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Thread: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

  1. #1
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Hi Everyone,

    I kinda' wish I named my previous thread about blues mandolin simply "Blues Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!." That way, it can become a depository for anyone who's working on this approach. I'm all in on it right now. :-)

    To get it started, here's a workup I did of "Key to the Highway," adapted from Freddie King's sublime rendition. I love that guy and have about 10 of his songs in the que to transpose. Check it out and then get yourself on here with a video of you playing the blues!
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Kevin, where I’m living now, internet is spotty, plus I’m lazy … I’ve been immersed in the blues recently and hopefully will find time to post new stuff; in the meantime here are a few I put up in the last year or two.

    Bo Carter’s Ways Like A Crawfish

    https://youtu.be/R8BMYMwzE5g



    Chuck Berry’s Never Can Tell

    https://youtu.be/sGKzlgWr_VA



    Charlie McCoy’s Gypsy Woman Blues

    https://youtu.be/bxaAGHjw_bo

    Last edited by Mark Gunter; Nov-13-2021 at 10:40am.
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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Man Mark,

    Those are awesome. You’ve got such great feel and it’s clear how much you love that music. I hadn’t considered a way to figure out Chuck Berry’s music, but you’ve paved the way.

    Thanks so much!
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    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Yes, great, wholesome playing there Mark, thanks.

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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    I enjoyed those, Marc, especially, "You Never Can Tell." I learned a beginner's three-chord version years ago, and I've been thinking lately that it's time to learn to play it in a more interesting way.
    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 Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    So happy about all of this chatter. Thanks again to Marc for providing so much great material. You're a true stylist, Marc!

    Here's "Done Somebody Wrong," an Elmore James song. I recently listened to everything Elmore recorded (of which I am aware), and am in love. It blew my mind. At first listen, it seems like he's just doing the same or similar licks but that is a significant misperception. Listening through his catalogue reveals a seemingly infinite supply of nuance. He certainly has a style, but aside from that the sounds his band makes are quite diverse.
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Thanks Kevin, I like the sort of upbeat rhythm you have there.
    Last edited by Simon DS; Nov-13-2021 at 3:06pm.

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    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Wish I could! Haven't been able to record anything for a few years. Meanwhile, my mando blues chops have been slowling coming along. Also been putting a lot of time into square- and roundneck resonator blues and flattop fingerstyle blues. (It's all in the thumb.)

    Nice videos. Thanks!
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Kevin, where I’m living now, internet is spotty, plus I’m lazy … I’ve been immersed in the blues recently and hopefully will find time to post new stuff; in the meantime here are a few I put up in the last year or two.[/YOUTUBE]
    Souful! You're all over it, Mark!
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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!


    Here’s our group’s recent video. A slow drag. I’m playing a Tenor Guitar in Mandolin tuning.
    Joe B
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    I enjoyed those, Marc, especially, "You Never Can Tell." I learned a beginner's three-chord version years ago, and I've been thinking lately that it's time to learn to play it in a more interesting way.
    Sorry for spelling your name wrong, Mark. I think it was an unconscious association. Where I live, people named "Marc" are more inclined to say "C'est la vie" than are people named "Mark."
    Last edited by Ranald; Nov-13-2021 at 5:27pm.
    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 on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Lol well I’m Mark, originally from Louisiana where Cajun French is like a second language for me and a first language for some

    Kevin, your Elmore James interpretation is more inspiration, love it, I haven’t tried any of his stuff & gonna have to rectify that. And thank you, Bob, for sharing that Ellington number, I had to move my feet on that one, and I enjoyed watching the groove in all four picking hands.

    Thanks to everyone who commented here and at YouTube on my submissions, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
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    Default Grateful Dead's Dupree's Diamond Blues

    Blues Grateful Dead style... Dupree's Diamond Blues

    https://youtu.be/wfJU4xbHuNM

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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Good stuff Sam, I’m embedding it here for you

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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Awesome, Sam. I love when the Dead does “Big Boss Man” too. It got me into Jimmy Reed. Thanks for embedding it, Mark. :-)
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!



    Probably not exactly what you had in mind, but here is an original tune I came up with a while back that I call "End of Summer Blues." I think it's pretty catchy.
    The only way to love anything is to realize it might be lost.
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    I enjoyed those, Marc, especially, "You Never Can Tell." I learned a beginner's three-chord version years ago, and I've been thinking lately that it's time to learn to play it in a more interesting way.
    Can you share that 3 cord beginner source for "You never can tell"?
    I for one would greatly appreciate it.

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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by rodarbal View Post
    Can you share that 3 cord beginner source for "You never can tell"?
    I for one would greatly appreciate it.
    I'm afraid that I can't, as I was doing that song some time ago in a "Jam" class, and can't remember how I played it. If I had sheet music or wrote notes, I can't find them. However, if you google "You Never Can Tell/Chords", you'll find plenty of lyric sheets with chords. There's even a two-chord lyric sheet. Here's a simple version with three chords (you don't need to buy the sheet, just print out a free lyric sheet and add the chords. Don't worry that the sheets says "ukulele," just use mandolin chords instead of the ukulele chords illustrated. The chords are simple, but the song really depends on an exciting rhythm.

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/442197257155411106/

    And here's what I learned during my internet search. Mark's chord version (post #2) is available in a recorded format below, showing where the chords come in, and illustrating how to play them on mandolin. (Thanks, Mark.) You can get the rhythm from his guitar accompaniment.

    https://chordu.com/chords-tabs-you-n...id_sGKzlgWr_VA

    I hope this helps.
    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 on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Thanks for the tech help Mark!

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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Here's another one: Watson Blues!

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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    And one more... the classic St. James Infirmary

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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    Kevin, where I’m living now, internet is spotty, plus I’m lazy … I’ve been immersed in the blues recently and hopefully will find time to post new stuff; in the meantime here are a few I put up in the last year or two.

    Bo Carter’s Ways Like A Crawfish

    https://youtu.be/R8BMYMwzE5g



    Chuck Berry’s Never Can Tell

    https://youtu.be/sGKzlgWr_VA



    Charlie McCoy’s Gypsy Woman Blues

    https://youtu.be/bxaAGHjw_bo

    Well done, Mark
    I can only play half as much as I want, because I only play half as much as I would like.

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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    All of this is awesome, everyone. Thank you!

    Here’s Freddie King’s “See See, Baby.” He is my favorite of the three kings, and his music is quite translatable to the mandolin. I have about 10 more of his songs/arrangements in the que. Enjoy!
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post


    Probably not exactly what you had in mind, but here is an original tune I came up with a while back that I call "End of Summer Blues." I think it's pretty catchy.
    That’s a a really pretty little piece, Caleb, very catchy. Do you have any sheets on it?
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    Default Re: Blues on the Mandolin - Let's Hear Ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    That’s a a really pretty little piece, Caleb, very catchy. Do you have any sheets on it?
    Mark, thank you! I like it a lot, and like any other idea it just seemed to come out of nowhere one day (Who can tell where an idea or a tune comes from?). I don't have any sheet music for it because I don't read or "write" music, but it's very simple and easy to play (like everything I play). If you ever want to learn it I can point you in the right direction.
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