Rhythm and repertoire: Refining mandolin accompaniment

Chordal accompaniment concepts in swing music
Jazz · Gypsy jazz
$40

With only four notes at a time, the mandolin has a lot to offer as a unique voice in any rhythm section. The sound of the instrument makes for great rhythmic textures, and the symmetry of the fretboard offers significant mileage with only a handful of chord shapes. Read full description…

With only four notes at a time, the mandolin has a lot to offer as a unique voice in any rhythm section. The sound of the instrument makes for great rhythmic textures, and the symmetry of the fretboard offers significant mileage with only a handful of chord shapes.

By learning to add the “good notes” to your voicings and diversity to your rhythm, you’ll be engaging more deeply with progressions and tunes, participating more actively at the jam or gig — and, of course, amazing your friends. Truly, a mandolinist can have as much fun playing rhythm as playing lead.

In this course, swing/jazz mandolinist and respected teacher Don Stiernberg shows you how to be more than a backing track when approaching classic and challenging repertoire. This course is broken into two segments:

* Segment one reviews necessary chord inversions and demonstrates how to navigate/decorate common cadences and tags.

* Segment two features 10 performances of Don alongside a guitarist keeping steady jazz time a la Freddie Green. Each song form is played three times and Don's comping complexity progressively increases. In contrast with the consistent guitar part, you really get a sense for just how far you can go.

This course is recommended for intermediate to advanced mandolinists who are comfortable playing over basic tunes and are interested in a challenge. As always, you’ll be able to loop and slow down the instruction and performances in Soundslice, and every note and chord is fully transcribed in tab and standard notation.

Explore the course

After You’ve Gone (sample) - Don Stiernberg

Sample from Rhythm and repertoire: Refining mandolin accompaniment

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Full course is 96 minutes across 36 parts
Lessons
Major chords and inversions
Minor chords and inversions
Dominant chords and inversions
Augmented chords and inversions
Diminished chords and inversions
2-5-1 major cadence
2-5-1 minor cadence
Chord shape trick
Tag 1 (I - i#dim - ii - iidim)
Tag 2 (Back cycle dominants)
Tag 3 (Back cycle ii - V)
Tag 4 (I - vi - ii - V)
Tag 5 (I - VI7 - II7)
Tag 6 (I - VIalt)
Tag 7 (I - b3 dim)
Tag 8 (i - vim7b5 - iim7b5)
Performances
After You’ve Gone (intro)
After You’ve Gone
I’m Old Fashioned (intro)
I’m Old Fashioned
Sit Right Down and Right Myself a Letter (intro)
Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
Blues For Dixie (intro)
Blues for Dixie
I’ve Found a New Baby (intro)
I’ve Found A New Baby
East of the Sun and West of the Moon (intro)
East of the Sun
Idaho (intro)
Idaho
On Green Dolphin Street (intro)
On Green Dolphin Street
Stompin’ at the Savoy (intro)
Stompin’ at the Savoy
Willow Weep for Me (intro)
Willow Weep For Me

About Don Stiernberg

While still in his teens, Don learned to play the mandolin from the innovative and influential virtuoso Jethro Burns. Jethro referred to Don as his “graduate student,” hired him to play in his band, and guided him to a career as a professional musician which has already lasted forty years.

A leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, Don has eight recording projects of his own and appears on many others by a variety of artists in all styles. He wrote the book “Jazz Mandolin Appetizers,” published by Mel Bay in 2013.

In addition to touring coast to coast and abroad, Don stays busy around his native Chicago with performing and recording work. He also contributed a regular column to Mandolin Magazine and has been an instructor at many mandolin events around the world.

More from this artist

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