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Mandolin Lessons: Rawhide

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[MUSIC]
All right, folks.
Welcome and we're gonna look at the
building a real classic Rawhide right now.
In the key of C, amazing tune.
Usually, played at a intense lickety split
tempo.
But we're gonna break it on down to
something manageable at first here
before giving you the hot burning stuff.
It's in the key of C and I'm gonna attempt
to play it in a kind of Monroe style.
I'm not gonna play it exactly note for
note the way he might of recorded it.
But I'm gonna give you the general shape
of the melody.
It's a pretty simple thing in, in a lot of
ways.
[NOISE] As most tunes that are this fast
usually are.
[LAUGH] When you bring the tempo up to
those kind of to those tem,
to those kind of places generally the
melodic contours have to be simplified in
order to get that drive and make the, make
all the, all the details come out.
So.
[MUSIC]
Here's this tune.
It's Rawhide.
Typically played.
[SOUND] One, two, one, two, three.
[MUSIC]
That's the A section.
And that all gets played two times in a
row.
I'm gonna go ahead and bring the camera
right on up to it here.
You guys could really get a close up of
what I do fingering wise.
[SOUND] In the key of C, I'm starting on
the fifth fret there.
[MUSIC]
So it one.
[MUSIC]
Two.
[MUSIC]
Three.
[MUSIC]
C seven.
[MUSIC]
F.
[MUSIC]
Just two notes.
[MUSIC]
F.
[MUSIC]
C.
[MUSIC]
G.
[MUSIC]
Here it goes again.
[MUSIC]
Double stop G and C.
[MUSIC]
C seven.
[MUSIC]
F.
[MUSIC]
C.
[MUSIC]
F.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
That's how I play it.
Generally, really pretty close to what
Monroe did and
certainly should give you the outline.
Now what's going on here is a, you know,
a,
oftentimes, when I play a piece like this.
I'll play all the notes.
Like I won't double up notes, you know?
Typically, what you here in fiddling is.
[MUSIC]
All different notes for
those eighth notes.
But in this Monroe style of mandolin
playing, it's,
it's sort of paired down to something a
little more sort of structurally simple.
[MUSIC]
So that for instance, this beginning.
[MUSIC]
It's double stops.
[MUSIC]
And the F is double stops.
And the reason for that, because when you
go into this kinda tempo.
One, two, one, two, three.
[MUSIC]
There's just not a lot of room to get too
much more in there.
But that face driving double stops down
and that.
[MUSIC]
That real train rhythm with
the right hand.
[MUSIC]
I'm sliding the G note.
[MUSIC]
And F-sharp up into G note.
[SOUND] There's G and C.
[MUSIC]
The opening notes are C, E, F, and
then you're off to the races.
[MUSIC]
And
I'm really playing kind of three strings.
The second, third and first.
Third, second and first strings here.
All three of them are kind of ringing.
I'm focusing most of my energy on the G
and the C.
[MUSIC]
But
I'm not sweating it too much if that E
rings because it's part of the C chord.
[MUSIC]
E.
[SOUND] E-flat.
E.
[MUSIC]
C.
B-flat.
[MUSIC]
And the hand never stops.
[MUSIC]
So it's continuous.
[MUSIC]
And those are quarter notes.
[MUSIC]
One.
One, two, three, four.
One, two, three.
That's E-flat.
E.
[SOUND] C.
[MUSIC]
With a little chromatic run.
[MUSIC]
E, F, G, F-sharp, G.
[MUSIC]
Then a little run down.
[MUSIC]
F.
[MUSIC]
And
we'll basically gonna outline bits of the
F chord.
[MUSIC]
F, A, C, D.
Is not part of it.
But it's leading up to the C chord.
[MUSIC]
So
what you need to do is think of each of
these fragments as being part of a chord.
This one is very much part of the C chord.
[MUSIC]
That's a C7.
Which is leading us to F.
[MUSIC]
All double stops.
[SOUND] Back to C even though we play this
chromatic stuff.
It's still outline.
[MUSIC]
F.
[MUSIC]
C.
[MUSIC]
I'll slow that one down.
[MUSIC]
E, D, C, D, C, A, G,
C, A, G, E, D, C.
[MUSIC]
So, this little walk up on which you get
the G chord.
