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Corina, Corina

Corina, Corina is a blues standard which must be one of the most recorded of all tunes. Bob Wills sang it with the Texas Playboys, and there's even a Bill Monroe recording, on the Bill and James Monroe - Together Again LP of 1978. For more info about Corina, Corina, click here. BTW the title of this song has been spelt in a variety of ways over the years.

The mandolin break below is for two choruses of Corina, Corina, and is derived from the guitar playing of Mel Brown, on the CD Snooky Pryor and his Mississippi Wrecking Crew Electro-Fi 3373. Mel Brown is one of the great Chicago style electric blues guitarists, and I must say that this disc was the proverbial knockout when I first heard it at the end of 2002.

Corina, Corina is probably the swingiest track on the CD, though unfortunately the MIDI playback of the MusEdit file here is not able to reflect this. The mandolin tab is an attempt to use some of Mel Brown's ideas, but is a pale imitation of the real thing! Mel plays tricks with your sense of the downbeat, particularly in the second chorus. I've mandolinised the break by introducing some double stops, tremolo, hammers, pull-offs and slides. However, you really should listen to the Snooky Pryor CD to hear Mel Brown's masterly soloing.

Snooky, Mel and Co take Corina, Corina quite slowly, quarter note (crotchet) = 122 bpm. This means that left hand fingering should not present problems. I've made some suggestions, but any way you choose should work fine. The speed is quite a bit slower than most bluegrass tunes. The Bill and James Monroe version is nearly twice as fast, at what is still a medium speed of half note (minim) = 114 bpm. To play along with Mel Brown you can either use all downstrokes (apart from tremolo) or introduce upstrokes as it suits you.

I've always found blues mandolin tabs harder to read than bluegrass arrangements. I think this is partly because blues works in phrases, based on the sense of 'call and response' in the music, whereas bluegrass has a squarer feel of '8 notes to the bar'. But that's no reason why bluegrass players can't cut loose and join a blues session. If you can play Monroe downstroke style, like Blue Grass Stomp and Honky Tonk Swing, you should have some useful technique to start with.

A note on MusEdit MIDI playback: I've written this tab in MusEdit version 3.21c. It plays back correctly in this version, with effective tremolo reproduction, and also in the MusEdit Viewer program version 3.22 which you can download from this site and install on your PC. For more info about installing the MusEdit Viewer click here. I've found that the latest version of MusEdit, version 3.80, plays tremolo much faster, to the extent that it sounds unnatural in the context of the tab, and there are some other glitches in playback - I'll be contacting Doug Rogers at MusEdit about this.


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