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I fancy a mandolin...


prowla

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On 26/01/2023 at 19:35, tauzero said:

I find the mandolin a bit cramped on my left hand - I got an Irish bouzouki which is more comfortable, tuned to GDAE rather than GDAD.

I fancied playing mandolin for ages, and as soon as I got one, I also found space to be very tight for my left hand - I just couldn't stop my bass players fingers from straying into areas they shouldn't... there just simply wasn't enough space to form some chord shapes. So I did exactly the same thing, and bought a Bouzouki (though I don't think it's an Irish Bouzouki - it seems longer scale length) anyhow, that is also tuned to GDAE. I did that so I could play the same chords as I was learning on the mandolin.

Now what I really need, is time to persist with it, and a decent pickup.

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9 hours ago, Marc S said:

there just simply wasn't enough space to form some chord shapes.

It's not really a chordal instrument.  Don't be misled by the similarity to a guitar. 

 

Yes, the frets mean that one can play chords, but they were designed to be melodic instruments. 

 

Most of bluegrass mandolin seems to feature fast melodic runs. Vivaldi's mandolin concertos are again melodies not chords. 

 

 

Edited by bass_dinger
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10 hours ago, Marc S said:

bought a Bouzouki (though I don't think it's an Irish Bouzouki - it seems longer scale length)

 

650mm is the usual scale but they can be longer. Both my Greek and Irish 'zouks are 670mm. Gives you more resonance, according to those in the know.

 

Any chance of a picture of it?

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13 hours ago, upside downer said:

 

650mm is the usual scale but they can be longer. Both my Greek and Irish 'zouks are 670mm. Gives you more resonance, according to those in the know.

 

Any chance of a picture of it?


I haven't got a photo, or the Bouzouki to hand - but it's one of these...
https://www.musicroom.com/ozark-bouzouki-flat-back-oza2222?glid=gb&CAWELAID=120075890000279149&gclid=CjwKCAiAleOeBhBdEiwAfgmXf_D1k-0AlN0iRyZ37d4QVK2CJSpokHSf2ZVgf4KpbHZkw5GvvrwJqhoCXJEQAvD_BwE

EDIT: The shop where I bought it weren't aware of whether it's a Greek Bouzouki, but I do recall the description as being "Flat Back"
I only just remembered it's an Ozark branded instrument.

Edited by Marc S
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3 hours ago, Marc S said:


I haven't got a photo, or the Bouzouki to hand - but it's one of these...
https://www.musicroom.com/ozark-bouzouki-flat-back-oza2222?glid=gb&CAWELAID=120075890000279149&gclid=CjwKCAiAleOeBhBdEiwAfgmXf_D1k-0AlN0iRyZ37d4QVK2CJSpokHSf2ZVgf4KpbHZkw5GvvrwJqhoCXJEQAvD_BwE

EDIT: The shop where I bought it weren't aware of whether it's a Greek Bouzouki, but I do recall the description as being "Flat Back"
I only just remembered it's an Ozark branded instrument.

 

That's an Irish bouzouki. Flat back rather the round back of a Greek, and the Greek is tuned CFAD (one step below the high four of a guitar). 

 

The Irish has versatility with the option of a few tunings. GDAE for those with mandolin knowledge in mind but for accompaniment and drone notes GDAD and ADAD are more common. Then, there's the octave string argument, too. Some like the top two courses to be in octaves, others all the courses in unison.

 

There are so many of these little variations (including scale length) that make these instruments so fascinating.

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2 minutes ago, upside downer said:

 

That's an Irish bouzouki. Flat back rather the round back of a Greek, and the Greek is tuned CFAD (one step below the high four of a guitar). 

 

The Irish has versatility with the option of a few tunings. GDAE for those with mandolin knowledge in mind but for accompaniment and drone notes GDAD and ADAD are more common. Then, there's the octave string argument, too. Some like the top two courses to be in octaves, others all the courses in unison.

 

There are so many of these little variations (including scale length) that make these instruments so fascinating.

That is so good as a deal! You can't buy the materials for that! Its not even a meal out for four

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  • 4 weeks later...

Planning mine live for the first time next week, and then again the week after. Losing My Religion and Maggie May respectively, so nothing too challenging, although the little widdly fills on LMR took a bit of practive with my big P bass ready hands . I'm quite looking forward to it.

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3 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

Planning mine live for the first time next week, and then again the week after. Losing My Religion and Maggie May respectively, so nothing too challenging, although the little widdly fills on LMR took a bit of practive with my big P bass ready hands . I'm quite looking forward to it.

Good luck with that, hope it goes well.

 

LMR has an odtave guitar on it too, I'd love to have a go on one of those.

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My mandolin tuning buttons are falling apart.   They fracture,  and then fall off of the shaft. Superglue fixes them, but they now look ugly. 

 

The plastic is likely to be 40 or 50 years old - is this degradation a known thing?

 

The tuner action is also variable  - sometimes stiff, other times no connection between the cog and worm drive, when I loosen the string. 

 

I am thinking of changing out the tuners to one of these 

 

Expensive £68 https://hobgoblin.com/ashbury-as-2038-slotted-mandolin-machine-heads

 

Cheaper at about £21 (gold plated)

https://hobgoblin.com/ashbury-as-2018-mandolin-machine-heads-gold

 

Nickel is the least costly at £14 (but out of stock until June 2023).

https://hobgoblin.com/ashbury-as-2016-mandolin-machine-heads-nickel

 

Anyone ever upgraded mandolin tuners before? 

 

Edited by bass_dinger
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On 26/02/2023 at 15:30, bass_dinger said:

Anyone ever upgraded mandolin tuners before? 

 

Yes. I wouldn't call it an upgrade, exactly. More a sideways change. The Waverleys on my F5 were getting a bit slack and reluctant to hold tune, so I replaced them with Schallers. They've been very good so far (replaced at least 10 years ago). 

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12 minutes ago, Dan Dare said:

 

Yes. I wouldn't call it an upgrade, exactly. More a sideways change. The Waverleys on my F5 were getting a bit slack and reluctant to hold tune, so I replaced them with Schallers. They've been very good so far (replaced at least 10 years ago). 

A "sidegrade", as it's known...

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  • 3 months later...

Picked this up the other day. A 12 string mandolin which I believe is called a mandriola.

 

20230603_171301.thumb.jpg.4115f35ed4515ca8f3cb360ed37a3bf3.jpg

 

The frets are a little wonky in places and the whole thing looks a little skewiff but it's very nice. Looks home made, especially as the bowl of it is an old frying pan!

 

20230604_173317.thumb.jpg.f8c1242745fc587b064ffc341d4b635e.jpg

 

Plays well, stays in tune, very loud and it's non-stick :biggrin:

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  • 2 months later...

For those that find a standard mandolin to tight on the fretboard but the bouzouki too long, there is the octave mandola, known as the octave mandolin in the USA which seems a more sensible name to me as that is what it is. A mandolin tuned an octave lower.

This is mine, made by Dorset luthier Robin Greenwood:

 

IMG_2367.jpeg

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

I took up mandolin about two years ago. Like some of you guys I findnthe standard mando fretboard a bit tight, although that didn't stop me buying two.

 

Like you Graham, found the octave mandolin to be the answer, an Ozark in my case.  I tune mine in pairs.

 

But now I've got to grips with that I also fancy an Irish Bouzouki as well...

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