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  1. Fiddle bows and mando dreams

    I've been playing fiddle for a couple months, but was desperately torn between choosing to play the fiddle or playing the mandolin. One of my friends put the idea in my head as well, and kept saying I could play the mandolin every time I mentioned I was going to go out and buy a fiddle. So after much thought, and in my typical style, I said to myself, "F it...I'm getting a mandolin too." Although what I said to my friends was, "I can't find a man, so I bought me a mandolin." ...
  2. My First Mandolin was a Banjo

    Sitting with a musical friend after school one day way back there, and he handed me a bowlback mandolin. He said, "put your hands like this and this, and here is how your fingers go" and I was in absolute awe.

    He was a lower brass player in the high school band, I was woodwinds myself. But he was also taking violin lessons and could play some mandolin.

    So I went home full of mandolin dreams and the only thing I had to work with was an old four string banjo my ...

    Updated Dec-11-2016 at 9:17pm by JeffD

  3. Calace 58-A

    I picked up this Calace 58-A to use as my new workhorse mandolin for my orchestral playing. It's got a few issues but has a lovely sound even before I've dealt with those. Click image for larger version. 

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    Someone had added a zero fret at one time to make up for a nut that had worn too low with use. I'll be replacing that soon.
  4. In Rochester. Um, no not New York. Rochester, England

    Seriously, I had no idea England had a Rochester too. But every time I come across an English city with the same name as an American one, like Boston, I think, "Well duh. They had to get the name somewhere,"

    In any case Rochester is a lovely little town that holds a medieval castle and cathedral. They have a folk festival there every year called Rochester Sweeps Festival. I appeared on Sunday the 5th of May at the Busker's Corner. The stage was set up between the castle ...
  5. 8-string tenor guitar and string gauges for GDGD

    Just got a cheap 8-string tenor guitar to wait out the arrival of a hand-crafted bouzouki. My question is: If I'm looking to string this instrument unison GDGD (low to high), what gauge strings would I need?
  6. More Musings

    Hey there, everyone!
    It's me again, the fool. I'm still looking for a mandolin. When I say that, I mean THE mandolin. I'm not really looking to play for people, just for my personal enjoyment, and maybe a few jam sessions with friends. My dream would be an f-style mandolin around $400 that is at least mid-quality. I like the sound of an f-style, but I could settle for an a-style too.

    I'm cut off from much mandolin community (or was, before this website), and I have very few ...
  7. The Newcomer's Musings

    Hey there, everybody. I'm rather new to the world of mandolins, but I'm in the market, as it were. I'm looking for a nice mandolin for about a $400 price range, and I've set my eye on a Loar LM 220. Any thoughts, any horror stories of consequence? Advice is appreciated.
  8. My Blog

  9. Learning to read standard notation

    Not difficult.

    I learned to do it as a child, and now I am being pushed by Mike Marshall to do it again. How I have gone about it.

    1. Drill on the flash cards on
    2. Did the first couple of exercises in Marylinn Mair's book.
    3. Picked a simple tune from the Fiddler's Fakebook.

    Point 1: teaches you the notes on the staff (if you don't already know them from Every Good Boys Deserve Fudge type mnemonics) and more importantly where they lay on the fretboard. ...
  10. Created a spreadsheet

    ...of songs I know or once could play before one of my recent hiatuses from playing. Count is up to 41! So why do I have such a hard time remembering a tune at a jam?