Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 142

Thread: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

  1. #26
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,274

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post

    Hate to break it to anyone, but lots of Eastman and Kentucky mandolins played in bluegrass bands when you throw the entire genre that includes newgrass, thrashgrass, punkgrass, NashGrass, etc. --insert your name here--into the mix.
    as in XXXXXgrass?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Egerton View Post
    Up until about 9 months ago I was pretty strictly bluegrass only. Then I started digging further into Dawg music and Jazz/swing. While I am very much a newbie with jazz, I am enjoying trying to learn some of the standards and differences in the style. Of course I still have trouble refraining from throwing a big Monroe blues lick in the middle of Lady Be Good.

    I'm fascinated with the Bach kind of stuff as well, but not as interested to learn to play it as to just observe the masters.
    Last first...

    Bach kind of stuff! love that expression!

    ' While I am very much a newbie with jazz, [B]I am enjoying trying to learn some of the standards and differences in the style. "

    As a native New Orleanian...as in "jazz is my folk music"! Style is EVERYTHING!

    Notes, scales, chords, etc. know no genre. It's all up to the player.

    Quote Originally Posted by OlDanTucker View Post
    Mandolin Player first. The wonderful thing about this instrument is how many different styles of music you can play with it. Lately really interested in swing and jazz. But like old time, celtic, and half a dozen other styles as well.

    But I play a lot of bluegrass. Mainly because that is who is jamming on acoustic instruments with a pretty high level of ability around here. I tend to like the jams that range pretty far afield. But marketing decisions are made on the basis of averages that might not take this into account.
    It does seem to be the prevailing style!

  2. The following members say thank you to DavidKOS for this post:


  3. #27
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,548
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Hey, there are some of us that do NOT think a Loar style F mandolin is the best instrument.
    Yes. They are not Kermans after all.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  4. The following members say thank you to JeffD for this post:


  5. #28
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,548
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    I wonder about this question, and have tentatively come to some semi-conclusions.

    I would think that bluegrass, in the US, is the largest single genre of mandolin playing. That said, I doubt if the number of bluegrassers is near half the mandolin players out there. In the world even much less than half. I mean, the number of players in other genres of mandolinning, combined, are greater than the number of bluegrass mandolinners, and world wide much greater.

    I think there is also a selection bias. I have recently jumped into the world of classical mandolin. I have met and play with and take advice and lessons from more and more classical players,... and you know what, it feels like the mandolin world is mostly classical, and that most of the resources our there are for classical instruction and so forth. I know it isn't true, but full emersion and the bias that the world I see is the world sure make it seem that way.

    And are there enough mandolin players, at all, to make these musings significant? I mean, we are a small/tiny minority within the world of musicians, which are in themselves a tiny minority of the population itself.

    So, to all of you, the few proud mandolinners, of any genre, get out there and play the dern thing. And don't clump into groups. More than 10 or so in a room and the entire county could be wiped out of mandolinners with one disaster.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  6. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to JeffD For This Useful Post:


  7. #29
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    4,716

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    For many years I played lead guitar in a country band...and then I heard Monroe playing his mandolin and I told my dad I just have to have one of those so he bought me one and for a while I played both country and bluegrass and then just moved on to bluegrass alone.....I don`t know the answer to the OP`s question but for me and in my opinion there is only one music for the mandolin and that is BLUEGRASS...

    Other than that I don`t have any comments...

    Willie

  8. The following members say thank you to Willie Poole for this post:


  9. #30
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,069

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    I play bluegrass only my dad played bluegrass banjo I was raised on bluegrass. I listen to a lot of different styles, from old time to rock but I can't feel them so I can't or at least don't play them. One thing I disagree with in a lot of posts in this thread, bluegrass is played on mandolins that are not Loar style F5's. Yes Bill Monroe played a F5 but Secular with Flatt and Scruggs played F2, as did Duffy withCountry Gentlemen. A lot of Jimmy Martin's mandolin players used his F4. Busby played an A50 I think and Rector played an oval hole A ( I think an A4). On another thread we have a video of Roland White playing an oval hole with The Country Boys before the Whites became the Kentucky Conorals. When builders started making long neck A5's a lot of semi-professionals starting using them. I own and play several A style mandolins that I play bluegrass on. It don't have to be what Monroe played to be bluegrass

  10. The following members say thank you to Mandoplumb for this post:


  11. #31
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    15,095

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Look what the paradigm (great word choice, Scott!) for the mandolin is, though: factory after Asian factory cranking out arch-top, f-hole, sunburst A- and F-models, for sale in North America, Europe, Australia -- and to a lesser extent in Japan, I guess.

