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I fancy a mandolin...


prowla

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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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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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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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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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  • 1 month later...

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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  • 3 years later...

I have started to play the mandolin again. 

 

Mandolessons.com is a great resource. 

 

The website has the facility to sort tunes by key, and difficulty.

 

From that, I found easy tunes in G, with sheet music and tablature. Each tune is recorded with mandolin, or guitar or both,  normal speed and half speed.

 

So, I am learning stuff in G, reading the music - effectively learning scales and note positions by learning tunes. 

 

After sight reading in G becomes second nature, I will move to C, which will involve changing the F# to F - one new note.

 

Then onto F (the B of the C scale will be flattened to the B flat of the F scale).

 

So, I will learn to read music properly on an new instrument. 

 

For me, I won't be learning chord shapes - I have a capo and a Lowden that covers the high register, and my £40 German Democratic Republic instrument cannot compete, tonewise.

 

Instead, I find that the tuning in 5ths is more logical than the 4ths and a 3rd of the guitar, and teaches me the fingerboard, ready for a better instrument. 

 

Who else here plays bass and mandolin?

 

 

Edited by bass_dinger
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I found a 2nd-hand mandolin in a local charity shop, so I thought .... 'never played one before but why not have a go' .... so I bought it.

 

A  quick polish and a change of tuning to E-A-D-G - so I could play basic guitar chord shapes and Robert is your Father's Brother.  Three days later I used it to busk with another guitar player at a friend's birthday barbecue and a week later I used it a gig - just for one song (The Irish Rover).

 

The guitarist and I have worked out a few more busking type songs to do at another party later this month and we've decided to keep Irish Rover in the band set ! ! !

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, police squad said:

I need to dust mine off too. Spent 7 years on the violin, then switched to bass and guitar. Mandolin came about 7 years ago, i thought I would be able to work it out but couldn't. 

Time to have another go methinks

 

Odd - I would have thought that a violinist would be the best way of stepping out to mandolin.  It has the same scale length, the same narrow neck (which encourages single notes or double stops rather than chords), and the same tuning (which means that relative note positions are already known).

 

20 hours ago, blisters on my fingers said:

Great post bass_dinger

 

Must dust off my mandolin and try again.

 

Loud little buggers aren't they??

Thank you for your kind words! 

 

Yes, they can be loud, especially with double strings (which are intended to help increase the volume). I use a red Jazz III xl pick, which is more mellow than the black version.  I have also used a wooden plectrum (too dull).

 

 

Generally, I think of the mandolin as a melody instrument, rather than a chordal instrument. 

 

I think of it as a plucked fretted violin, rather than a smaller guitar. 

 

For me, it is that different tuning, and the difficulties of playing chords, which make  for the new possibilities. 

 

 

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For some reason, a goodly amount of years ago I really wanted a mandolin so I bought one. Lovely.

It’s spent most of its life in the loft or gathering dust on a shelf. 
I still don’t play mandolin and now I really want a Saxaphone… 

 

 

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