[MUSIC]
It's almost a scale,
but it's missing the E note.
[MUSIC]
But you play it on the way down.
[MUSIC]
B, D At the end leads us back to C.
[MUSIC]
So G, A, B, C,
D, F, G, A, B, A, G,
F, B, A, D, C, E, B.
[MUSIC]
When you get to the open D.
[MUSIC]
B.
[SOUND] D.
[SOUND] C.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
So there's your A section, basically.
And that happens twice.
[MUSIC]
C.
[SOUND] C.
[SOUND] C.
[SOUND] C seven.
[SOUND] F.
[SOUND]
C.
[SOUND] F.
[SOUND]
C.
[SOUND]
G.
[SOUND] C.
[MUSIC]
All again.
[MUSIC]
F.
[MUSIC]
C.
[MUSIC]
F.
[MUSIC]
C.
[MUSIC]
G.
[MUSIC]
C.
Then E.
[MUSIC]
G.
[MUSIC]
Come back to the A7.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So the B section starts on an E chord.
[MUSIC]
For two bars.
[MUSIC]
A chord.
[MUSIC]
Well four bars, I guess.
[MUSIC]
D chord.
[MUSIC]
And a G.
[MUSIC]
With a stop and
the mandolin simply plays quarter notes.
[MUSIC]
And a riff.
[MUSIC]
Back to the Top.
So this cycle of E, A, D,
G that is the circle of fifths.
If you look at my lesson on the circle of
fifths.
The E is the five or the dominant chord of
A.
So it leads you to A very naturally.
[MUSIC]
Which wants
to go to the D Which wants to go to the G.
Which wants to go back to C.
[MUSIC]
You essentially get on the wheel,
part of the wheel of the circle of fifths.
Down here on the E and work your way up to
the A.
Which is the fifth of D.
Which is the fifth of G.
Which is the fifth of C bringing it home.
It's a very common progression.
[MUSIC]
Gets used in Salty Dog Blues.
[MUSIC]
You
just add an extra one cuz we're actually
going to C this time.
We go a little bit further on the wheel
but, but
it's functionally the same harmonic kind
of move.
So this B section starts on an E chord.
And basically outlines the notes of that
chord.
E.
[MUSIC]
G-sharp.
[MUSIC]
B.
[MUSIC]
D.
[MUSIC]
C-sharp.
[MUSIC]
With a little tag at the end.
[MUSIC]
I'll do it again.
[MUSIC]
E.
[MUSIC]
G-sharp.
[MUSIC]
B.
[MUSIC]
E.
[MUSIC]
Then it goes up to this A note.
[MUSIC]
Tenth D.
[MUSIC]
That's
essentially outlining the D arpeggio.
[MUSIC]
D.
[SOUND] F-sharp.
[SOUND] A.
[SOUND] B.
[SOUND] F-sharp.
[MUSIC]
With a little riff.
[MUSIC]
G.
[MUSIC]
So the, the stop on the G chord.
The whole band stops right here.
[SOUND] And you just play nice little
quarter notes then a riff.
[MUSIC]
G.
[SOUND] A.
[SOUND] G.
[SOUND] B.
[SOUND] D.
[SOUND] G.
[SOUND] E.
[SOUND] D.
[MUSIC]
B.
[SOUND] A.
[SOUND] G.
[SOUND] B.
[SOUND] A.
[SOUND] G.
[SOUND] E.
[SOUND] D.
[SOUND] Then we're back at the top.
[MUSIC]
All righty.
So we're, that's the basic form of it for,
for here's a melody.
Here's a chord.
You're ready to jam on this thing.
So I'm gonna stop it here.
But I'm gonna go on to some slightly more
advanced
thoughts about how one might improvise on
this little baby.
So thank you and I'll see you in a minute.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So
we're looking at rawhide here, a, a very
straight ahead tune.
The only problem with it being that it's
usually played so darn fast.
[LAUGH] And,
we're left with as that sinking feeling of
how do I survive this tempo?
What am I gonna play?
What kinda things can I play
over this thing when these boys are
wanting to go at such a pace?
I'm not sure what the marking was that
Monroe recorded it at,
but it was just this side of Lickety
Split, I suppose you could say.
One, two, probably there.
[MUSIC]
You know, probably was even quicker than
that.
