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Mandolin Lessons: Tico-Tico

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I really thank you for
the tico-tico because I've had a student
asking to learn this piece for some time
now, so I will include a version of it in
the in the additional study materials.
So folks can have a chance to look at the
This tune is very interesting.
Of course it's part of the choro
It's the one choro that, that maybe made
it up here thanks to Carmen Miranda.
And, and
her band was actually some of the greatest
choro musicians in Brazil at the time.
I believe Garoto, the great guitarist,
mandolinist, was playing with her.
And when they asked her to come up and
tour in the US, they said,
oh, you don't have to bring your band.
We'll find you a nice LA band, and to back
you up.
And she said, oh, no, no, no.
That ain't gonna fly.
I gotta have my rhythm section.
Gotta have my boys with me.
So she pushed and, and that was probably
the greatest move she ever made,
just having that swinging Brazilian group
behind her very authentically, with
probably pandeiro and, and cavaquinho, the
seven string guitar and the whole bit.
So I go through a whole explanation of how
to play rhythm on choros,
and that would apply to this tune too
in the curriculum when I teach No Me
Toques and, and Kosheshondos.
So I would ask you to go back there and
take a look at some of my rhythm grooves.
So basically, you're, you know,
as Americans we're at this kind of
disadvantage that we don't have this great
Pandeiro playing behind us in this music,
cuz that's really what drives these tunes.
[SOUND] It's a little bit like a shaker,
but it's really a tambourine.
And you play it by beating on the, with
your right hand and
muting the underside of it.
And you're also kinda shaking it at the
same time.
The jingles are cupped together.
So they're capable of very sophisticated
syncopation's, and
the, and the 16th notes are real tight on
that thing.
And typically you would have.
Being played by a little tambourine
it's called, a little skin headed drum and
you just tap it with a stick.
Then mute it and tap it from behind as
well so you're getting this kind of.
then you've got this big drum in the samba
school where.
It's on the second beat of the,
of this, of the rhythm.
One to two, one to two.
here we are faced with this dilemma of,
like, how do we,
how are we gonna create this little engine
room that is kind of the nucleus of,
of what drives a choro group.
And nylon string guitar players have
wonderful ways of,
of doing a lot of that in their right
And as mandolin players we're supposed to
be copying what the cavaquinho plays.
Which is a four string ukulele type
instrument with metal strings.
And, and they're, they're kind of copying
what the tambourine does.
For first time
people I would just stay on the A-minor.
the way I teach it, is think about the
back and forth.
Down, down, down, up, up, up, up, down,
down, down, down.
But in Brazil, when you see the cavaquinho
players do it,
they'll actually use all downstrokes.
but this is a whole nother class, right?
[LAUGH] Basically what I'd love for all of
you to have
the opportunity to hear a live choro band
in person.
And, better yet, play it with some of the
cats, so
you can really feel what it, what this
music feels like.
What happened to this tune, of course, it
was brought out after Carmen Miranda
recorded it, it was, was recorded a lot by
especially guitar players.
I think Chet Atkins did it.
Probably Jethro Burns.
Many, many people have recorded the tune
and it takes on a kind of American swing
after, you know, the 50's and
the 60's when these tunes were, were being
transplanted up here.
So what I would recommend is you go all
the way
back to the original and, and check out
how those guys were playing.
But also what happened to this poor tune
was that,
that B section and the C section, got
switched around in some later recordings.
The typical form of choro is A, A, B, B,
A, C, C, A.
And two things happened.
The B and the C got switched.
And also what happens is when Americans
play this tune, they play the A and
then the B and then the C.
They just play the whole thing in a row.
And we're almost so used to hearing it
that way that, well,
sounds like tico tico.
So, [LAUGH] sorry to go off on a tangent
here, but if you play it in Brazil they're
gonna wanna play A, A, B,
B, and I believe their B, B is the A-Major
Then they're gonna come back to the a
minor then they're gonna go to the C
two times.
And then they're gonna come back to the
A-minor again.
That's really the typical form that the
choro's have in them.
Back to the A.
just a few little details that you'll
wanna check out in there.
I'll do, I'll do them in sections so,
people can have it and break it down and
learn it sort of slowly.
those are pick up notes, one, two, one,
two, three, four.
So, understanding the chords is really
A-minor, E, E, A-minor,
D-minor, A-minor, B and that B,
you're just playing the arpeggio,
the B7 arpeggio.
With a C on top.
Then an E arpeggio.
Cause it's an E chord, right?
G-sharp, it's an E chord.
