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Thread: Tremolo technique

  1. #26
    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Regarding playing technique, I do two different types of tremolo (well many more than two). One version, I do an exact number of down-up strokes per note, so a short tremolo might just be down-up, or DUDU or DUDUDUDU and so on. The other version, there is no fixed number, the aim is to blend the strokes so smoothly that there is no associated counting, other than the musical tempo itself.

    Another part of the technique, vary the angle of the plectrum as it hits the strings. If the pick is angled at say 45 degrees to the strings, it will glide more smoothly over the strings, and gives a soft, somewhat muffled tone. Altering the angle up to (or even beyond) hitting the strings with the pick flat on to the strings gives a louder, brighter more emphatic tone, but can be harder to play smoothly. Do both, do all of them, vary the angle. It's all about drawing out that wonderful expressive mandolin tone. No need to do things just a single way when there are lots of ways.

  2. #27
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    What wonderful videos! I love the the clarity and thoughtfulness put into this instruction. Really, very well done. Thank you! I have a question. In the first video you mentioned that different teachers taught different methods of holding the pick. When a student begins lessons, in general, a teacher’s suggestions are the “law of the land”. You do it their way - period. As you progress a little part of your brain says “yes, but THIS little variation truly works and feels better for me” - yet many will dare not vary their approach in front of the teacher. Eventually you start to trust your instincts more and more. Can you share your thoughts on “coming into your own” vrs unwavering adherence to whatever a particular teacher might be instructing you to do? It might be helpful for many beginning students (myself included LOL). Also, I love Oblivion (Piazzolla)! What was your source for the music? And finally, I was exploring your albums - beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Again, thank you so much for creating these videos.
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Apr-21-2020 at 5:11am.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress

  3. #28

    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Thank you, Ruth. Very helpful.

  4. #29

    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Dear Tim Logan,

    Thank you for your kind words about our music. The Oblivion sheet music I have been using was written for piano and oboe. It says Oblivion (aus dem Flim HEINRICH IV) by Astor Piazzolla. I "record" the piano part into my electric piano as my virtual accompanist. I'm thinking of playing the whole piece as an "extra" to the series so people can play along or just listen.

    I have thought on your question ...

    There is a lot of variation in mandolins and also the physiology of the hands that play them ... therefore it makes sense that players will vary in the techniques they use and this variety is a wonderful thing about the instrument (I think). Beyond the basics, then, I would encourage players to listen with their own ears and seek out that technique which they found most comfortable and pleasing in sound. If a mandolin teacher isn't willing to countenance a personal variation in technique there could be two legitimate reasons: 1. That the varied technique will be limiting in terms of future ability to play more difficult pieces, and 2. That it comes with an increased risk of injury. That "this is the way it's done" is not a good reason to me and does nothing for the advancement of the instrument or enjoyment of playing - just one player's opinion.

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  6. #30
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Thank your thoughtful and well stated comments Ruth. I’ve been listening to your albums over and over - I really am enjoying your music!

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress

  7. #31
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Quote Originally Posted by aussiemando View Post
    If a mandolin teacher isn't willing to countenance a personal variation in technique there could be two legitimate reasons: 1. That the varied technique will be limiting in terms of future ability to play more difficult pieces, and 2. That it comes with an increased risk of injury. That "this is the way it's done" is not a good reason to me and does nothing for the advancement of the instrument or enjoyment of playing - just one player's opinion.
    it's a good opinion, and those are two of the best reasons to learn a specific technique.

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  9. #32
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Quote Originally Posted by gordonjackson83 View Post
    beating my wife or wearing corduroy?
    Sir, please tell the jury if you always wear corduroy when you beat your wife?
    belbein

    The bad news is that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. The good news is that what kills us makes it no longer our problem

  10. #33

    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Thanks for all your kind comments and encouragement. The final lesson is now up (lesson 4). It’s about (tremolo) double stops and techniques for trills. https://youtu.be/pVfDFXDYIyc

    A few of you have asked about the piece from the start of lesson 1 ... so I have made a full version as an extra to the series. https://youtu.be/l483lkiobwo If you want to play along, the sheet music can be found by googling Oblivion Piazolla Oboe Piano ... at least that works for me.

    Happy playing!

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  12. #34

    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Thank you again, Ruth, for taking you time to help out us less experienced players. You do an outstanding job teaching! I enjoyed the extra also. Beautiful piece.

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  14. #35

    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Thank you Ruth. I have gone through the first three videos and they are really helpful and well thought out.

  15. #36
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Yes indeed - thank you! SOMorris said it perfectly!!!

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress

  16. #37

    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Thank you everyone! It’s been a pleasure making them.

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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Thanks Ruth.

    As a self-taught amateur with many bad habits, I always find it useful to learn from the pros.

    Your lessons are clear and well-paced
    Bren

  19. #39
    Registered User gordonjackson83's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo technique

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    Sir, please tell the jury if you always wear corduroy when you beat your wife?
    Never. I haven't worn corduroy since the mid-1800s. I will admit to beating my wife often at Trivial Pursuit.

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