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Thread: Rock songs that should have a mandolin

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    I love mandolin and I love rock music, but as much as I love the two, I don't think they should always be combined. Still there are numerous examples of songs that would sound great with a mandolin included. Some of personal choices.

    1. Let It Rain by Eric Clapton. Tried the intro and it sounded great.
    2.Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. Another good one.
    3.Where The Streets Have No Name by U2. I'd like to hear a good bluegrass picker on this one.
    4.Roundabout by Yes. I'm playing around trying to get the intro, and it's obvious a mandolin would be great on this one.
    5.Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners. It goes perfect.
    6.Over The Hills And Far Away by Led Zeppelin. Would be perfect as a substitute for the high guitar notes.
    7.Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith. Probably just a personal choice, but I like the sound.
    8.Norwegian Wood by the Beatles. First song I learned but it's perfect.
    9.Old Man by Neil Young. Substitute mandolin for banjo.
    10.Thick As A Brick by Jethro Tull. Fits in several places in the suite.
    Larry

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    M@d| - M@dce|| Keith Erickson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    6.Over The Hills And Far Away by Led Zeppelin. Would be perfect as a substitute for the high guitar notes.
    Figured that out on the mando already # # It's a great tune.

    I loved your list.

    If I may add that Ironhorse released bluegrass tribute CD's for Metallica and Ozzy/ Sabbath.

    My favorite metal 2 bluegrass conversion is Supernaut.

    Right now I've just finished up converting to bluegrass Here Again from Rush's 1974 self titled debut release. #I'm in the process of learning some of the other songs on that album: Working Man, Finding my Way, What you're doing? & In the Mood.

    I've also toyed around with parts of Rush 2112 but there are parts to that 1st side that have not sat well with me in regards to the mandolin.



    Keith Erickson
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    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Fat Man In The Bathtub - Little Feat
    Gina Lola Breakdown - Dixie Dregs
    Midnight Rider - Allman Bros
    Watching The Detectives - Elvis Costello
    Girls Talk - Dave Edmunds
    Just My Imagination (Stones' version)
    Clark Beavans

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    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    I love mandolin and I love rock music, but as much as I love the two, I don't think they should always be combined.
    What you really mean seems to be:
    I love bluegrass mandolin and I love rock music, but as much as I love the two, I don't think they should always be combined.

    And if it that is the case, I agree 100%. Bluegrass mandolin and rock are not that compatible.

    As far as "mandolin" and "rock", that can work just fine. But you need an understanding of how rock is put together, and the stylistic vocabulary, phrasing and techniques used by rock electric guitarists. Get rid of the banjo player and the country vocals, scrap the 2/4 BG rhythm, get a drummer and play your instrument as if it were an electric guitar.

    If on the other hand, you are looking for new material to turn into "newgrass", you ought to move the entire topic over the the "Bluegrass, Newgrass, Country, Gospel Variants" area cause you aren't really talking about rock.

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    Brick House-Commodores. This works really well surprisingly. I know it's not rock, but I get my fill of four on the floor with BG.
    I laid the tracks, never rode the train.

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    I've been working on a fingerstyle version of Billy Idol's "White Wedding". It would sound surprisingly good if I could play it well consistently.
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    Registered User cooper4205's Avatar
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    i little tremelo throughout the band's "when i paint my masterpiece" would be a very niiice (sorry the Borat in me )
    Wes
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    Registered User jmkatcher's Avatar
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    Pink Floyd songs work very well on the mandolin esp. Comfortably Numb, On The Turning Away, Brain Damage/Eclipse, and Hey You. My favorites are from the Cowboy Junkies, but that's kind of a cheat because many of the originals include electric mandolin anyway.

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    Registered User Jim MacDaniel's Avatar
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    I think emando would work quite nicely providing rhythm for some 70's funk.
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    String Plucker Soupy1957's Avatar
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    "Sister Golden Hair" by America could use a Mandolin!!
    -Soupy1957
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    Registered User cooper4205's Avatar
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    "I think emando would work quite nicely providing rhythm for some 70's funk."


    p-funk has an e-mando player
    Wes
    "i gotta fever...and the only prescription is more cowbell!!"

    '87 Flatiron A5-JR/'25 Gibson A-JR

  12. #12

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    I guess it's more R&B, but I've been doing a wicked version of 'Grapevine' in Am. #
    Also working up 'When Love Comes to Town' in A. #That's fun. #
    'Take Me to the River' is probably Gospel, come to think of it, but we play that too. #
    We also do "Tired of Waiting" (banjo player is a big Kinks fan.) #
    'Rocking in the Free World' (Em) sounds great on mandolin!

