View Full Version : Guitar to Mando Questions
I've been playing acustic guitar for quite a few years and recently traded an old guitar for a MK classic deluxe mando (actually for my daughter). I started playing her MK and found the transition from guitar fairly easy except for the fact that I have large fingers and the mando frets are so tiny. Will I ever get used to the tiny frets?
I'm looking for a mid price range used mando (without going custom) that has the widest nut width. Are certain brands/models more accomodating for big finger players. Is radiused easier than flat? I play folk, jazz, blugrass.
This is a different world than the guitar world, what do you consider mid-priced?
I realized that I posted the same message twice. My apologies. It was my first post.
I would consider a used mid range priced to be in the 2 to $3K.
You have a world to pick from in that price range. If it was me I'd be looking for a used Gibson F5-G (I just bought a new one). I went to Mandolin Brothers to see a used F5-G they had on their website for 3200.00. It sold two days before I got there. I ended up buying a new one (for more money obviously).
Hey RockyMtnTex, it's not the size of the frets that'll get you....it's the short space between them. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Seriously, my advice is to just play it a little and you'll get used to it. With the short scale, you can reach across several frets in one chord. Most of the chord shapes on mando will either have your fingers on different frets or will allow you to barre easily. You will probably find that you can do a 2-string barre with a finger tip, rather than laying your finger down. The little narrow neck can actually be your friend sometimes.
I find that if I play mando exclusively for a couple of weeks or more, when I pick up the guitar is just seems unreasonably huge. It sure didn't feel that way the first time I picked up a mandolin. I felt the same way you do then.
I'm with SJennings. I've played guitar for many years before picking up mando. It was a little weird at first when I got into scales and improv, but now the fret reach is not a problem, well, I still have some issues, but that has to do with my skill, not the size of the fretboard...tee hee
So, I would say keep playing on the MK until such time as you are absolutely sure you want a wider than average neck. In the meantime, with your budget you can do A LOT of research!!!
You'll get used to it.
But in that price range you could have one built with any width you like.
Also, what style are you going for? If not bluegrass, then some of the flat-tops would likely have a wider neck.
I don't think I have the patience to build a mandolin. And yes, bluegrass is in the mix for me.
Since I started asking questions about all this, I'm getting more accustomed to the mini frets. But going further up the fretboard (toward the body) it sure gets tight. I'm sure that a lot of it is technique.
I think the all time, most dependable best buy in that price range is the Collings MT for about $1850. If you really need a scroll (f-style) I would go for a used MF, which should still be well in your price range. I don't own one personnally, but I have played a lot of them and if I was without a mando and had $2-3K buring a hole in my pocket, I would have one before the sun went down.