Ok fellow pickers, this I just had to share.
A few weeks ago I was at the Irish Session playing the 4 string tenor banjo and I happened to remark off the cuff that I enjoyed doing a little Mandolin on the side. A fellow 4 stringer perked up and told me there was a monthly Bluegrass Slow Jam at this same pub, that they’d love to have a Mandolin guy more often, and that all levels are welcome.
After a long pull on my Guinness I decided it was something I had to check out.
Sure enough he was right, they were the most friendly, accommodating, down right nice musicians I’d ever met.
So, I’m hooked, I WANT to get enough Mando Rhythm under my belt to chop away with those guys and girls. However, I have a few questions for the resident choppers here.
Ben’s Chop is nice, it’s got that low note on the down beat and the “chop” on the upbeat, however Ben’s chop has a lot of “note sound” in it. In other words when he’s chopping a G you know it’s a G. The more Bluegrass I listen to, the more the chop just sounds like 8 muted strings. I honestly can’t hear the “G D C G” etc in the music. Is this typical? Is it more common to hear the chord some when you are playing by yourself, but more “appropriate” to mute the strings more when playing with others?
Honestly, I asked another mando player that was there at evening, she laughed and told me that she sometimes gets away with muting all the strings and just going with it.
Umm? What?? What is the care free approach to music? Coming from classical music (Violin) and Irish Session Music with it’s VERY particular social structure, “just go with it” I’m equal parts enamored and stunned… and there’s no emoticon for that.
So, right now the plan is to “chop” away with all my practice music, wondering what you guys/gals would recommend.
Promise to report back (WITH PICS) when I “just go with it” my first time!