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Electric Explorations

Exploring the capabilites of solidbody electric instruments --tuned in fifths, naturally-- and the associated gear used to make them audible

  1. A Little Bender on the Fender

    Just dropping a note to say that I gigged last night (Thursday June 17, 2010) as an electric mandolin player for the first time in at least half a year. What a gas! The gig was another of my series of lobby appearances. (Always the bridesmaid/lobby, never the bride/theater.) This one with Señor of Señor Circus. He was Señor I was this Circus last night.

    Playing through the tunes, I was flying around moderate tempo rock/pop tunes with the happiest of ease on my 8 string Fender ...
  2. A little overdriven eight string emando work

    Who says an overdriven 8 string sounds bad?

    The attached file is a QDAF (Computer nerds may get the allusion) Quick & Dirty Audio File I did for a class in Audacity I'm teaching on Wednesday.

    Tune: Ashokan Farewell
    Key: D

    I'm actually working on a version of Ashokan that changes keys. I'm going for a Steve Vai/Joe Satriani vibe. Ashokan is such a great melody that I think it can handle a lot of different interpretations. This recording ...

    Updated Feb-09-2010 at 12:28pm by Daniel Nestlerode

    Categories
    Electric Explorations
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  3. Converting an Epiphone Mandobird into a Mando(la)bird

    I bought this Epiphone Mandobird new in 2005. Musician's Friend was selling off their stock of gold sparkly and seafoam green models. The cool to cash ratio was extremely high because the price was so low.

    After playing with it for a little while I decided that the E string was too quiet. And because I'm not handy with a soldering iron, I decided to resting and reintonate for mandola tuning rather than buy 1k pots and install them.

    Mandola tuning has another advantage ...
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  4. Mandocaster love 3

    This is the final installment about a somewhat rare, but not highly sought-after, Fender electric mandolin. In the first installment I explored the production-line instrument, and in the second installment I recounted my acquisition of it. In this installment, I’ll document the changes I’ve made to it that have turned it into an excellent mandolin that sounds great and plays well.

    When the FM-988 arrived it was in original condition, as though it had rolled off the factory floor. ...
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  5. Mandocaster love 2

    Last time I detailed the issues with the latter day Fender mandocasters (SB-4, SB-8/FM-984, FM-988) and claimed to love my Fender FM-988. Here’s the first reason why.

    I play in a band called Señor Circus. My job in this band is to provide interesting support to the main thrust of the songs, which is acoustic guitar. Sometimes it includes bluesy chopping, sometimes it includes serving in the place of lead guitar, and sometimes it includes a hail of bright strummy notes. I do all ...
  6. Mandocaster love

    I am in love. And this is no fly-by-night/easy-come-easy-go kind of love. I know there are many folks out there who profess to love and then find something new in short order. But you will not see this beauty in the Mandolin Café classifieds unless my hands cease to function and my heart is turned against stringed instruments.

    The object of my affection is an improved Fender FM-988, a sonic blue 8 string “mandocaster.”

    In the early part of this decade, Fender ...

    Updated Jul-01-2009 at 6:30pm by Daniel Nestlerode

    Categories
    Electric Explorations
  7. Mando(la)bird and Bluebird

    Gig last weekend in Sonora CA...
    Two sets with Señor Circus, a band for which I play mandolin and guitar. So my gig rig is fairly heavy. I use both an eight string electric mandolin and a four string electric mandolin, so an amp and a set of effects pedals are part of the package too. The regular mandolin and the guitar round out the gig stable, and they just go through the PA.

    I've altered the four string electric mandolin a little. It is an Epiphone Mandobird, and it was ...

    Updated Jun-08-2009 at 2:50pm by Daniel Nestlerode

    Categories
    Electric Explorations
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  8. Playing 8 String Electric

    In terms of technique, playing an 8 string solid body electric is pretty much the same as playing a 4 string solid body electric. Except you don't bend notes.

    Having 8 strings makes the tone more mandolinistic and less guitaristic [to invent a couple of words]. So I've been playing material I usually reserve for my Vessel F5, just to hear it come through an amp. And I've added songs to my mandolin repertoire, because I am crazy enough to stomp on some effects boxes too.
    ...
  9. MandoGeek Trivia #2

    rekx successfully sussed the maker.
    Anyone for a guess at the model?

    Updated Mar-02-2009 at 6:19pm by Daniel Nestlerode

    Categories
    Electric Explorations
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  10. MandoGeek Trivia

    Hi folks,
    Hey all you mando-geeks! Can you identify the instrument from this picture?

    Updated Mar-01-2009 at 5:59pm by Daniel Nestlerode

    Categories
    Electric Explorations
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