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Thread: Match guirar chords to Octave Mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User kkeesy's Avatar
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    Default Match guirar chords to Octave Mandolin

    I just bought an Eastman OM from The Mandolin Store.I wanted to know how to match guitar chords being it's an octave lower.Been a banjo and guitar player since the 70's but this is going to be a new one on me.I have an Eastman 315,mostly play Celtic and Medieval slow tunes.I'm sure I'll be asking about the best strings when I get it.You guys have always been so much help.I ment GUITAR forgot glasses.

  2. #2
    Jerry Cobbs jerrycobbs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Match guirar chords to Octave Mandolin

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by match guitar chords, but a lot of people say the sound of their OM gets lost if there are one or more guitars in the group. Here's what I have done (I have an Eastman MDO-305 as well). If I'm the only rhythm instrument, as when backing up my wife on her fiddle, I just play open chords up near the nut (like "cowboy chords" on the guitar). However back in the summer I was playing some in a group with two other guitars and in that case I would capo up and play further up the neck. For instance if they were in the key of C I would capo at the fifth fret and play in G. (One of the nice things about an OM is it lends itself well to capoing.) I could play chords and fills and not get as lost in the guitars. It doesn't cut through quite as well as a regular mandolin, but well enough to be heard and add some texture to the mix.

    I should mention that I tune my OM to GDAD and play bouzouki-style, with more emphasis on open strings and drone notes.

    Unless you have hands that can palm a basketball, I wouldn't worry about 4-finger chop chords, etc. There are plenty of videos and resources online that can show you two and three finger open chords for the OM. If I need a "chop" sound I just palm mute with my strumming hand.

    As for strings, I wasn't excited about the sound of the EJ-80 OM strings that come on it. EJ-76 mandola strings will work well. I settled on EFT-76 flatwound mandola strings, which cut some of the twang and most of the finger noise. I've been quite satisfied with them so far.
    -- Johnson MA-100 Mando
    -- Eastman MDO-305 OM
    -- 3 Seagull Merlin dulcimers (2GDG, 1DAD)
    -- 1952 Harmony Roy Smeck guitar
    -- Ortega Lizzie Ubass
    -- Leigh Campbell electric violin
    -- Pfretzschner violin
    -- Glaesel viola
    -- Ibanez acoustic/electric guitar
    -- Misc: a cello, 2 cigarbox guitars, charango, djembe, slide dulcimer.

  3. #3
    Registered User kkeesy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Match guirar chords to Octave Mandolin

    I should have made this a more simple question.I mean if I make a regular C chord on the OM,what would match it on a Guitar?

  4. #4
    Registered User kkeesy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Match guirar chords to Octave Mandolin

    Thanks Jerry for the help.I'm 65 can't see too well anymore.This is all new to me.

  5. #5
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Match guirar chords to Octave Mandolin

    If you tune in GDAE tuning then do you mean by regular C chord the G 0pen, D2, A3 E open shape on your octave? If so, then you could play standard C chord at the nut on your guitar. Maybe you are trying to get different pitch on your guitar to add texture to the sound and avoide the muddiness that might occur when the two instruments play in the same range of notes, so maybe play C as a Bb shape moved up 2 frets on your guitar, or F shape at the 8th fret?
    Hope this is of help to you.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  6. #6
    Registered User kkeesy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Match guirar chords to Octave Mandolin

    Thank you much John.I'm by my self.all of my old pickin buddies are here no more.I record my own backing tracks on the guitar.

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