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Thread: What's the use of an e-mando?

  1. #26
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    The latter, and it works just fine.....

  2. #27
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
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    I can't believe I missed a post talking about doing fiddle tunes as surf tunes... How to the rhythm instruments approach it? If they chop, how can you tell it's surf? Can you help me imagine this a bit?

    Christian
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  3. #28
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Are U familiar with surf music, taboot?

    Imagine the instrumentation on a tune like "Penetration" or "Mr. Moto" ("Pipeline" will do) with the double low-string dada dada dada dada on rhythm guitar, maybe another rhythm guitar doing single up-strokes on the chords, a simple bass line, trashy drums, and the key to the whole deal, a single-coil guitar (Strat, Jazzmaster, Mosrite or the like), preferably with a whammy bar, but definitly plugged into a Fender Tank reverb unit (that's a must!!) into a big clean amp like a Twin or the like, laying down the melody with little or no frills...

    You can play any melodic tune with this lineup, and the surf kings of the guitar did back in the day. #"Miserlou" is what, a Greek folk tune from 1928? #I've heard the Ventures and other groups play things like "Perfidia" and "Caravan", and turn them into the surf hits of the day...

    Take something simple like "Billy in the Lowground"...
    Play it with the above lineup with a "Mr. Moto" attitude, nice and slow emphasizing the melody, and you're gold...

    The Mandobird or the like works well as the lead instrument too, but don't forget the tank reverb...

    This was the first music I ever played, having grown up in SoCal listening to Dick Dale and the Deltones in the early 60's, and learning the ultra-fast tremelo that is common in the genre.

    That's the reason I picked up the mandolin in the first place, was because of all that tremelo...




  4. #29
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    Other good reasons-

    you can play voicings otherwise difficult to impossible on the guitar...

    Playing a 5ths based tuning makes you "think different" and play different kinds of lines than the guitar tuning...

    You can knock birds out of midflight on the high strings
    John McGann, Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music
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  5. #30
    Registered User Trip's Avatar
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    We do Dick Dale's Pipeline as a latenight jam during our shows.......usually on acoustic though.....but I just got my Mandobird and practised with it for the first time today and broke some new ground....its gonna get sick
    Theres a live version on my website if you want to check it out #StrangerStringBand.com #look on the downloads pages

  6. #31
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
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    My familiarity with surf isn't what it should be. And that's funny, since my parents turned me on to most of the good old rock that I love today, and somehow left out all the surf that they used to listen to. Oh well... I used to play Walk Don't Run with my old band, with my guitarist on the screaming Tele, but it just never occured to me to set fiddle music in that context. I personally love the idea, since my band-mates always want to play more fiddle-y, old timey stuff, and I always wanna rock more. Perhaps both objectives can be acheived! Thanks for the spark!

    Christian
    Christian McKee

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  7. #32
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    "My familiarity with surf isn't what it should be."

    Surf music is kinda funny that way...
    It's real heyday was pre-Beatles and a couple years into the British Invasion, and it's popularity was back in the days when there were regional hits.

    I remember vividly scanning the AM dial in SoCal and hearing "Let's Go Trippin'" by Dick Dale on 3 stations at the same time, and yet, if you lived in Bakersfield or Omaha, you probably never even heard the tune...

    Of course "Pulp Fiction" and other sources have given the genre a new life....

  8. #33
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
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    That's always struck me about it, too. My parents were my major sources for the great rock music of the 50's through the late 60's, and even though they listened to lots of surf (being California kids, both of 'em,) that piece of their listening faded competely with time. Now I listen to it, and seems like it was bigger than it often gets credit for in terms of its influences on later music...

    Christian
    Christian McKee

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  9. #34
    ISO TEKNO delsbrother's Avatar
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    I posted this elsewhere in the emando group but thought you guys might get a kick out of it too:

    I'm absolutely killing myself over missing this show!

    Evidently Dick Dale came on and played a bit with Nokie Edwards. Arrrgghh! You you !

