Some of the most melodic licks you can possibly play on guitar are those
you steal from mandolin players. In my first lesson feature in Guitar
Player [“Fire and Flow,” July ’02] I showed you one of my favorites [Ex.
1], a fantastic little repeating lick in the key of D major that I
learned from [mandolinist] Matt Mundy, who played with me in Aquarium
Rescue Unit. He would improvise stuff like this on the fly, all day
long. It just fell off of him.
Another great bluegrass melody you can play on guitar is the famous traditional “Blackberry Blossom’’ [Ex. 2]. Most bluegrass guitarists will typically play this way down the neck in an open position, such as G major, where they can take advantage of all the open strings—and real bluegrass guitarists can play the dogs**t out of this stuff—but while I, too, play it in the key of G, I play it on electric guitar an octave higher up the neck. In other words, I play it in what I think of as “mandolin range.”
Some people—flatpickers like Tony Rice and mando players like David Grisman, for instance—can absolutely fly on a tune like “Blackberry Blossom.” But honestly, to me this song is just a great exercise. Part of the reason mandolinists can play faster and more fluidly than most guitarists is because of their tuning. I’m not saying their instrument is easier than ours—it’s definitely not—but certain intervallic lines play more conveniently on a mandolin because it’s tuned in fifths, like a fiddle. That’s why fiddle tunes lend themselves so nicely to mandolin.
Mitchell Guitars Unveils Their TB Series of Basses
International Society of Bassists Announces Headliners For ISB 2017
Rainbow Bar and Grill Patio Dubbed "Lemmy's Lounge" in Memory of Lemmy Kilmister
Vienna Symphonic Library Releases Historic Winds I & II
This Week in Free Stuff: Samples and Ableton Live Projects
IK Multimedia and Fender Announce Fender Collection 2 for AmpliTube - Mac/PC
Weekend Chops Builder: 150 MORE Standards Everyone Should Know
Cat Scratch Fever: 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe
Daniel Lanois’ Obsessions: Pedal Steels, Motorcycles, and Recording Tech
The Ultimate Sustain Contest: The Gibson Les Paul vs. All Challengers
Psychostick Premiere Christmas Parody of System of a Down's "B.Y.O.B."
Interview: Trivium's Matt Heafy on Old Ozzfests, Meeting Corey Taylor, Upcoming Plans, and More
New Issue Preview: Revolver December 2016
"Billy Jean" Gets the Percussive Fingerstyle Treatment
Master Sweeping by Learning the Rest Stroke
Keep It Dry: Graph Tech Introduces Dry and Glide Talc Formula for Musicians' Hands
Copyright ©2016 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470