    Not that all the people who buy these mandolins use them to play bluegrass, but the mandolin market is saturated with "bluegrass style" instruments. There are European manufacturers making "Portuguese style," flat-top, oval-hole instruments, which may have a substantial market there, but I'd venture to guess that the overall majority of mandolins being currently made, are "bluegrass mandolins," whatever that means -- not that you can't play any kind of music on an arch-top, f-hole mandolin, but that style has come close to chasing other styles (bowl-back, flat-top, etc.) out of the marketplace.

    Which, in a way, is too bad. I play my little Martin Style A, or my Gibson A/N Special, or one of my bowl-backs or resonator mandolins, and I think we could use a few more "flavors" on the current mandolin menu. Not that there aren't some of them out there, new ones even; just that the new mandolin buyer is going to see mostly what could be termed "bluegrass mandolins."
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  12. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to allenhopkins For This Useful Post:


  13. #32
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,534

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Bluegrass musicians probably make up the largest single group of mandolinists in the US, though I doubt that is the case overseas. That is the reason there are many bluegrass camps, festivals etc hereabouts. Pretty much the only music you could find being played on mandolins in the US was BG and old-timey sorts of music. Again, not true for the rest of the planet. Europe and Japan have strong Classical mando traditions. While they may make Gibson/BG instruments, I suspect they are primarily meant for the US market.

    This site doesn't seem to have a polling function, but I'd be very interested in seeing the breakdown of strictly BG players, Old-Time, Irish, Classical, and various blends of the above, as represented by posters here. Since the mandolin is, and always will be, an instrument on the margins, this site probably attracts a goodly percentage of the world's mandolin players, so the whole gamut would be reasonably well represented.

  14. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bob A For This Useful Post:


  15. #33
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,156

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    My question is, just how big is the Bluegrass segment of our community? Is it a majority? Or just a sizable minority?
    I reckon bluegrass is the largest segment of mandolin players, but not a majority.

    The exact numbers* are:
    Bluegrass: 42.7%
    Country: 18.7%
    Irish/Celtic: 11.9%
    Jazz: 10.2%
    Classical: 8.5%
    Rock: 4.8%
    Other: 3.2%

    *I read it on the internet so it must be true.

  16. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to jefflester For This Useful Post:


  17. #34
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    When you think about some of the outstanding and successful mandolin players who get mentioned quite a lot on the MC, you tend to hear names like these (off the top of my head): Chris Thile, Sam Bush, Adam Steffey, David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Caterina Lichtenberg, Evan Marshall, Joe Walsh, Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, Bill Monroe, Mike Compton, Doyle Lawson, Ricky Scaggs, Jethro Burns, Jacob do Bandolim, Dave Apollon, Carlo Aonzo, Joe Carr, Mark O'Connor, Jesse McReynolds, Darrol Anger, Todd Phillips, Tim O'Brien, Johnny Staats, Herschel Sizemore, Andy Statman, Frank Wakefield, Bobby Osborne, Roland White, Ronnie McCoury, Alan Bibey, Dave Harvey, Avi Avital, Jacob Reuvan, John McGann, John Duffey, John Reischman, Butch Baldassari, Tiny Moore, Peter Ostrouchko, Matt Flinner, Hamilton Holanda.

    I am quite certain that I did not get them all, but I'd wager that I have listed a good many of the most-cited player names on the MC. Maybe my list is unbalanced and a trifle unrepresentative, but we can argue further about that. And apologies if I left out your favorite player! Don't like this list? OK: Make up your own list for "most-cited on the MC".

