interested.

    https://youtu.be/JWMmAJ0cevo
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Ry Cooder doing Brownsville Blues....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdHXqAvOfXg
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    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User Al Trujillo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Anyone have any good sources of tab books for Blues? So far they've eluded me.

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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Here's one I like.
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    One for the holidays....


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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Any blues tune is fine. Just learn it on mando. Some good artists for inspiration are mentioned above. Yank Rachell and Johnny Young are a couple of early practitioners, and there are a few Memphis Minnie tunes that include mando.

    Even though I don't remember any mando associated with them, you can do some playing along and get some great song selections from Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers and the Memphis Jug Band.

    For minor-key blues, listen to some Rich DelGrosso. And to this:


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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    PS - Once you have the hang of it, a blues jam is a great place to bring a mando, because it'll be the only one there.

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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    "Bluegrass Stomp"..

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post

    Even though I don't remember any mando associated with them, you can do some playing along and get some great song selections from Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers and the Memphis Jug Band.
    Vol Steven was an impressive mandolin player who played with the Memphis Jug band.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ps-amp-Rags-20
    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.

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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    Almost any song will work on mandolin ... You can even do songs which are not blues form, but do them in a blues style.
    IF I recall correctly (not necessarily a given!), didn't Stevie Ray Vaughn do a pretty rockin' cover of "Mary Had A Little Lamb"? Yeah I know it's on guitar but still a valid example, even if extreme.
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by EdHanrahan View Post
    IF I recall correctly (not necessarily a given!), didn't Stevie Ray Vaughn do a pretty rockin' cover of "Mary Had A Little Lamb"? Yeah I know it's on guitar but still a valid example, even if extreme.
    Good example, SRV (in 1983) covered Buddy Guy’s blues version (1963) of the nursery rhyme.
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Trujillo View Post
    Anyone have any good sources of tab books for Blues? So far they've eluded me.
    These books all are good, and include tabs tabs. All come with either a CD or a link for MP3's.

    Carr, Joe. School of Mandolin: Blues. Mel Bay.

    James, Steve. Roots and Blues Mandolin. Acoustic Guitar Private Lessons, String Letter.

    Delgrosso, Rich. Mandolin Blues: from Memphis to Maxwell Street. Hal-Leonard.


    Carr's is good for someone fairly new to either mandolin or the blues, providing rhythms, blues scales, and such. James's is more intermediate, with plenty of good, sometimes well-known, tunes. Delgrosso's is for a more experienced player, who already has a blues background. His book has plenty of information in it, and is a must for anyone interested in the history of blues mandolin. Steve James also has two teaching DVD's On Homespun Video.
    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.

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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    These books all are good, and include tabs tabs. All come with either a CD or a link for MP3's.

    Carr, Joe. School of Mandolin: Blues. Mel Bay.

    James, Steve. Roots and Blues Mandolin. Acoustic Guitar Private Lessons, String Letter.

    Delgrosso, Rich. Mandolin Blues: from Memphis to Maxwell Street. Hal-Leonard.


    Carr's is good for someone fairly new to either mandolin or the blues, providing rhythms, blues scales, and such. James's is more intermediate, with plenty of good, sometimes well-known, tunes. Delgrosso's is for a more experienced player, who already has a blues background. His book has plenty of information in it, and is a must for anyone interested in the history of blues mandolin. Steve James also has two teaching DVD's On Homespun Video.
    Thank you, Ronald!! I'll dig into them soon.

  26. #19

    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    I have a few favorites lately in different styles on mandolin, Green River (CCR), Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning (Rev Gary Davis) . . . .
    Rich DelGrosso does a nice job on "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning" on the album by his trio the Ragpickers.

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    Registered User Joey Anchors's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    https://youtu.be/NLxW_Ndqmec

    Here’s a track I recorded a year ago on a five string mando.
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  29. #21
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Anchors View Post
    https://youtu.be/NLxW_Ndqmec

    Here’s a track I recorded a year ago on a five string mando.
    Very cool, Joey. Good video too. Makes me want to drink straight whisky at some late-night dive on the side of an old highway.*

    *with a designated driver to take me home, of course.
    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.

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Mike Compton hasn’t been mentioned? Check out his 'rotten taters' album. There are some lovely blues, which you can simplify if needs be.
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    I stick in G when I'm doing songs if possible, easy chords which sound good & the possibility of a solo.

    I like "Can't be satisfied" (Muddy Waters)"Monday morning blues" ( MIssissippi John Hurt) Hellhound (Robert Johnson) & sneak in a few more country ones like like "White Freightliner" and "Catfish John". "Love in vain" is good too. Keep the mando part simple, don't compete with yourself.

  33. #24
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Rich DelGrosso does a nice job on "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning" on the album by his trio the Ragpickers.
    I looked for this track, Charlie, haven't found it yet.

    I did find a track where Rich played another tune I'd mentioned, Diving Duck Blues ... and a bunch of other blues from Rich that I really need to purchase and digest
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    Default Re: Blues Mandolin Song Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey Anchors View Post
    https://youtu.be/NLxW_Ndqmec

    Here’s a track I recorded a year ago on a five string mando.
    Very nice, Joey
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
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