I know that if you were to hear Rick
Skaggs and his band play it today.
It's probably sitting more around here.
[MUSIC]
You know what I mean?
So.
[SOUND] There you go.
What are you gonna play, when you're in
that, in that zone.
Hopefully, you're not in that zone every
day.
Not a heck of a lot.
I tend to keep my ideas fairly simple.
You know, you can get
a lot out of three notes,
for instance.
There's, there's some ideas.
There's a, there's your most basic idea.
C, A, C, E.
Or C, D, C, A.
[MUSIC]
Either of those things will work on
either string work over the C chord.
[MUSIC]
And
the idea of dut, dut, dut, dut, dut, dut,
duh, duh, dah.
Placing quart, a higher percentage of
quarter notes [LAUGH] is also gonna help.
But you don't wanna stay in the quarter
note zone.
Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da,
da, da, da,
you know, a whole, art of great Bluegrass
playing, is playing those eighth notes.
[MUSIC]
I'm, inserting quarters here and there.
But the basic framework is this idea that,
that,
that these hot pickers can play this
string of eighths.
[MUSIC]
So hence, the simplifying of, of,
you know, how much you're asking your hand
to do and
how far on the fingerboard you can go.
[MUSIC]
So, a couple things came to mind there.
One was playing a riff.
[MUSIC]
This is C riff and
simply moving into, over to F and back to
C.
It's really treating it like the blues.
[MUSIC]
Really, this flat seven is great.
Now F.
[MUSIC]
C.
[MUSIC]
Then you get to G, let's go to a new idea,
but that's that's one idea so you, if you
take, say this.
[MUSIC]
You take the same riff over from here.
[MUSIC]
Off this G and A note and E,
it's a C riff.
[MUSIC]
As soon as you move it
over one set of strings.
[MUSIC]
It's an F riff.
Right.
It doesn't stay on the F as long as it
stays on the C, but at least that gives
you,
you know, a melodic territory to work out
of.
The other idea is this.
[MUSIC]
The idea of playing a half-step below.
[MUSIC]
Each chord tone.
[MUSIC]
Now,
what happens in a lot of bluegrass
situations where the tempo gets so
high that it's very difficult to play all
the chromaticism.
What players tend to do is.
[MUSIC]
Is double note it.
Instead of playing.
[MUSIC]
You will hear.
[MUSIC]
Instead of.
[MUSIC].
Okay?
[MUSIC]
Instead of.
[MUSIC]
Or instead of.
[MUSIC]
That will just play on the C.
[MUSIC]
And it gives it,
you know, your hand, it's not quite as
demanding on your hands.
You, you know, playing between two notes
like that is is,
is treacherous, compared to just staying
on the one, da, da, da, da.
It's all in your right hand, your left
hand is still for a moment.
So, you know,
you gotta kind of play around with how
much of that you can get away with.
[MUSIC]
You know,
at some point it begins to sound like
you're just slopping and slipping and
sliding through things.
So I think, it's something that one should
be careful with, if it's overused.
There's certain kinds of fragments that
are easier to land.
[MUSIC]
Certainly,
choosing to stay on one string is, is of
course.
Going to be much, much more easy than
going between strings.
For instance, this route.
[MUSIC]
Over the G chord.
[MUSIC]
It's so much easier than say.
[MUSIC]
Playing between two strings.
Not to say that one should never do that.
But just keep in mind what the, what the
limitations become.
That super high tempo.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So that, there I'm stuck between the,
the C chord that needs the E natural.
[MUSIC]
But, the F.
[MUSIC]
Likes the, the E-flat.
Over the course of these two chords, C and
F.
On the C chord, I'm playing B-flat notes
sometimes.
To get with that bluesy color, and on the
F I'm playing the E-flats.
So this idea of, of playing between the E
and
the C, that's a beautiful E.
[MUSIC]
Just by introducing the E-flat,
playing the same fragment, it's now an F
chord.
[MUSIC]
And with the E natural it's a C chord.
Okay?
So that was just one, one thing that came
to mind.
I, I keep playing around with the
chromaticism also between the third and
the fifth.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
[MUSIC]
I did it just then on the G chord.
[MUSIC]
And here it goes again.
[MUSIC]
To get from E.