  13. #13
    john homer
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    Her`s two more; "Watching The Detectives" from Elvis Costello`s first album. I play the bass lick and go into a reggae groove on the Am chord. Then play the second bass lick and end up on the F chord. I hope this counts as rock. The second tune is "Kashmir" by Led Zepplin. Start this one by playing the A note on the low G string and at the same time play the A two octives up on the high E string. Let the open A and D strings ring as you walk the "double octive" up the neck.This seems appropriate somehow as the tune was inspired by Middle Eastern music played on instruments related to the mando.
    john homer

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    Registered User cooper4205's Avatar
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    "little martha" by the allman bros. and "blackbird" by the beatles are 2 more
    Wes
    "i gotta fever...and the only prescription is more cowbell!!"

    '87 Flatiron A5-JR/'25 Gibson A-JR

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    String Plucker Soupy1957's Avatar
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    How about "The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes" by Elvis Costello?
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    Quote Originally Posted by (James P @ Oct. 28 2006, 20:57)
    I guess it's more R&B, but I've been doing a wicked version of 'Grapevine' in Am.
    Also working up 'When Love Comes to Town' in A. That's fun.
    'Take Me to the River' is probably Gospel, come to think of it, but we play that too.
    We also do "Tired of Waiting" (banjo player is a big Kinks fan.)
    'Rocking in the Free World' (Em) sounds great on mandolin!
    I wanna hear 'Take Me to the River' & "Tired of Waiting" , course if you've got the latter down you should have no problem adding "You Really Got Me" & "All Day And All Of The Night"!
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    When ever I get together with a buddy, we play Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive", him on the acoustic guitar and I with a mando. It sounds great!

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    Three more I worked on today that I think our perfect.
    Like The Weather by 10.000 Maniacs. Really fun to play.
    In Between Days by the Cure. Love the intro.
    Lola by the Kinks. It just sounds great on mandolin.
    Larry

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    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    ... and Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers. It's a blast to crosspick.
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    [If on the other hand, you are looking for new material to turn into "newgrass", you ought to move the entire topic over the the "Bluegrass, Newgrass, Country, Gospel Variants" area cause you aren't really talking about rock.] Mandocrucian

    I have all the respect in the world for Niles. What a wealth of knowledge. But, I just don't think that his definition of what's rock is anything more than his opinion. My opinion is music is not always that easy to categorize. Mandolin can have a place in "rock" and based on what I've heard him play, and read in his 4 books that I have, Niles would be the first player I would think to put a mandolin in any rock music. And it would be good music........newgrass?..rock? Whatever you want to call it. Of course, that's just my opinion.

    Answer to the question:
    "I saw her standing there"
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    Doc Watson was once asked, "Hey Doc, this album's not bluegrass?"
    Doc said, "I ain't bluegrass. I'm Doc."

  21. #21
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    ... and Secret Agent Man by Johnny Rivers.
    Where'd you get it from? MandoMafia?

    I made the "mistake" of playing/singing my mando arrangement of this tune in a jam with 3 or 4 of those guys (Bill G, Vaughan Mairs, Fred Pritchard) at the annual Vandalia Gathering in Charleston WV, probably around 1987 or 88, or 89, when we still lived in WV. My wife said afterwards on the way home, "Man, you really shouldn't have played that; they're gonna take your material. You watch."

    Niles H

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    i play voodoo child quite often. also, jumpimg jack flash.

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    Speaking of the Stones and jumping, 'Brown Sugar' (in G) just seems to jump out of the mandolin. #

    Intro starts w/ three note G and D chords on the seventh fret answered by the G and Cs down in 1st. #Then it kicks up to a Bb (w/ sus) back down to the G (w/ C stinger,) followed by the dive to an Eb (bar for the F to G note,) up to an F in 1st position (pull off the Bb on the A string) then to the C w/ a G chord sting. #Verse and chorus are pretty standard grooves in G w/ a Bb turnaround. #

    As always, easier to play than say. #

    Anyway, the lyrics are vile so I don't see it in the setlist, but it rocks.




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    I like Stray Cat Strut a lot. Nile's commentary does apply, though. I play it with guitars and it is definitely still rock, but when I practice it alone I play around with different techniques and rhythms on the progression and it is still pretty recognizable but not always what you would call rock. A lot of times I am playing with two or more guitars and sometimes I will switch to alternate picking open or first position chords if the bar chord rhythm (my main staple) is redundant. If you heard that without the guitars, you probably would not call it rock. This is mosly on Beatles, Elvis and other early rock. It sounds particularly good (on the few occasions that I get it right) on the old 50s-60s C-Am-F-G songs (Return To Sender, Sleepwalker and a bunch of others).
    "First you master your instrument, then you master the music, then you forget about all that ... and just play"
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    john homer
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    James P That`s exactly how I play Brown Sugar! You are right it does jump right out of the mando in that key. I think the Chuck Berry influence on Keith Richards ,(Chuck was influenced by Monroe) makes this tune feel so natural on mando.
    john homer

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