  10. #35
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    >My understanding of the accoustic mandolin is that part of the
    >beauty of the sound comes from the paired-strings concept.

    This is true. Part of the beauty of the electric mandolin is
    the sound of a pick-up played thru an amp. The fact that it sounds
    superficially like an electric guitar is not a negative thing.
    I think it sounds better than an acoustic mandolin in certain settings.

    >Why would one use a 4 string e-mandolin as opposed to a standard
    >electric guitar?

    You would use an electric mandolin if you wanted to express
    yourself using a mandolin, rather than a guitar. I play rhythm
    guitar to learn about music, not to perform using it.
    I play solos on mandolin because I know the instrument.

    How (and why) does the sound differ?

    The sound differs due to the tuning/string intervals, pickup,
    pick-up placement, string tension, etc.

  11. #36
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    For me, it's simply a matter of practicality. #I played the violin from the first grade on (I'm nearly 28 now). #When I started playing guitar, the tuning wasn't at all intuitive to me. #Although I've learned to handle myself all right on the guitar, I picked up the mandolin much more quickly, and consider myself better at it after two and a half years than I was after nine years on the guitar.

    The electric mandolin lets me play electric riffs on an instrument that I don't have to even think about where the fingers go. #It's just natural to me, and it lets me play at speeds and with a dexterity that I can't match on the guitar.

    Hell, I can play the solo from Steely Dan's Kid Charlemagne on my electric mandolin. #I can't touch it on my guitar.



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  12. #37
    Registered User Yellowmandolin's Avatar
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    How are chords handled on an emando? I wouldn't think you would be able to chop in the BG way. Do you do a lot more open chord postions and let them ring? I don't know what the tension is like on them, so... what do you do?
    Play, play, play!

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  13. #38
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
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    I play a lot of longer-ringing two and three string combinations when playing rhythm. Notes sustain so much longer, even without any kind of overdrive, that I spend alot of time playing single notes on the G and D strings. In fact, unless we're really rocking, I rarely feel compelled to venture above my A string when playing electric rhythm. Specific to the right hand, we do some "slam-grass" kind of stuff, and then I'll pop back to the bridge pick-up, and chop as I normally would with a little added slapback. Then you can get that percussive attack without getting drowned in too much noise...

    Christian
    Christian McKee

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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Yellowmandolin @ Feb. 06 2005, 17:24)
    How are chords handled on an emando? I wouldn't think you would be able to chop in the BG way. Do you do a lot more open chord postions and let them ring? I don't know what the tension is like on them, so... what do you do?
    You have to remember that, like the difference between playing an electric guitar and an acoustic guitar, the emando has to be played in a very different way from the acoustic mandolin. There is sustain present that doesn't exist with an acoustic, and so while you can mute the strings and get percussive sounds out of an emando, "chopping" as such is of limited value.

    Playing an emando in a group setting can be tough, because it's sometimes hard to find a spot in the groove for the unique voicings that the mandolin's chords have when compared to a guitar, which is your major competition in such a setting. You really need something like a rhythm guitar or keyboards to hold down the typical rock root notes, since the mandolin won't do it in quite the same way, and may end up sounding a bit tinny, shrill, and unnecessary.

    Honestly, if you're not figuring on playing rock or jazz with an emando, you might be better off with a good acoustic.
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    Taboot, if you find yourself rarely straying above the A string you might want to try re-stringing your emando as a mandola. With the lighter gauge strings usually used on an emando the low C resonates just fine on a mandolin scale length.
    Wye Knot

  16. #41
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
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    I've thought about that, but I go back and forth so much between solo and rhythm modes, and would desperately miss the E string when soloing.

    Christian
    Christian McKee

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  17. #42
    Registered User Yellowmandolin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Kid Charlemagne @ Feb. 07 2005, 12:49)
    Honestly, if you're not figuring on playing rock or jazz with an emando, you might be better off with a good acoustic.
    Yea...I have a Gibson F5-G right now but am playing in rock band on the weekends. I thought the extra sustain might be an issue if I wanted to chop. But I guess the only reason I was trying to chop in that setting was because open chords are not as loud and don't cut through.
    Play, play, play!

