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I fancy a mandolin...

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They're tuned upside down (G D A E) so a bit wierd to play but you can work stuff out. I just learned the stuff I wanted to play off Youtube where there are some good tutorials. Tiny fretboard is a bit challenging with bass player hands though.

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I thought it would be a breeze playing the mandolin but I've not found it easy, enjoyable and fun yes. I really struggle with some of the chords and find them a bit cramp inducing.

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For those more used to a bass fretboard, remember that larger members of the mandolin family are available...

I play a flatback octave mandola, which is 21.5" scale length, tuned GDAE an octave down from a regular mandolin. It's great for chords and pretty good for playing tunes on. You can also stick a capo on 5 to turn it into a tenor mandola (tuned CGDA).

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On 17/07/2018 at 22:22, atsampson said:

For those more used to a bass fretboard, remember that larger members of the mandolin family are available...

I play a flatback octave mandola, which is 21.5" scale length, tuned GDAE an octave down from a regular mandolin. It's great for chords and pretty good for playing tunes on. You can also stick a capo on 5 to turn it into a tenor mandola (tuned CGDA).

Me too! Having struggled with the close spacing of a mandolin, it’s a big jump down from basses,  I bought an Octave Mandola which tunes the same but is a lot more comfortable spacing. I’m on my second a hand made maple backed one by Robin Greenwood who has a workshop near Poole in Dorset. Lovely instrument.

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Tried an Octave Mandolin a few years back, been fancying one for a while, but can never find an inexpensive one.

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I have an octave mandolin and two normal size mandolins - one was a custom made. 

I have probably played more mandolin on stage than bass over the years - but it can be both frustrating and delightful to play..

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Would recommend an octave mandolin as well, especially for chord playing.  Eastman make a very good one for a reasonable price- about £700 for all solid wood and arch top.  I sold mine to folk singer Davey Dodds who absolutely loves it.  Check him out.

Robbie

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On 15/07/2018 at 11:47, gary mac said:

I thought it would be a breeze playing the mandolin but I've not found it easy, enjoyable and fun yes. I really struggle with some of the chords and find them a bit cramp inducing.

I thought you said "camp" for a moment there...

 

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On 22/07/2018 at 19:36, Grahambythesea said:

Me too! Having struggled with the close spacing of a mandolin, it’s a big jump down from basses,  I bought an Octave Mandola which tunes the same but is a lot more comfortable spacing. I’m on my second a hand made maple backed one by Robin Greenwood who has a workshop near Poole in Dorset. Lovely instrument.

That's good to know, thanks.  Our singer would rather buy gadgets than upgrade his mandolin, which is utter sh*te... :(

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I tried really hard to get into it, but like some others have said, 30 years plus of playing bass made my hands (and brain) incapable of making the leap.

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Years & years ago an ex (who was presumably sick of listening to me hammering away at my bass) treated me to a cheap flatback octave mandola. Took a while to get my head around the tuned-in-fifths thing and I eventually got a convncing semblance of a tune or two out of it - but it turned out I don't have an Inner Folkie, really.

Fun but limited for me - and it ended up in the loft, where at some point something heavy fell on it, breaking the neck. I did glue it up but never got around to re-stringing it, although I imagine it's still playable. Wherever it is now.

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Well, I've watched another Ovation one come and go on ebay.

But then I was browsing whilst on the train and someone local was selling a cheapie, so I'm now the proud owner of a Redwood mandolin, for which I paid the princely sum of £20. (It does need a new string, though.)

Just need to learn some shapes now...

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On ‎28‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 12:42, Brook_fan said:

Would recommend an octave mandolin as well, especially for chord playing.  Eastman make a very good one for a reasonable price- about £700 for all solid wood and arch top.  I sold mine to folk singer Davey Dodds who absolutely loves it.  Check him out.

Robbie

I was looking for one around the £100 mark, and I thought that was pushing the budget! :D 

I've seen a few octave mandolins around the £150 mark, which were tempting.

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