[MUSIC]
Chromatically, and then land on the C but
you're chromatic on the E, F, F-sharp, G.
You're outlining in super detail, the
arpeggio.
You know, you're really spelling it out
that way.
[MUSIC]
So.
Two things, again, playing off that E.
[MUSIC]
But this time E,
C, A, is perfectly fine over C, and
the E-flat C, A turns it into F7.
[MUSIC]
The E is the C.
The E-flat is the C7.
The E is a C.
Now we need a riff to get from G chord
[MUSIC]
To a C chord.
And that's an area that you should really
focus on,
the many different ways you can get from
that G back home to C, to C.
[MUSIC]
I'll give you a bunch here to play with.
[MUSIC]
And
when I land on the C, here's the G
[MUSIC]
Here's the C I also need to tag it and,
and finish it off here's the G again.
[MUSIC]
C.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
[MUSIC]
C, here's G again.
[MUSIC]
C.
Okay, here's another G run.
[MUSIC]
C.
Now I'm gonna anticipate coming into the
down beat.
One.
Two, one and two.
[MUSIC]
C.
[MUSIC]
There's my downbeat.
[MUSIC]
C.
[MUSIC]
So the rhythmic idea that I chose to play.
[MUSIC]
It was so
powerful that I wanted to reuse it two
more times.
So I went from the D to the G.
[MUSIC]
The B to the D.
Again, just outlining arpeggio notes.
[MUSIC]
Now I'm gonna outline the C,
with the same rhythmic figure.
E and a G.
And land you on, on the C note.
To finish it off.
I'll do a couple more with that
anticipation.
One, two, one and two.
[MUSIC]
C.
So this time I'm, I'm just leading us to
the G note.
[MUSIC]
B,
D, B, A, G, again, arpeggio, arpeggio,
arpeggio, C.
[MUSIC]
So I'll try now, I'm gonna try an
incorporate as many of these as I can the,
just improvising over the, over the A
section, one, two, one.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
F, C, G, C.
[MUSIC]
Back to the A section.
[MUSIC]
F.
C.
G.
C.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay?
Back, I just keep cycling the A section
there,
giving you as much stuff as I could drum
up at least right here right now.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Okay here comes the B section.
So we got our, our circle of fifths as I
explained.
We're coming from the E to the A the E is
the five of the A the A is
the five of the D.
And the D is the five of the G and the G
is the five of the C.
So basically jumping on the circle of
fifths at, from the C over to the E,
and working our way back up.
E, A, D, G, C.
So, the cool thing about the mandolin is
we're tuned in fifths.
[MUSIC]
E, A, D, G, C.
So the idea that you play a lick on one
string, and
then you play the same lick on the other
string, you play the same lick
on the other string, play the same, is one
option, that we have.
It's just a way of thinking about the
mandolin and the beauty of fifths.
Can be a little bit monotonous if we were
doing that for the whole set of chords.
But you should know that.
That your, your trusty E riff, if you
start up high.
[LAUGH]
[MUSIC]
Move it over to A.
[MUSIC]
Move it over to D.
[MUSIC]
Whoops, I ran out of strings.
Well, let me think about that.
Where's D over here?
It's right here.
[MUSIC]
So where's G from there?
Right here.
[MUSIC]
And where's C?
[MUSIC]
Okay, so we went from this E.
[MUSIC]
To this A.
[MUSIC]
Now instead of going to this D,
I'm gonna go to this other D up here so I
have some room to go from.
[MUSIC]
All right, so think about that.
A is here, D is there.
Diagonally in that direction are fifths.
So this direction are fifths, E, A, D, but
this direction are fifths, E, A, D, G, or
fourths.
They're both, depending on which direction
you're counting.
[LAUGH] Okay E is the five at D which is
the five at D and so G.
So if we're gonna start, say, up here.
[MUSIC]
And go to A we go to here.
[MUSIC]
D, go there.
[MUSIC]
G.
C, right across from it.
So, so know that E, A, D, G, or E, A, D,
fifths going that direction, same fret.
But this pattern is also fifths.
So if you were here on a B the fifth of
would be E,
would be here, I mean it's B is the five
of E,
which is the five of A, I would know, I
can't go any more that way.
[SOUND] Which is the five of D, which is
the five of G.