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    I'm jealous of your Gibson. I have a nice Old Wave that I wouldn't part with, but I've always lusted after a Gibson F-style.

    As far as your emando goes, if you're playing with a rock band, my guess would be that you're probably making at least some use of a few effects with your instrument, right? I've found that some overdrive and a touch of echo/delay in the signal really helps those chords to ring out.

    If you're actually playing in a rock setting, I have trouble imagining that a chop would serve you very well, since as I understand things the chop was initially used as a substitute for a percussion section.

    What sort of emando are you playing? Pickups/wiring make a lot of difference in what rings out or doesn't. My Schwab has dual humbuckers with separate coil taps, so I can get either a single- or double-coil performance out of them. Truth is, though, that I rarely switch off of double, since the single-coil sound is a bit more tinny and nasal than I can usually use in a rock setting.

    I've played around a lot with getting a good sound that can at least sort of fit in with what an electric guitar would produce, and have found that the neck pickup, switched over to double coil, with the tone rolled about halfway back, gets as close as I'm likely to get with my instrument. Combined with some overdrive/distortion, some modulated delay, and sometimes a bit of tremolo, I can get a decent rock sound out of my rig. But it does take some work to work it out, and it seems to be very instrument/hardware-specific.
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  19. #44
    Registered User Yellowmandolin's Avatar
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    I actually don't currently own an emando, just in the market. The chop doesn't sound too bad in reality, just a little out of place. We already have two distortion/overdiven guitars so a clean sound works ok. I have tried to use some effects on my Gibson through a Shertler pickup, but for some reason, it just doesn't work.
    Play, play, play!

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  20. #45

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    The chop doesn't sound bad but it performs the same function generally taken care of by the snare drum in a rock band. So unless you don't have a drummer the chop is best used sparingly.
    Peter Klima (not the hockey player)

  21. #46

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    I'm wanting surf music now. Thanks Spruce, any chance you made any recordings of the mando? John
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  22. #47
    Registered User Josh Brown's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the use of an e-mando?

    Ha! I'm so glad I stumbled across this thread. I was given an electric mandolin about a year ago and during all that time I never once thought "What can I do with this?" - I just played it like any other mandolin (which is wonderfull enough), and it was litteraly only a few days ago when I really started thinking about taking advantage of that pickup. That prospect kinda scared me because I honestly don't know the first thing about the role of electronics in music - I've always been a kinda a folksy folk. But y'all got me inspired so I'm gonna go study my face of now & come 3 weeks time I'll have a video up of me making some crazy sounds

    I'M OFF ON MY NEXT ENDEAVOR! THANK YOU KINDLY EVERYONE.

  23. #48
    Registered User mandopulu's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the use of an e-mando?

    Awesome!! I hadn't seen this thread at all, but happen to have an electric mandolin, which I love

    Have fun with the experimentation - I play my mandobird mostly late at night when everyone else is sleeping - it's not exactly silent, but it's quieter than an acoustic instrument. I don't always amplify it, but when I do, I've got had great results with an iPad + an iRig attachment.
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  24. #49
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    Default Re: What's the use of an e-mando?

    Guitars are absurdly big and and heavy... why not play a 5 string (or even 4 string) electric mando? Smaller, lighter, strings in 5ths makes more sense. Easier to play high up in the register as well. Mandolins are versatile. You can play a traditional bowl back, a bluegrass F or A, an electric... why play guitar, that's a better question!

  25. #50
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    Default Re: What's the use of an e-mando?

    Tonight I played my new 4 string solid body through my digitech to an old Univox tube amp in our practice set. After 5 songs everyone in the group couldn't believe the difference the e-mando made over my acoutic/electric did. We have 6 pieces and I usually play fill and alternate chords in support and this worked great. That and the fact that people can't figure out what I am playing makes it a grand time!

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