    In looking over this (admittedly biased) list of recording artists and other mandolin heroes, I find that of the 43 names above, at least 30 or more are associated, in one way or another, with what one might call bluegrass/newgrass. Some of those 30 players got their start in bluegrass and later migrated off into more personal forms of new acoustic music, but they can still play bluegrass with the best of 'em. By this -- albeit crude -- metric, something like 75% of the top players come out of a bluegrass tradition.

    You can chalk some of this up to observer bias, but I'd be willing to wager that the mandolin world is still driven by a VERY significant bluegrass component, particularly if you're willing to broaden the definition of 'bluegrass' to include players who were originally instilled with this medium, but later took off in their own unique directions (like Grisman, Statman, O'Brien, etc.).

    So YES, I'd say that bluegrass -- or something like it -- stills holds a large sway over the mandolin market. But this goes WAAAY beyond the relatively narrow, trad-grass constituency of the IBMA!! The influence is both much more subtle, but also far-ranging, than that.

    Folks who are just learning or picking up the mandolin tend to look to these sorts of players for inspiration. Certainly, they do set various trends. [Tim O'Brien did a LOT to resurrect the reputation of the A5-model, for example!] And, of course, the influence of Bill Monroe on Gibson F5 mandolin sales is legendary. He is almost single-handedly responsible for the obsession with Loar-signed F5s, on top of that.

    The larger makers of mandolins naturally tend to cater to the largest demographic segments of the market, for good business reasons. Yes, there is a REASON why you don't see more bowl-backs (no offense to bowl-back players intended). The same goes for flat-tops, two-points, and many other "niche" designs. The market is mostly A5s and F5s, and you can probably blame the bluegrass community for that, if you like. But these are also very good mandolin designs! You can thanks folks like Orville Gibson and Lloyd Loar for that. And neither one of them played bluegrass.
    Last edited by sblock; Sep-26-2017 at 5:20pm.

  18. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to sblock For This Useful Post:


  19. #35
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,548
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    In looking over this (admittedly biased) list of recording artists and other mandolin heroes, I find that of the 43 names above, at least 30 or more are associated, in one way or another, with what one might call bluegrass/newgrass. Some of those 30 players got their start in bluegrass and later migrated off into more personal forms of new acoustic music, but they can still play bluegrass with the best of 'em. By this -- albeit crude -- metric, something like 75% of the top players come out of a bluegrass tradition.

    You can chalk some of this up to observer bias, ...
    A list with less bias:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...inly_classical
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  20. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to JeffD For This Useful Post:


  21. #36
    Registered User Steve VandeWater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    489

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Quote Originally Posted by jefflester View Post
    I reckon bluegrass is the largest segment of mandolin players, but not a majority.

    The exact numbers* are:
    Bluegrass: 42.7%
    Country: 18.7%
    Irish/Celtic: 11.9%
    Jazz: 10.2%
    Classical: 8.5%
    Rock: 4.8%
    Other: 3.2%

    *I read it on the internet so it must be true.
    I hear that 86.4% of statistics are made up right there on the spot!
    Last edited by Steve VandeWater; Sep-26-2017 at 6:02pm. Reason: Typo
    It ain't gotta be perfect, as long as it's perfect enough!

  22. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Steve VandeWater For This Useful Post:


  23. #37
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    With all respect, Jeff, that is not a list of the player names most frequently mentioned on the MC. So you're comparing apples with oranges. Also, I don't understand what you mean by "less bias." Less biased in what specific way? For example, a list of fairly obscure players, say, collected from one fairly unpopular genre, compared against a list of the same length of major recording artists culled from another, comparatively more popular genre would not be considered an "unbiased" comparison. On the contrary, it would be heavily biased in favor of the more obscure genre, by equating a series of relatively unknown names against a series of much more famous/popular/successful ones. This is generically true; it has nothing to do with bluegrass compared with, say, classical or Celtic music on mandolin! It would be equally true if we put the giants of bluegrass up against the giants of today's pop music -- they wouldn't stand a chance!

    Hey, I LOVE classical music. And I really like the blues. And I play ITM. And folk. And yes, I play bluegrass, too.

    But it's still true that bluegrass, and bluegrass sensibilities, dominate the current mandolin instrument market. These are the economic realities.

