The only other necessary comment is that the Oak publication Jesse McReynolds – Mandolin, by Andy Statman is unfortunately out of print, and has been for. His Bill Monroe and Jesse McReynolds influences are especially clear on Andy’s Ramble, a release wi. Available with an Apple Music subscription. Buy a cheap copy of Bluegrass Masters: Jesse McReynolds book by Andy Statman. Free shipping over $

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We don’t sing like Bill, and I’ve never looked on myself as a bluegrass singer. That’s what I did, and no one told me to leave this out, or not to do that, or anything.

Andy Statman

I studied some under Tottle right after he partially retired. He started building these five or six years ago; I’ve had mine about five years. Did you have a great deal to do with the early bluegrass bands, Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and others? Are you actually playing double stops there, or are you overdubbing?

I try to practise every day, whether it’s statnan the mandolin or the guitar. People think of you as a mandolin player rather than as a fiddle player. You were all young, and starting out.

While comparisons can be andh, I think it makes the point to say that McReynolds is to Monroe jessf Reno is to Scruggs: Not only are the tablatures of Jesse’s playing unavailable, but also the excellent interview with Statman, referred to below. This was all recorded on a big disc at the radio station, which we didn’t know about.

This was to see if it would work on the mandolin, with a straight pick. I got to listening to the Sons of the Pioneers. I suspect that much of what Jesse has been working at over the years has yet to find its way on to record. Then it took sratman, and I had to work it into what I did, wherever possible. We had our own band there, and we were playing on one radio station, and Flatt and Scruggs were on the other, and the Stanley Brothers.

And they do things with three fingers on a banjo that there’s no way you could do with a straight pick.


Jesse McReynolds

What do you look for, in terms of sound? I always liked the pedal steel guitar, when it first came out, and that made me think about splitting the string; that and Floyd Cramer’s piano playing, which uses the same sort of sound.

He’s good to hold the band together. I always wanted to do our music as smooth as we could.

Jesse McReynolds Mandolin : Bluegrass Masters by Andy Statman (Paperback)

On page 18 there’s my Stiver, with the blond top, and there’s also a Gibson, a converted F-4 F-4 with top replaced by one with f-holes. Jesse McReynolds is in reality the complete mandolinist, as should be clear from reading the interview which follows. mcreyholds

It is noteworthy that Jesse hit upon the technique of playing “melodically”, using scales across the strings a decade or more before Bill Keith, Bobby Thompson and others got around to it on the banjo. Stiver’s mandolins are sold through Elderly Instrumentsin Michigan. He comes from very much your part of the country, near Coeburn, Virginia, and yet his style, and the Stanley Brothers’ style is very different from what the McReynolds Brothers have done.

This provides invaluable information, though it only goes up to To play my style, I have to stay at it a long time.

I would like to be able to play it more, because I love the fiddle, and I always have. I like Bill, he’s a good friend of mine, but I don’t play his jdsse of music. Jim is a good bluegrass singer, though.

Whatever’s comfortable for you I think is what you should use. Your break on Bully of the Town is unusual. Then maybe I could plead my case and get enough sympathy from him to teach me a few tricks. Do you find it frustrating, keeping most of the fiddle playing backstage?

We had a small farm, but my adny made his living working in the coal mines. How did you get on to the split string playing? Another thing I’ve always admired tremendously is your regular-style playing – breaks like the one mcreynolda took on Foggy Mountain Breakdown on Carl Jackson’s first record now re-released as Sugar Hilland the mandolin break for I Don’t Love Nobody on Allen Shelton’s disc, Shelton Specialwhich has a gorgeous melodic run from C cmreynolds G, E7 to A.


He plays mandolin like Kenny Baker plays fiddle, he has no bother with his wrist. I am wondering which one is the right one. We have such bad sound systems, that people don’t know how to create the acoustic sound of bluegrass; so I get up sometimes, and all you can do is make a joke out of it, if you get serious about it it mcreynlds run you crazy!

I think that the term is being used in a broader sense now for that style of country music traditional, acousticbecause the country music mainstream has gone so far away from what it used to be. I’ve included the discography as much of the jessw is now available on CD. While many mandolinists have worked a number of cross-picked pieces into their zndy, there is no-one to my knowledge who uses crosspicking as frequently as Jesse does, or who has developed it to anything like the same degree of complexity and sophistication.

I’ve heard a few mandolin players that’s took the book by Andy Statman and learned some of the tunes out of it, note for note, just like I wrote them, but very few. Eat up a little bit, and start over again. An important set of recordings that are sadly not available any longer are the Capitol tracks fromfeaturing crosspicking with a bluegrass band for the first time.

Jesse McReynolds Mandolin : Bluegrass Masters by Andy Statman (Paperback) | eBay

Byron Berline plays the same way. To return to the technical questions on playing the mandolin, you use open string chords in your rhythm playing a lot, don’t you? Jesse has been interviewed many times see below for some useful sourcesand we tried to avoid areas that are already well documented e. Have you played a Paganoni? How long has he been with you on 5-string dobro?

Sadly, it was saved on my work computer, which I no longer have access to