Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Hi!

I’m looking for help and inspiration when backing tunes in "D-mix". I know there are more proper ways of describing it but what I mean is tunes based around D and C that are neither major nor minor. Example "Rakish Paddy" or "the Old Bush".

I play bouzouki tuned GDAD and i find myself mostly using this cords : 7 7 0 0, 5 5 0 0 and some 2 2 0 0 this would then be D, C and A respectively leaving the two top strings as drones. I find this working fine especially as the tunes often are based close to the root. My problem arises when there is a set with more then one D-mix after each other or when one or more melody-player/players at a session plays a number of this type of tunes and I am stuck with a very limited "tool box" for backing them.

I am not looking to over do it and by that ruin the tune but I believe that if you have a bigger "tool box" you also have the ability to enhance the melody in a better way.

Can you help me? Is there anyone here sitting on nice chords, cord-progressions or counter melodies that suites this type of tunes?

BR,
Daniel

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

For D mixolydian you should be able to work in some C-ish chords:
0-2-3-0
5-2-3-0
5-2-3-2
5-2-0-0

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Don’t forget that G is also an important chord in D Mixolydian.

0-0-2-0
0-0-2-5
0-5-2-0
0-12-10-9
0-0-5-5 (no 3rd)
0-5-5-0 (no 3rd)
4-5-5-0 (1st inversion)
7-5-5-0 (2nd inversion)

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

and for any key, you don’t always have to play all the strings; playing x x 5 0 to x x 3-0 can imply the harmony and leave some room to grow.

Posted by .

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Try these further substitutions
For the C
X-0-3-5
X-5-3-0
X-0-3-2
5-5-7-5
0-2-3-2
Or even 2-0-3-0 which I think is a D7

For a D
0-0-5-4
2-4-0-0
7-7-9-7
In some D mix tunes, especially multiparts (e.g. Jenny’s Farewell to Charlie?) there is sometimes an A Major 2-2-4-2 or 6-7-7-7 that lifts the tune into the major. You can also Gmaj into Rakish Paddy.
Try working in some counter or harmony into the mix as well for variety.

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Well, I would say "Tune the ‘zouk GDAE", but then I would, wouldn’t I ?
It’s just that, to me, GDAD is as polarising as DADGAD on the guitar, it works for one key with a limited number of chord shapes, but then you are either stuck in a rut, as you are finding, or have to do some serious work on new chord shapes.

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

But how does that differ for GDAE, Guernsey Pete?

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Well, GDAE is a non-key-specific tuning. Any key is equally easy, or equally awkward, to chord for. IMNSHO, of course…..

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

And don’t forget that many melody players actually prefer accompaniment that is unobtrusive to accompaniment that is full of all sorts of flashy stuff. So you don’t need to set the world on fire with all sorts of different chords. Simple chords with a solid rhythm wins every time!

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Have you tried tuning DGBE this in my experience enables you to use sus 4 chords easily.
It is the equivalent of top 4 strings of a guitar in standard.
DGCD is interesting too it is called Sawmill on the 5 string banjo.

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Albrown says:
"many melody players actually prefer accompaniment that is unobtrusive to accompaniment that is full of all sorts of flashy stuff. "

I think the key is that if you want to be accepted and be good, try and learn to play well within the genre you want to indulge in, regardless of what instrument you play. For accompaniment that means mastering rhythm, using appropriate chords, substitutions and some variety that are sensitive to the melody and other players.
Terms like "flashy" worry me because they are often used pejoratively to keep developing players in their place. So many great players I know have been through their flashy periods and emerged as consumate and considered musicians - some of it is about experimenting, developing technically and finding what works and what doesn’t. You just need turn up your social and musical radar to judge how it’s going down. Or find some likeminded musicians. And this is regardless of what instrument you play.

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Have a listen to Alec Finn.
He’s into picking an accompaniment that is sympathetic to the melody.
He doesn’t use a vast number of chords but imho he’s the best out there.
He has numerous inversions and subtleties to his playing and generally never plays it the same way twice.
It’s not about the number of chords you know but how you play them!
He has various videos on YouTube that are worth watching.

Re: Bouzouki backing in D-mix

Thank you!

Some really nice input that will be very useful for me. There are not that many bouzouki players in my area so a forum like this is very nice.

I find that I ‘m more and more going for counter melodies and smaller chord shapes with two or three strings. I will look in more to Alec Finn’s playing. I will also give the DGBE a try. I started with irish music playing drop D guitar.

Guernsey Pete, I find that it is very much doable to play in all keys that you will come across in irish music without using the capo when tuned GDAD. I still use the capo but not because i have to use it but more for variation. I have never come across a good backup played on GDAE but would be happy if you could point at musicians or music where it is used.

Bouzouki backing in D-mix using trixordo

I play a trixordo bouzouki, and try my best to flow between melody, counter melody and straight chord playing, and am finding myself feeling a bit stale in the mixolydians as well. Gonna retro fit these tips a bit to fit my Dad setup and see how that feels. Thanks!