It is currently Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:57 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 
 Post subject: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:29 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Michigan
I've seen postings suggesting mandocello isn't appropriate for TIM. Can someone explain that? Does the C sound bad with a guitar in DADGAD? I've got a mandocello which means I wouldn't have to try and justify another instrument purchase to my wife. I think the last time she said, "Um… why don't you learn to play the ones you have?" Like logic should come into the decision or something.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:45 pm
Posts: 18663
Location: San Diego, CA
I know a fine Irish fluter named Tim. I don't know if he thinks mandocellos are appropriate, but you probably want to use the more common acronym/initialism ITM for Irish Traditional Music. :P

Whatever postings you've seen, IMO there's nothing inherently wrong with mandocello for ITM, depending on the player. It's about the same size as a full-scale zouk.

The standard CGDA tuning has some limitations for melodic playing; you're either mostly on the top 2 strings and sometimes above 1st position, or doubling tunes an octave below. Or, as with standard tenor banjo tuning, you can try restringing with lighter strings for GDAE or one of the zouk tunings.

DADGAD guitar has little to do with it, as you're just as likely to find guitarists playing in Dropped-D or standard tuning. And you don't necessarily want both guitar and zouk-thing pounding accompaniments at the same time anyway.

One of our session regulars here is a mandocellist who plays CGDA, mostly accompaniment, on a nice vintage Gibson A-style. I find his particular approach a bit bottom-heavy in the overall effect, but that's a matter of personal taste.

_________________
Vivat diabolus in musica! MTGuru's (old) GG Clips / Blackbird Clips

Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:39 pm
Posts: 3095
Location: Kinlochleven
MTGuru wrote:
Whatever postings you've seen, IMO there's nothing inherently wrong with mandocello for ITM, depending on the player. It's about the same size as a full-scale zouk.

Yep, and the first person I thought of when reading this thread was Brian McNeill...

http://www.brianmcneill.co.uk/biog.htm

Not Irish and, yes, I know that pic's labelled 'Brian Bouzouki', but he's someone I've just associated with trad mandocello for ever!

_________________
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.

Why I teach... and where
Master of nine?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:29 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Michigan
Thanks for the correction and the information.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:19 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:45 pm
Posts: 18663
Location: San Diego, CA
JTR wrote:
Thanks for the correction and the information.

Well, don't believe everything you read on the internet. Including us. :lol:

_________________
Vivat diabolus in musica! MTGuru's (old) GG Clips / Blackbird Clips

Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:29 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Michigan
Another good tip. And in my defense, it might be completely inappropriate for TIM to be playing the mandocello. If he's a good flute player he should stick with it.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:34 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:17 am
Posts: 10069
Location: The Inside Passage
BEAD is another useful tuning. It's only a tone from the intended pitch but it works better with ITM.

The tastiest CBOM I've ever heard was a teens Gibson mandocello tuned BEAD. I'd kill for that sound.

Sean Tyrrell is the only ITM musician I know of who plays a vintage Gibson MC as his main axe.

_________________
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:29 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Michigan
Speaking of Gibson. I live about 10 miles from the old Gibson factory in Kalamazoo. I heard they are redeveloping that area and the factory is coming down. You can have the old smoke stack for $500,000. If anyone is interested I'll have them hold it for you. I hope you are really good at legos.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:45 pm
Posts: 18663
Location: San Diego, CA
Yes, a shame. Though I guess I should be happy. My ES-347 is Kalamazoo-made, so it's worth a bit more as a vintage model. :-)

_________________
Vivat diabolus in musica! MTGuru's (old) GG Clips / Blackbird Clips

Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:06 pm
Posts: 3940
Location: Stout's Valley, PA, USA
According to Tim, the mandocello is perfectly appropriate for his music. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfmukQd_hf4

gadZooks! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdCgh-9WFgA Close enough?

Not quite mandocello depth, but getting there. I don't see why one wouldn't work with ITM. It's a matter of how you play it.

JTR wrote:
Speaking of Gibson. I live about 10 miles from the old Gibson factory in Kalamazoo. I heard they are redeveloping that area and the factory is coming down. You can have the old smoke stack for $500,000. If anyone is interested I'll have them hold it for you. I hope you are really good at legos.
I thought Heritage guitars were being made at the Parsons Street plant. Are they now gone too?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEAB5Bib02M Not exactly ITM but I'd think the mandocello would do the job if played well.

