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Mandolin Lessons: Kickoffs

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[MUSIC]
>> Okay.
There's gonna come a time in all your
Bluegrass mandolin playing lives
when somebody's gonna say, hey, can you
kick this one off?
You'll say, well, yeah, sure, yeah, oh, I
can kick that off, yeah.
So what do you need to know for that, when
the spotlight is on you.
Of course, the melody is the first thing.
Can you play the melody as it goes?
And one of the things I discovered at some
point,
one of the things that helps me remember
how to, how to play a melody to a tune.
Is to think about the, [NOISE] say, you're
in the key of G.
[NOISE] Whether the melody starts on the
root of the chord,
the third of the chord, or the fifth of
the chord.
So, we got three tunes here picked out
that
each start from each of those chord tones.
So take a tune like Katy Daley.
[MUSIC]
Well,
that's one that starts with the root.
[MUSIC]
So
if you were asked to kick this tune off,
you'd go.
[MUSIC]
Right?
Where as a tune like say, Rolling in My
Sweet Baby's Arms.
[MUSIC]
Starts on the third or the B note.
[MUSIC]
So,
[NOISE] what you need to know is how do
you come in to the third.
[MUSIC]
Right?
Then a tune like on and on.
[MUSIC]
Starts on the fifth of the chord,
of the chord.
The D note.
[MUSIC]
So you need to have ways of coming in
to the fifth.
[MUSIC]
If you're gonna kick off that tune and
often when we hit the fifth,
[NOISE] we'll let the high root ring with
it as a harmony.
[MUSIC]
Or a fiddle player would do.
[MUSIC]
Right.
And so identifying which of these things
is
which of these three notes, root, third or
fifth.
The tune that you're about to play begins
on.
Take Bury Me Beneath the Willow.
[MUSIC]
Here's another one that
starts on the fifth.
[MUSIC]
So let's go back now to the root.
Got a tune that's starting on the root,
Katy Daley.
[MUSIC]
Let's say,
you're about to take, kick off that tune.
How can you get yourself to that G note?
How many different ways can you get to
that G note?
I'll give you a few, few to work for us
here.
One, two, one.
[MUSIC]
Okay?
Or, let's see.
[MUSIC]
It's
kind of a classic one, cuz it's like a
fiddle kickoff again.
One, two, one.
[MUSIC]
And these kind of things often start
before, well before the down beat cause
that's what they are, is kickoffs,
they lead you in.
And that's starting with a triplet.
[MUSIC]
So it's down, up, down, down.
Oh, sorry.
Down, up, down, up.
Down, down, down, up, down, up.
[MUSIC]
Down, up, down, up, down, down.
[MUSIC]
And because it's the root and
we're in the key of G, [NOISE] I just let
that low G ring with it cuz it gives
you that power to have both those notes
ringing together.
[MUSIC]
Right?
Let's see if we can think of some other
ways.
[MUSIC]
That's kinda nice.
A little scale pattern up.
One, two, one.
[MUSIC]
Okay?
I'm going to do it now with the rhythm
guitar just so we can hear it.
I might even grace it with some vocals,
we'll see.
>> One, two, three.
[MUSIC]
>> Okay.
Now let's go to a song that starts with
the third of the chord or the B note.
[MUSIC]
Right.
So we need to find a way to get to that B
note to bring this tune in.
[MUSIC]
Right?
[MUSIC]
So it's one, two, one.
[MUSIC]
We're coming into that B note.
One, two, one.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
Here's another way.
One, two, one.
[MUSIC]
Now notice when I'm hitting that B note,
I'm letting the D note ring with it.
[MUSIC]
Right there.
[MUSIC]
Because it's a beautiful harmony.
One, two, one.
[MUSIC]
And
we're always singing along with the
mandolin.
We're not just playing the notes.
We're, we're trying to hear it in our
mind.
I always play much better if I'm actually
singing the words to the song when I,
when I play the thing as opposed to
thinking it was a finger exercise.
So again, making that connection between
your melodic thing that you're hearing in
your head and that which is coming out of
your instrument.
[SOUND] So.
[MUSIC]
Oh, there's a nice way to do the triplet.
[MUSIC]
So it's down, up, down, up.
D, D, D, G.
Up on the A.
Slide into the B.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay,
here's one more way to come into that
third of the chord.
Again, we're on the G chord.
[MUSIC]
We're trying to find our way to
this B note.
Well, if we think of that B note as up the
neck,
there's a really nice logical sweet spot
on the mandolin for that.
[MUSIC]
Right there, I'm
trying to get to that note, I use the low
D on the seventh fret low fourth string.
[MUSIC]
Or.
[MUSIC]
Or.
[MUSIC]
Many different ways.
And when you hit that B
[MUSIC]
You're, of course,
adding the high D to it at the fifth
frett.
But the basic idea is you're playing out
this nice.
[MUSIC]
Comfortable position here.
Every note is two frets apart.
One.
Two.
One.
[MUSIC]
Or one, two, one.
[MUSIC]
Or one, two, one.
[MUSIC]
Okay,
let's try it now with the guitar playing a
little rhythm for us.
>> One, two, three, and.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
>> Again.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay.
Now we'll look at the fifth of the chord
or in this case, G, G, A, B, C, D, D note.
A D note, and a tune that does that, as I
said, is On and On.
One.
[MUSIC].
But how do we get there?
[MUSIC]
That's the classic fiddle kickoff.
It's a little chromatic run
[MUSIC].
B, B, B, C,C sharp, B
[MUSIC].
And when we hit that D we like to have
that high G above it
[MUSIC]
Again, we're still on a G chord.
[MUSIC]
Let's try this with rhythm guitar.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Alright, that's On an On.
If we can find Bury Me Beneath the Willow,
that's another one that starts with this
high D note.
It's a little different feeling to the
music.
So let's find Bury Me Beneath the Willow
1, 2, 3.
[MUSIC]
Yeah.
Let's do it again.
I'll show you another way to get in there.
1, 2.
[MUSIC]
Okay, one more time.
Gonna go chromatically now.
[MUSIC]
From B up to C, but nice and
smooth, no triplet.
I'll slide into the B.
[MUSIC]
And I'll end on that D.
1, 2, 3,
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay, now you guys are on.
Your on and on.
Time for you to send in some of your
kickoffs.
I'd love you to learn a couple of mine,
but I also like to hear one that you may
have created yourself to help you to get
each of these single notes, the root,
the third and the fifth.
The root, I use to get to Katy Daily,
rolling with sweet baby's
arms was third, and on and on or bury me
beneath the willow was the fifth.
So, let's see your kickoff's
[MUSIC]