  24. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to sblock For This Useful Post:


  25. #38
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Madison, Ct
    Posts
    2,298

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    My take is that while bluegrass still holds some sway, the majority now play a mixed-genre thing, with no real name. Maybe alt-string band. That part os irrelevant, but what I do see is outside of bluegrass-centric festivals or venues, the world is shifting away. In talking to musicians, it's mostly because of the tight confines of the music. It's also why many classical players also play jazz, old-time, etc. When I look at some fellow presenters, who do mostly bluegrass, audiences are looking a little grey. When one specific presenter, who also happens to currently run the Connecticut Bluegrass Association took some of the younger, not-quite bluegrass bands out of Berklee and environs, he immediately saw an attendance bump and a much younger audience at the same time. If you want to keep a venue going, the key is getting young and achieving some sort of sustainability.

    So, while bluegrass might possibly be the largest single genre of mandolin players, I'm thinking this is temporary at best, and soon it will be all the bands like Mr. Sun, with Joe K. Walsh, or Punch Brothers, Or Brittany Haas's new iteration of Haas/Kowert/Tice, called Hawktail, as Dominick Leslie has joined. A bunch live in Nashville, so even many of those venues are going younger also..

  26. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Charlieshafer For This Useful Post:


  27. #39
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA
    Posts
    3,745

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    The answers to the OP's question at times tend to the "what I like to listen to or play" responses rather than his question as to what % of the mandolin market is bluegrass.

    I have found, at least in SoCal, that a lot of mandolin players come to the mandolin thru bluegrass, but that folks (older) come to bluegrass as non-musicians who are hobby learning. Most musicians (classical, jazz, swing, rock, country, etc.) appreciate and even dabble in other genres, so using myself as an example, while I love bluegrass mandolin, I play many styles and can function in many settings musically. I look at the mandolin as a musical instrument, not specifically a bluegrass instrument, but a musical instrument. I can be anal about bluegrass, and yet still jam out to Motown, AC-DC, Santana, Allman Bros., Eagles, George Benson, etc

    I have no idea about the % of the mandolin market, but I suspect that based on the instrument makers referred to earlier, that a certain "folk music" element is taken into consideration in a majority of them...YMMV
    1994 Gibson F5L Fern


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  28. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to DataNick For This Useful Post:


  29. #40
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,274

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Poole View Post
    for me and in my opinion there is only one music for the mandolin and that is BLUEGRASS...


    Willie
    Well I respect your honesty!

    But as an Italian-American kid raised in New Orleans, that sure ain't where me and my mandolin are comin' from!

    and Italians were playing mandolin long before the great Bill Monroe was any part of anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Look what the paradigm (great word choice, Scott!) for the mandolin is, though: factory after Asian factory cranking out arch-top, f-hole, sunburst A- and F-models, for sale in North America, Europe, Australia -- and to a lesser extent in Japan, I guess.

    Not that all the people who buy these mandolins use them to play bluegrass, but the mandolin market is saturated with "bluegrass style" instruments. There are European manufacturers making "Portuguese style," flat-top, oval-hole instruments, which may have a substantial market there, but I'd venture to guess that the overall majority of mandolins being currently made, are "bluegrass mandolins,"
    "
    I've been to NAMM as a buyer and believe me, there are fewer makers (or is it jobbers?) of non-A and F mandolins overall.

    But, it is true there are still a lot of makers of traditional non-Gibson style mandolins, thankfully for variety.

    P.S. I guess I still don't understand how you can play mandolino and not play a little Italian music.

  30. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to DavidKOS For This Useful Post:


  31. #41
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    4,453

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    There is a heavy bias on published recordings and Wiki links in that list. It's hardly unbiased. If anyone thinks that the list of people playing mandolins in Irish/Scottish and related music is defined by the seven artists listed there, then they have another think coming.... as my dear departed Ma would say.


    There are genres like Irish/Scottish trad where the vast majority of players aren't headlining concerts and pumping out CD's. It's a peripheral instrument in that genre compared to fiddles, flutes, whistle and pipes, but there are thousands of amateur players using mandolins to play this music. They don't get counted in a survey like this, but they're still out there. Same thing with OldTime... how many OldTime mandolin players front a band? Or Blues, or Classical, or Jazz?

