View Full Version : Finding My Way Around a Gibson A.

Jan-28-2010, 2:03pm
A Big Hello to Ya'll

I have always been interested in giving a mandolin a turn so a good friend of mine who owns a music shop, knowing I am addicted to old Gibson guitars, brought me over a 1918 Gibson A mandolin he got in to putz around with. The instrument is in extrememely nice condition but I would not know a good mandolin from a can of tuna so have no way of judging its sound.

This little instrument is a puzzler. No nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I have played some blues fiddle in the past so kinda know where the notes are (it has been quite a while) and have been able to figure out enough moving chord lines, turnarounds, and such to where I could pick out a few tunes like Bessie's "Electric Chair Blues." Biggest problem I am having is I am used to playing with my fingers which has not, at least for now, worked out as well as I might have hoped.

At this point I am still just trying to find my way around the instrument but I am having a blast.

Jan-28-2010, 2:21pm
Welcome and have fun! That's an excellent first mandolin, by the way.


Jan-28-2010, 2:59pm
Easy, a can of tuna contains tuna and a mandolin ........

Welcome, by the way.


Jan-28-2010, 4:01pm
Yes the mandolin you have, FYI, ain't a can of tuna. :grin:

Besides Kenny Hall, I can't think of anyone who plays mandolin without a plectrum.

My biggest problem in going the other way (mandolin to guitar) is that one fret per finger thing, versus the two frets per finger on the mandolin. That took awhile to sort out.

One thing you will like is how much sense it makes to have strings tuned unifromly in fifths across the whole instrument. No odd bit towards the end.