All right, so there's your stuff to think
about in terms of how do I,
you know, deal with this song?
How do I deal with this set of chords?
And find places on the fingerboard that
are gonna be cozy?
So if we start down here.
[MUSIC]
Our most natural low E note.
[MUSIC]
We could flop over to the A.
[MUSIC]
We can't go further that way for
the D, so we go the other direction and
end up with the open.
[MUSIC]
Here's a,
here's a D, these are open or here,
depending on which one you pick.
If you pick the open one to end on.
[MUSIC]
The G is right there, on the open string.
If you pick this one to end on, the G is
right there.
[MUSIC]
So, when you're here on E say,
you can either choose to go there for the
A or here for the A, okay?
If you're looking for
the, the, the tonic of this being the
five.
So, what have we got?
[LAUGH] What have we got for E riffs?
The melody's so beautiful cuz it already
does it for you.
[MUSIC]
Totally outlines that chord.
[MUSIC]
What if we chose to not go so far?
[MUSIC]
Just try and
figure out what you can do with just the
three notes.
[MUSIC]
A.
[MUSIC]
I'm going further.
D.
[MUSIC]
G.
[MUSIC]
Then we're back to the C.
[MUSIC]
Let me give you a few others, however.
[MUSIC]
A.
[MUSIC]
C.
G.
Now back to the A section.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
Let's start on the higher E.
[MUSIC]
A.
[MUSIC]
Basically
playing around with the root and the flat
and natural third.
[MUSIC]
This music is so
blues based, you know, those blues notes
are just part of the language.
[MUSIC]
That flat seven.
Flat third up to the natural third.
[MUSIC]
A, same thing.
[MUSIC]
All right, the G and the A.
That C-natural to C-sharp.
Playing off that A chord is the, it's the
got that sound.
[MUSIC]
And the D chord.
[MUSIC]
Again, flat third and A natural third.
[MUSIC]
The traditional recording key went all the
way down.
[MUSIC]
There's rift that spun down,
but you can choose to just stay up there.
[MUSIC]
Again,
given the nature of the tempos that most
people are playing this bugger at
it's smart to simplify it down to stuff
that's really playable.
So you know, again, getting back to the
circle of fifths, this,
this E, A, D, G, C thing.
You know, you, you can start thinking
about getting super note-y, but
I really don't think that's gonna serve
you well on this tune.
Things like double stops that have a lot
of high energy rhythm in them,
syncopation.
For instance if we're looking at this E7.
[MUSIC]
You know, I'm just outlining.
[MUSIC]
So that's another approach.
It's, it's not quite tremolo, but it's,
it's dangerously close.
[MUSIC]
So
it's, [NOISE] four notes per, per change.
[MUSIC]
Those are just E double stops.
[MUSIC]
A.
[MUSIC]
Most
of what I was doing was heading in this
direction double stop wise, but
when I got to that D I switched it to
sixths instead of thirds.
The A, these are thirds.
A and C-sharp but D and F-sharp below the
tonic, is a sixth.
[MUSIC]
Right?
Okay, the G could be dealt with in either
way.
Here's sixths and here's thirds.
[MUSIC]
So that's another.
[MUSIC]
So you're playing,
you're, you're popping off of the open
string in between each of those fretted.
[MUSIC]
Again, a way to survive the tempo.
You know, instead of playing something
like.
[MUSIC]
It shows.
[MUSIC]
So
it's, just a lot less notier but it
provides that same melodic contour.
[MUSIC]
That's another option, is to.
[MUSIC]
Throw the eighth note thing
in the middle of it.
[MUSIC]
And
it gives you something a little bit more
melody.
[MUSIC]
Rather than that which just keeps
walking down.
And sometimes if you repeat a figure too
much like that, it's just gets to be like,
okay, I'm ready.
[LAUGH] All right, well, I'll stop right
there.
I hope this helps give folks a little bit
of of, of broader concept here.
Have to deal with this too, bugger that it
is the tempo that it usually goes at, but
funner than our get out if you got the
right folks rocking the groove for you.
So there's your raw hide father of
bluegrass was Mr.
Bill Monroe, thank you for that, and thank
you all for listening in and
doing the hard work to master this little
bugger of an instrument.
We love it so.
See you soon now.
Bye-bye.
[MUSIC]