The OM provides a wealth of chord voices and offers a good droning bass owing to its strings tuned in fifths. I long ago left behind the simple major and minor chords one finds in a mandolin chord book and have developed a repertoire all over the neck to play chords suited to Celtic music. I especially favor five chords, which use only the tonic and dominant, or first and fifth, notes of the scale to create a droning bagpipe sound. On a D chord, for example, I play only Ds and As, and I can play that type of chord in different places to create movement in the bass rather than just sitting monotonously on the same chord.
|Tom Perkins playing his James Jones octave mandolin.|