Mandolin Lessons - #6: Exploring the tone

Uploaded by bandolinsmadeira on 15.06.2010

Hello everyone. We're here again for another lesson.
Today we are going to talk about musical tone, specially concerning the execution in the mandolin.
As you know, the techincal part is a always a bit superficial when you're studying the instrument.
You need to go deep in what you're playing and try to experiment as much as possible the tonal possiblities of the mandolin.
You'll find that the mandolin is an instrument that has many different sound colors and tonal possibilities
and it's extreamly enriching to discover and explore individually that side of the instrument.
That's because each instrument, even of the same type, sounds difereent and that's very interesting.
So today we are going to talk about that, and together we'll see how to explore it
and how to achieve method that can be useful for you.
Today I have here a giant mandolin, a mandocello. Why a mandocello?
Because it's easier to exemplify the tonal differences I want to show you in a bass instrument.
Obviously you can and should do the same in the mandolin.
Its also a nice variation, but as a bass instrument you should hear the diferences better.
As an example I'll play a piece for mandolin solo. But transposed for Mandocello for this example.
It's called Azzurro by Daigo Marumoto and I'll show it how to play it exploring the tonal possibilities.
In you instrument, in a neutral position, the right hand is close to the center of the hole.
Regardless of the instrument, it is usually where you have a full resonance. So you get this sound.
If the right hand goes a bit forward you'll get a sweeter sound. That's because I'm getting closer to the 12th fret harmonics.
So the sound is a bit fuller, sweeter and less metallic. Listen.
Starting from the neutral position, if I move towards the bridge I get a more metallic sound. Listen.
And you can start by applying that. Simply by moving your hand towards the neck or the bridge you get a broad range of tones
that you can use and, more importantly, explore. I'll show you.
So, I'm going to play a short section from Azzurro, this time keeping the same position with the right hand. Then I'll play trying to vary the tone and you'll see the difference.
Now I'll play the same section but exploring the different tonal possibilities.