    I think the point has been made that we're not all Bluegrass mandolin players here (I'm not). But we'll never pin down the ratios. Too much amateur playing goes under the radar.

  32. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to foldedpath For This Useful Post:


  33. #42
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Where I am it's old time music and celtic. One, kind of bluegrass band, many old time bands and dances. Since Bluegrass came from old time music and was changed in the beginning by eliminating the fiddle, changing the harmony, and taking breaks, then changing the banjo style from frailing to Scruggs style. This was of course all in Bill's band since there was no bluegrass before that, but major interest in mandolins and mandolin development, I wonder should we not be talking about old time influences too. Of course the Loar era F5's were designed for classical music and was simply that Bill played one, not early, but in the end that it became "the" instrument for bluegrass. In some parts of California old time musicians play breaks, others specify "we don't play breaks" so there is that overlap. I believe this could actually be a thesis for someone younger than I going to college and would make a good book, which I would buy and read.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  34. The following members say thank you to pops1 for this post:


  35. #43
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    7,005

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    it's a fun portable instrument that's easy for playing melody.

    that's what makes me stick with it and my desire to solve problems. . .

    i don't play bluegrass.

    I love the therapy.

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  36. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to fatt-dad For This Useful Post:


  37. #44
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,548
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    I meant less biased specifically in that there was no conscious or unconscious bias by Wiki to get more or fewer mandolinners from a each genre. They weren't in our discussion and don't have our biases. That's what I meant.

    And the number of mandolinners that post to this site is a only a fraction of the mandolinners out there, and I am guessing a small fraction. I know many mandolin players, I only know one or two others to be a member of the café. So I am not sure what difference it makes overall what we think or we know or what we pay attention to.

    I know I do most of my "shopping" here in the classifieds, and most of my thinking about shopping here on the site, so sure it feels like bluegrass dominates the market. But I am continuously surprised how many folks that come to me (in the real world) looking for advice about purchasing a mandolin, who never heard of the café or the café classifieds, when I recommend them.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  38. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to JeffD For This Useful Post:


  39. #45
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Salisbury,NC
    Posts
    6,271

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    I just find it hard to understand with the total mandolin production per year, where are all those mandolins going to? Do most mandolin pickers (like myself) suffer from M.A.S. and need more than one mandolin to pick? Bluegrass is popular around the world or that part of the world that has a modern society. A mandolin is not always part of bluegrass music. What's that saying if it ain't got a banjo in it, it ain't bluegrass. You don't hear that about a mandolin. So yeah, I'll go with bluegrass and those music styles derived from it, are in the majority but hard to put an exact % on it. I'll guess at least 30% and no more than 50%. IBMA is the biggy to cater to that bluegrass market. The banjo and mandolin builders seem to be well represented each year.

  40. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to f5loar For This Useful Post:


  41. #46
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Grass Valley
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Is this a little bit...vain?

    Like.. what IS going on with my belly button?? It never looked like that before!..
    Billy Packard
    Gilchrist A3, 1993
    Weber Fern, 2007
    Gibson F4 Hybrid #1, D. Harvey 2009
    Gibson 1923 A2
    Numerous wonderful guitars

  42. #47
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Madison, Ct
    Posts
    2,298

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    f5Loar's post got me thinking about the difficulty in answering this question, even if we did have hard numbers on all players, pros and amateurs, and what style they played. The issue is all the newer music out there. What percentage is bluegrass-derived? What percentage is a given tune, like Mr. Sun's The People Need Light? It's got bluegrass-sounding instruments and occasional spaces, but there's a heavy jazz and blues influence, probably more than bluegrass. Other tunes, perhaps the mix is different. I have no idea how to answer this, and it's a constant issue when presenting these musicians. But I do think the tide is turning not so much away from bluegrass, in terms of some sort of rebellion, I just think that more artists are exploring more musical freedom. There's no fear anymore about being not being placed in a genre box, which for record companies and promoters, was critical.

