View Full Version : A Question On The Mandolin

Jan-26-2004, 8:13am
Hello to all.iam new to the fourm here.my question is i have been playing the guitar for ten years now and have been wanting to learn bluegrass mandolin.can anyone tell me if going from the guitar to the mandolin would be verry hard.and since i am on a tight budget money wize.i was wondering if i can get decent sound from a flat top mandolin to start out on.or can someone recomend a good starter model that doesnt cost a hole lot.and then once i learn better i would move up to the f5 mandolin.thanks for any responce to my question.

Jan-26-2004, 9:01am
I learned how to play guitar first and then went to mandolin with no problem. The only thing that happened to me was I now play my mandolins a lot more than my guitar. Watch out for MAS . As far as laerning on a flat top and then moving up to an "F" that all depends on what kind of music you are into if it is bluegrass then you probably will want an "F" but Irish you would want to have an "A" type mandolin. Just type in a search on this site you you will find tons of options about what to buy and where to buy it.
Good luck !

Jan-26-2004, 9:07am
that's exactly what I did in 1984. bought a used KM flattop mando for about 90 bucks cause it played easy. and took some lessons then after a year or so started the search for a better mandolin. 'bought a 84 KM1000 cost about 750 (wish I'd bought a monteleone at $3000) KM is now worth about 1200 + -, montleone worth about $25000 today.

Jan-26-2004, 11:55am
Thanks for the good information.i think ill start with an A model since there cheaper.but bluegrass is what i want to learn to play.with all the wood working tools i have i think while i am learning on the A model ill try and build me a F model.seems theres some good information on the subject of building mandolins here at the cafe.thanks again for the information.

mad dawg
Jan-26-2004, 4:01pm
You can also get an inexpensive arch-top A-style that may get you more of a Bluegrass sound, chop, and volume (compared to a flat-top A-style). Kentucky offers several different all-solid versions of their Korean-made A-styles, with the KM-150S starting as low as $200US or so. Several people on the boards here play Kentucky mandolins, and can speak with more authority than I, but from checking them out in music stores they seem to make a nice enough instrument.

Jan-26-2004, 4:41pm
The issue is not "A" vs "F" style. But "f" hole vs round hold and flat top vs arched.

Jan-27-2004, 8:18am
Well i went out to buy a mandolin yesterday afternoon and came home with two mandolins one i found in a pawn shop used with one broke string on it other than that in mint condition not a scratch or dent no where.its an A model arched top and back with F holes.it says LA at the the top of the neck not shure about that brand never heard of it.but got it for $200 with a hard shell case.the other one i bought brand new bean blossom made in china its an A model arched top with F holes.got it for $100.thanks for the the tips and information every one its time to be off learning some chords for me.and every time i look at that G chord i halft to tell myself no pain no gain.have fun everyone.

Jan-28-2004, 12:23am
Look at that, fresh into the mandolin arena and there's ol' Knight with MAS already!! Go to buy one and end up with 2! I've only converted from guitar to mandolin within the last year and already have 3 mandolins (2 A-model and 1 F-model), got an electric mando coming in the mail and am in the process of acquiring wood, etc to build an F-model myself! Welcome to the addiction!


Jan-28-2004, 12:38am
My advice............
I went from guitar to mando circa 10 years ago. Bought a $150 Korean mandolin,played it lots, and was happy as pie.

Two years ago I found this website. Since then, I seem to have acquired a strange syndrome.........no mandolin seems to satisfy me.

Too many dollars later, I was diagnosed with MAS.

So, the advice is get serious about mando playing, or, never visit this site again. Its addictive !

Jan-28-2004, 10:50am
What is MAS really? Mandolin sickness?
My experience is that if you know the guitar well, it's not hard to learn the mandolin.

Jan-28-2004, 8:38pm
MAS...........many times an incurable illness....mandolin acquisition syndrome........

Feb-01-2004, 12:15am
I have just purchased my first mandolin from musicians friend online and it is great. I have a question about it though. when playing the A and E strings my mando makes a weird echoing, twangy sound ( kind of like using the tremola bar on the guitar sound) I was wondering if i am playing it wrong or if it is the mando or just the strings.
Any suggestions will help
Thanks http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Feb-02-2004, 12:32am
You may want to check the tailpiece cover...it may be loose and vibrating in synch with those 2 strings. Also, there may be residual string vibrations buzzing (or sustaining) between the bridge and the tailpiece. If you take the cover off your tailpiece, and insert a thin piece of felt between the cover and strings, you may eliminate some buzz (or sustain).