D-minor, that's a nice D-minor arpeggio.
A-minor, and E the second time.
Okay, and when it goes to A-major.
These chords get played.
So it's A, A-major 7,
A6, A, A6, A, E.
E, I just played different
versions of the E and back to the A.
Back to the A, A Major 7, A6.
F-sharp 7,
B-minor then D, D-sharp diminished.
Very typical choro turnaround.
A, F-sharp, B-minor, E7.
I'll show you those again.
D-sharp diminished.
And there's so many cool ways to play
those chords.
Here I'm starting with the bluegrass D.
To the diamond version of the diminished.
Here's another A6 you could play.
Looks like an F-sharp minor.
It's a 6-4-7.
Which would lead nicely to this kinda
F-sharp, 7-9-8-9.
So B-minor to E7 to A.
B minor is 4-4-5.
E7 is 7-6-7, and A is 2-2-4.
Mainly focused on the bottom three strings
here for all these chords, except for
the beginning of this section.
Because I want that top note for
the major 7 and the six, six.
whenever a chord hangs out for a long
This is all E7.
I'm just looking for different versions of
the E7.
So it's E7, which is 7-6-7-7.
So this E7, 4-2-5-4.
To this, I'm almost,
it's like I'm walking down each inversion,
lower and lower with each one.
Got the top note here.
What's the next note down that would be
part of an E7, would be the G-sharp.
Give me an E7 with an E on the top.
Now that's that 1-7-6-7.
Now give me one with a D on the top,
cause that's the next harmonic note down
that's in that chord.
That would be 4-6-5.
Then give me one more, and
that would be the B note.
Or 1-0-2.
That's all.
But you have time
to come back up to this one, and it would
lead nicely to that kind of A.
F-sharp 7, D-minor.
here's a way to play the D, 2-4-5,
to D-sharp diminished, 2-4-6.
It wants to lead to an A with an E
note on top.
Right, so I go to the 6-7-7.
And back to the F-Sharp 7,
3-2-4, B-Minor, E7, A.
B-Minor is here 4-4-5, 1-0-2, is the E7,
A I play open so that I can have the.
Open A note on top.
Okay, then we go back to the A section.
Then we go to the C, to the C section
which is a C-major.
Now these kicks ba, ba.
That's what I've heard in Brazil.
But, of course, in America we do it
different a lot of times.
Ba da.
When they play those two notes short.
But in Brazil I've heard it a lot where
they are long.
be on the lookout [LAUGH] If you're
playing with some Brazilians.
And that's the very, very exciting part of
the tune.
It finally goes to C.
So top of the melody of the G.
G, A, G right up the scale to the F.
A, F, right up the scale.
A, G.
A, G.
Then we do double stops.
You could do 'em all in double stops.
Then the final riff.
F, F-sharp diminished, C, A7, D-minor, G.
Guess what,
it's the same chord progression we were
doing in A.
We went to the four chord in A, right, we
went to D, to D sharp A,
six dominant, two minor, five dominant,
We're gonna do the same thing, only now
we're in the key of C.
We're starting on the F chord,
F or the four chord, four sharp
diminished, one.
Six, which is A7, simply move one note up.
6-5-7, is an A7.
D-minor, G7, C.
The best, the finest
2-5 on the mandolin is a D-minor.
5-3-5, to 4-3-5.
That's D-minor to G7 to C.
And those two chords would be D minor, G.
C, B, D, G, G, G, G, G, C.
F sharp diminish, C, A, D minor, G, C.
That turnaround gets played in so many
tunes in Brazilian music.
Four to the sharp four.
Also in jazz of course, lots and lots and
lots and lots of times.
So it's a good progression to know.
And the melody does that nice little
twisty turny.
I'll play the whole melody that speed just
to, for folks that have it.
A minor, key seven, A minor,
D minor, A minor, E.
A major.
I would repeat all that, but
instead we go back to the A.
Back to the A.
A minor.
B7, E.
D minor, A minor, B7, E.
A major.
And B minor and D sharp.
B, A, F sharp.
B minor, E, A, again.
F sharp.
B minor.
Turn around.
Okay, great.
Hey Mike.
Dean here.
I read somewhere on the site that you were
wanting some more jazz tune submissions.
So I thought I'd do Tico Tico, and this is
a version that I learned from a recording
this this melody I got from a, a guitar
solo on that, on that song.
And I, copied as best I could.
And I also played the chords there after
the melody and just took my best guess on.
[SOUND] Which chord sounded right.
So, here goes.