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Thread: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    Hi, folks - since listening to Afropop Worldwide as a kid growing up, I have had a mix of afropop guitar styles in my head. anyone else have the crazy idea to play (something like) these styles on the mandolin / in a string band context?
    Here's what I've come up with so far -

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  3. #2
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    No lie I was thinking today about this type of style on the mandolin. It works nicely and now Iím going to have a go too.

    Great job.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    Great, David! Can't wait to hear it!

  5. #4

    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    Among Malagassy players of tsapiky there seem to be instruments referred to as "mandolins" but I'm still not sure what they are, exactly - anyone know more about this territory / style?

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    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    African Guitar Styles - Folo-Graff

    This book/CD can get you off to a decent start. If you get the CD version (instead of files), rip the disc to your PC so you can play it back a the speed you prefer.



    If you can't read notation, think about learning, so you can lift vocabulary from the mass of guitar, piano, etc instructional material and transcriptions, cause you aren't going to find much in mandolin "tab"

    Niles H

    Among Malagassy players of tsapiky there seem to be instruments referred to as "mandolins" but I'm still not sure what they are, exactly - anyone know more about this territory / style?
    They may be referring to kabossy a medium uke sized instrument (often) with diatonic frets (as in photo 2)
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #6
    birder catmandu2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    The range of stringed instruments in afro-latin musics is wildly varied - anything and everything has been used - as the rhythm is the essence; tonal characteristics is of secondary importance. If all a person has available to them are natural materials - gourds, sticks, hides, etc - it serves the purpose. A simple guitar or ukelele or banjo is a premium instrument in many cultures.

    Ive been studying (afro-latino styles) for a long time - since retiring from drumming I've had to use other instruments to deploy. I got hooked on accordions because of all the polyrhythmic capacity of the instrument. Prior to covid I led a weekly jam where I played lots of cumbia and brazilian and taught the forms. As a rhythmatist it's quite a hardship to do without this. I dance around at home along to youtube - if I play my 20 lb box I get a good work out

    My latest fancy is chica:




  8. #7

    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    The range of stringed instruments in afro-latin musics is wildly varied - anything and everything has been used - as the rhythm is the essence; tonal characteristics is of secondary importance. If all a person has available to them are natural materials - gourds, sticks, hides, etc - it serves the purpose. A simple guitar or ukelele or banjo is a premium instrument in many cultures.

    Ive been studying (afro-latino styles) for a long time - since retiring from drumming I've had to use other instruments to deploy. I got hooked on accordions because of all the polyrhythmic capacity of the instrument. Prior to covid I led a weekly jam where I played lots of cumbia and brazilian and taught the forms. As a rhythmatist it's quite a hardship to do without this. I dance around at home along to youtube - if I play my 20 lb box I get a good work out

    My latest fancy is chica:




    Here are some You Tube links with direct mandolin content in regards to Afro Pop. These are of a recent 2020 recording and some earlier performance videos with King Ibu and myself. Check out more on King Ibu on Youtube. SEE LINKS BELOW.

    A majority of his vocal work is in French or Senegalese. "To The One" is in English

    TO THE ONE KING IBU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5RWIz1Pb2s


    King Ibu and Steve Smith Performing Africa
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvyB5zmTE04


    King Ibu @ UNLV Presi 1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2DAl8SA_Os
    Steve Smith

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  10. #8
    Registered User Rob Ross's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    I've always loved the rippling chordal notes of soukous guitar, and always wondered if there was somebody out there who had figured out how to do it on mandolin with crosspicking.
    Rob Ross
    Apple Valley, Minne-SOH-tah

    1996 Flatiron A5-Performer
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    1925 Bacon Peerless tenor banjo (Irish tuning)
    1985 Lloyd Laplant F-5
    and of course,
    the 1970 Suzuki-Violin-Sha Bowl Back Taterbug

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    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?


  12. #10

    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    Sounds great. ������

  13. #11

    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    Thanks for this list, Joel - of course I should have thought of ILAM!

  14. #12

    Default Re: Anyone trying to play Afropop styles on the mandolin?

    ... you know, thinking about this, I remembered that our local mandolin (chamber) orchestra undertook the crazy task of re-interpreting Fela Kuti's "Water he no get enemy," with some spanish-language proverbs about water - it was a fun experiment, but I am realizing now that one of the weaknesses is that it doesn't tap into any actual instrumental techniques. catmandu2 is making me think about the possibilities for finding some resonance in afro-latin rhythms and the various practices of fretted/strummed instruments in (Afro-)Latin America....



    Thanks for the thoughts and media-sharing, all!

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