View Full Version : Cody Shuler’s tone, how would you describe it?

Jesse Kinman
Apr-17-2018, 10:34am
How would you describe the tone Cody Shuler gets on this song in particular?


I realize that some of the tone is from the player, and technique, but I know a lot of it comes from the mandolin. I really like this tone and I would like to know how to describe it. Im gonna see if Tyler White can possibly make my mandolin towards that end of the tonal spectrum, maybe not all the way though.

Apr-17-2018, 11:21am
Tone = yummy!:mandosmiley:
Some of the flavor might be due to recording/engineering techniques.

Cheryl Watson
Apr-17-2018, 2:39pm
To my ears, that mandolin sounds very woody, balanced, and very clear, with very good depth, and it has a traditional tone with strong, cutting mids (as opposed to a more modern tone with a smoother (less cutting) midrange). It sounds like a played-in mandolin. The player's technique, the mandolin itself, the engineer, the room, the mic used, and the strings and pick used are all factors in the final tone. Cody Shuler has a Gibson mandolin (not sure of the model) and a Wayne Henderson Mandolin that I know of, and he could have others. On the cover of the album, he is holding a Gibson, but that might not necessarily be the mandolin used on this cut, of course.

Apr-17-2018, 9:02pm
To me, it sounds like the combination of two things: (1) a mandolin with a fat tone, and (2) a technique where the hand is positioned close to the bridge.
My electric guitar friends like to describe tone on a fat/thin spectrum, and I've always liked those descriptors. Here are other words I'd associate with "fat": warm, thick, bassy, woody. It sounds like he's playing with his hand close to the bridge (a la Monroe), which moves the overall tone toward the thinner side (though, still fat overall). I agree with Cheryl about the cutting mids; I think that's partly due to his playing style.

Jesse Kinman
Apr-18-2018, 9:45am
Ok, that makes sense to me. Thanks to all of you! I was thinking in my mind “warm”, and it’s definitely the opposite of every Eastman I’ve ever played, which I described in my mind as “thin”. So it sounds like I want tone that matches my size...obese Hahahaha :))
Seriously tho, if that’s the difference in a $4k and under mandolin and a $5k+ mandolin, I can see why somebody would pay a lot more than I can afford for a mandolin with that kind of tone. I really like how the low end has a deep bellowing growl to it!

Steve Sorensen
Apr-18-2018, 10:05am
You can watch Cody play close-up here --


and here --


Good comparison of how his consistent playing style comes across with two different instruments.


Drew Egerton
Apr-18-2018, 12:18pm
Cody was the first really good mandolin player I saw play up close after I started playing 13-14 years ago. He was from a small Western NC town near the college I was attending and they had just started a jam. For the level I was at at that time, he blew my socks off.