Friday, February 11, 2022

Tremolo and the Modern Mandolin, or How to Get Maximum Sustain out of your Modern Mandolin

How to Get Maximum Sustain out of your Modern Mandolin

I don’t like the sound of mandolin tremolo as a substitute for sustain. To my ears, when done well it sounds too much like traditional mandolin orchestral technique, and when done poorly it reminds me of Italian restaurant troubadours. There is no other instrument in the tradition that rapidly repeats a note like that. It just sounds foreign to me, like someone wandered in from a different tradition.

Most quality modern mandolins have quite a lot of sustain that can be used if played with sensitivity using single notes, helped with a bit of natural or artificial room reverberation. 

I have developed an instructional video explaining how to maximize  the sustain of your instrument. 


I’m not sure any mandolin, even an octave, is up to recreating the long tones in something like Air on the G String by J.S. Bach, so personally I don’t even try that kind of thing on mandolin. 


#modern #mandolin #sustain #Bach #tremolo #notremolo #tryit #dontbeshy 

Les Poules huppées

CRESTED HENS, THE (Les Poules huppées). French, Bourrée à 3 temps (3/8 time). E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). Composed in 1983 by French...