Feadoggie

_________________
I've proven who I am so many times, the magnetic strips worn thin.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:29 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Michigan
Heritage is still there but they only use a fraction of that space as far as I can tell from reading local newspaper reports. Sounds like the smoke stack is coming down brick by brick and they will use it in the redevelopment.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:06 pm
Posts: 3940
Location: Stout's Valley, PA, USA
Ok. I Googled my way through the neighborhood around 225 Parsons street yesterday. The Heritage facade is nicely painted and well kept at this point, at least compared to how it looked when Gibson bugged out. I looks like much of the area has already been re-vitalized as well, I know that the folks at Heritage leased a lot of the factory space at the Parsons Street facility to other tenants when they took over in the mid eighties. ProCo Sound has a location there as far as I know.

The Gibson smokestack is right in the middle of the complex, How the heck are they going to dismantle that thing without tumbling onto and through the surrounding roofs? Hopefully someone will video/photo document the dismantling of the chimney.

I'm here near the Martin facilities. The company of course has not changed hands in 180+ years now. Martin has been able to maintain their local history along with the cooperation of the town, county and state quite well. The old Martin home is now the Nazareth Visitor's Center. And the old factory location next to the house serves as Martin's Guitar Maker's Connection where local luthiers go to buy guitar making materials. I love that place. Of course the modern factory is open and cooking.

It would've been nice if more of Gibson's early history had been better maintained. My hat is off to the folks at Heritage for doing what they have been able to do. But they of course have been limited by Henry's lawyers.

Time moves on.

Feadoggie

_________________
I've proven who I am so many times, the magnetic strips worn thin.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 7:32 am
Posts: 1682
Location: Either NC, Co. Clare, or Freiburg i.B., depending...
Back in the day, I used to play a teens Gibson mandocello Irish style, mostly because I thought it was horse cool and there were no interwebz to tell me it wasn't on! It can be a great voice in the right situation, much darker and less tinkly than the usual large mando objects one hears. That said, it's really not a great choice for any of the traditional modes of play in ITM.

The main issue is the scale length. At 24-3/4", it's actually too short to support a robust C string. Even with the massive .074s I used to use, the C strings would slap each other on account of the lack of tension at that length. Some folks string the things with a single C rather than a pair, but to me ear that's half the projection of the pair. I've heard tell of some real cannons in the 27" range, but I'd bet you'd end up mostly confined to playing cello-like lines at that scale.

I kept mine in GDAE for most of its tenure, but I can tell you that the 24-3/4" scale is very much on the long side for picking melodies. That high B is right the way up there! It can be done, but it's more of an athletic event than it ought to be. This is further complicated by the baseball bat dimensions of the neck. Having no truss rod to assist in resisting all the tension of 'cello tuning, the necks on these things were left massive and are a real handful, not the sort of thing you want for a handy shift up to B.

You can tune it to GDAD or ADAD, of course, but really the longer-scale bouzoukis do a much better job of this. So much of what is attractive, to both accompanists and the melody players they serve, about the bouzouki is the way the high, tinkly tones support the tunes without robbing too much bandwidth, the way even a guitar sometimes can. The mandocello has a certain snarl and midrange that's perhaps even more intrusive than a chunky guitar tone, which might suit certain objectives but is definitely not the usual thing in bouzouki accompaniment.

So, between the monster neck, unusual voice, and the way the scale length falls between two chairs, Gibson mandocellos are a dodgy fit for ITM. Of course, I'm sure you could take it and make it your own, as has Sean Tyrrell, but the exception proves the rule. As an aside, I have some recollection of Sean's mandocello having been modified in some way, re-necked or some such. If someone could provide clarification on that point I'd welcome it.

Cheers,
Rob

_________________
The Monaghan Jig

Casey Comes Back / Gretchen's Wedding

www.craicdown.com

Craicdown's YouTube Channel


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:59 pm
Posts: 1137
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Not Irish trad, perhaps, but trad of a different sort. Sid Dolgay played mandocello in the iconic Canadian folk group, the Travellers. He passed away last month.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/musician-sid-dolgay-gave-canada-an-unofficial-national-anthem/article22439178/


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject: Re: Why not mandocello?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:29 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Michigan
Thanks for all the input. Sounds like it can be done but may be more effort than it is worth. I guess I'll keep playing mine until something else falls in my lap.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.262s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)