I'm a guitar player (and I dabble with the bass) who has had a mandolin stuffed in a closet for years (at least 15). It was collateral for a loan to a friend, who decided he did not want to pay it back (no hard feelings, he just figures he sold the mandolin). At any rate, I pulled it down today. Restrung it. Looked on the internet for tuning and a few chords - and just had a blast playing around with it. It's a 1955 Martin A mandolin. It' s in good shape (some finish cracks, but solid), plays well (seems like it doesn't need any setup work) and sounds good - at least to my inexperienced ear. Now I have some questions...
1. There's no endpin for a strap. I'm leaning towards using a classical guitar strap (with the plastic piece that hooks on the soundhole). Is this a reasonable approach?
2. Bluegrass is okay, but I'd like to look into jazz and Celtic music. Who are some good artists to look up on youtube or itunes?
3. Are there any good books/instructional cd/dvds that anyone would like to recommend? For the bass, I enjoyed the ones that had all the instrument parts (except the bass) on cd, that allow you to play along.
4. I have two Martin guitars and love them. So, I'm assuming that their mandolins are ok - even though they don't have the same following as their guitars do. Is there anything about the Martin A mandolins I should know or be wary of? It would be my guess that it's all the mandolin I would need for some time to come.
Thanks in advance for your input.