The Ensemble Giocoso has been founded in 2012 by members of the mandolin orchestra HARMONIE 1931 from Dinslaken to be able to play more interesting music, pop-songs or new compositions for mandolin orchestra.
The concerts from the last years were filmed and are available as youtube videos.
Program of the concert from 2020
Christopher Grafschmidt – Auf geht’s
Olof Näslund – I Folkton
David Laheurte – Mandoline Project
Claudio Mandonico – Słoneczniki Sinti-Suite
Richard Charlton – Daintree
Pirates of the Caribbean Medley
Dominik Hackner – Danza cubana
John Miles – Music
Claudio Mandonico – Stomp from “Jazz Pop Rock Suite”
I am collecting my favorite mandolin videos in a “best of mandolin” playlist. In my playlists you can find all kind of mandolin music, from the Baroque mandolin and classical mandolin, to Bluegrass, Jazz and Folk, music for solo, duo, trio, quartett, ensemble or mandolin orchestra.
My playlist “Best Mandolin Music – 103 diamonds” is just complete:
Enjoy and discover some of the best mandolin music that I have found on youtube, and some of the best players of out favorite instrument!
Find more of my “best mandolin music” playlists on my website:
I have started using a loop station about two years ago, and today I could not miss it any more. The loop station is a powerful tool for every musician, ane I recommend it for everybody who wants to add more color and diversity to his/her musical life.
My first video using a loop station was this:
Last year I have presented the loop station at the Mandolin Academy by Carlo Aonzo in Sorrento. In this post I will write about how to use a loop station with the mandolin and guitar for practicing and recording.
What is a loop station?
A loop station (or looper) is an electronic device which can record tracks, playback the recorded tracks, and record additional tracks over the first track. Loops can be stopped and started again, with some loopers you can use several different loops and switch between them for different parts of your song.
Loop stations have become very popular in Pop Music, Artists like Ed Sheeran use them a lot. Typically a short sequence of chords, a baseline, a riff are mixed up with rhythm to prepare a background for a song.
A nice example by CATT a singer from Germany is this:
A loop station with direct input for a microphone: I am using the Boss RC 30 (ca. 200,- €); another option is the Ditto Mic Looper (ca. 99,- €); the new Boss RC-500 does also have a microphone plug, but it is more expensive.
An amp – any acoustic / keyboard / guitar amp – will do – get a used one or a new one from ca. 50,- €
So for little more that 300 € you can get a working solution.
You can also use any looper without a plug for the microphone – I have used the Ditto X2 looper first. In this case you need a small mixer for your microphone and an extra cable to go from the mixer to the loop station. You can use any cheap mixer, you can get something from ca. 40,- €. The cheapest looper by Boss is the RC-1.
But I would recommend a looper like the Boss RC 30 which has the option to store up to 99 tracks. And it makes the setup much more easy compared to an extra mixer.
You can find many youtube videos explaining how to work with a looper for live looping and using a looper for performances. There are also many videos explaining special loopers like the Boss RC-30. I have compiled many of the best videos in the following playlist.
Youtube is trying to get a share from the streaming of complete CDs. Complete CDs are beeing added to the youtube content – usually with ADs to make some money. You can find those CDs mostly using the Artist Theme collections. As those CDs are not so easy to find I am planning to present some important CDs in my blog. You can probably find those CDs also on Spotify, but I do usually prefer to listen to youtube.
I would like to start with Alison Stephens. You can find most of Alison Stephens’ CDs now on the following page: Alison Stephens – Theme Under the tab “Playlists” you can find playlists for the Calace CD and the CD tapestry by Duo Mandala.
I have made my own playlists for the following CDs:
Raffaele Calace – Mandolin Concertos No. 1 and 2, Rapsodia Napoletana – Alison Stephens and Steven Devine (Piano)
Souvenirs – Alison Stephens (Mandolin) and Craig Ogden (Guitar)
duo mandala – tapestry – Alison Stephens (Mandolin) and Lauren Scott (harp)