Here's an arbitrary selection of writeups I've enjoyed:
As a rhythm instrument, the way I play it, the mandolin has a percussive bite and drive that's hard to get with the piano. This drive contributes a lot to the dancing, and is something I really enjoy about a mandolin-piano rhythm section. Take away the piano, though, and everything is high frequency.
I've played with a bunch of ideas here for augmenting my mandolin playing:
DIY organ pedals.
Build a computer vision system that maps from hand shape and position to chord, and then choose bass notes from the chord. Trigger the bass notes with foot pedals.
Make a hat with a tilt sensor, and use head angle to choose bass notes. Foot pedals as before.
Use vocals, perhaps processed, to fill out the sound.
Whistle into a microphone, which controls a bass synthesizer, so I can whistle bass lines.
Recently I tried a new combination:
My rhythm stage setup is in an awkward position here, because general-purpose computers aren't all that reliable. Not only do computers sometimes break, but my setup isn't something I can properly back up, and could be hard to replicate on another computer.
This is a silly situation: one of the amazing things about computers is that copying things is free. I should be able to upload my setup, and then download it onto any other computer in minutes, and be going right away. Why can't I do that with my stage setup? I found out yesterday when my computer died and I was trying to set up a new one  before the next Kingfisher gig (Saturday). Issues I ran into:
At least a week-long supply of prescription medicines, along with a list of all medications, dosage, and any allergies
The supermarket sells various kinds of fancy butter, but why don't people eat whipped cream instead? Let's normalize to 100 calorie servings and compare prices:
Perhaps the reason people don't normally use whipped cream is that whipping it is too much trouble? If you use a manual eggbeater in a standard sixteen ounce deli cup it takes about fifteen seconds (youtube) for a serving.
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