    I think you probably have to go at this question in a backwards fashion. List (which is an exercise in futility) all mandolin/CBOM players currently touring, and over the entire world, and hope you can place them in an appropriate slot. Classical, Jazz, Bluegrass, ITM, the works, and hope there's some sort of correlation percentage-wise when you extrapolate this to encompass amateur players. You could easily spend a couple of years tracking down every performance with a mandolin in it, getting audience size data (gotta see how popular the music is in each geographical region) and go from there. Yuck.

  43. The following members say thank you to Charlieshafer for this post:


  44. #48
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    near Boston, MA
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    As a life long mandolin player I seldom if ever play BG. Not because I don't enjoy it, I do. On my list of genres I want to study and dedicate the time to learn BG is about #7.Popularity,unfortunately, has always been a turn-off for me and it's a ridiculous prejudice but it's there just the same...

  45. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Frankdolin For This Useful Post:


  46. #49
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Posts
    1,083
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    When you think about some of the outstanding and successful mandolin players who get mentioned quite a lot on the MC, you tend to hear names like these (off the top of my head): Chris Thile, Sam Bush, Adam Steffey, David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Caterina Lichtenberg, Evan Marshall, Joe Walsh, Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, Bill Monroe, Mike Compton, Doyle Lawson, Ricky Scaggs, Jethro Burns, Jacob do Bandolim, Dave Apollon, Carlo Aonzo, Joe Carr, Mark O'Connor, Jesse McReynolds, Darrol Anger, Todd Phillips, Tim O'Brien, Johnny Staats, Herschel Sizemore, Andy Statman, Frank Wakefield, Bobby Osborne, Roland White, Ronnie McCoury, Alan Bibey, Dave Harvey, Avi Avital, Jacob Reuvan, John McGann, John Duffey, John Reischman, Butch Baldassari, Tiny Moore, Peter Ostrouchko, Matt Flinner, Hamilton Holanda.
    Perfectly illustrates an uncomfortable truth for the hard core bluegrass truthers: how many of people in that list know how to play bluegrass? How many of them actually play it on a consistent basis? Very, very few. Thile, Bush, Marshall, Hull, etc. certainly may know how, but rarely do. They need to make a living. Bluegrass is in serious decline and has been for a long time. Look at the ages of the people in this list--if they're alive--and check how many are over 60. Compare that to the 30 and under crowd and how many are playing the music. I love bluegrass. I play it, but to bang a drum saying it's the dominant force in acoustic music? Nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by f5loar View Post
    I just find it hard to understand with the total mandolin production per year, where are all those mandolins going to? Do most mandolin pickers (like myself) suffer from M.A.S. and need more than one mandolin to pick? Bluegrass is popular around the world or that part of the world that has a modern society. A mandolin is not always part of bluegrass music. What's that saying if it ain't got a banjo in it, it ain't bluegrass. You don't hear that about a mandolin. So yeah, I'll go with bluegrass and those music styles derived from it, are in the majority but hard to put an exact % on it. I'll guess at least 30% and no more than 50%. IBMA is the biggy to cater to that bluegrass market. The banjo and mandolin builders seem to be well represented each year.
    Thank you for stating the truth about banjos. Bluegrass is banjo music, not mandolin music. Open back banjos have been outselling resonator banjos (the choice of bluegrass) by 5-1 and more for close to 10 years, a sharp reversal from 20-30 years ago. More proof of a dramatic decline of the music by most definitions.

    YMMV.

  47. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Mandolin Cafe For This Useful Post:


  48. #50

    Default Re: Curious about the Bluegrass mandolin market segment

    I was thinking about this from a different point. The Bluegrass mandolin does in fact rule with a huge market share. The catch is, the people purchasing these are not predominately playing Bluegrass.

    It is arguable that the most popular mandolin players are those in popular music. Ray Jackson, John Paul Jones/Jimmy Page, Peter Buck, etc.. David Grisman and Mike Compton come to mind as two we might refer to as "mandolin players" that went mainstream. Though few are aware of who they are.

    Average people I talk to can't name a single mandolin player, but if there were one that stood out as far as mainstream name recognition, it might be David Grisman. I have met a few that knew who he was through the Dead. Outside of my work and the music scene, I don't recall a single person knowing who Bill Monroe was. Again, Bluegrass doesn't have a hold in my region, but that can be said for most of the more populous states.

    I think it is also important to remember that some of the largest mandolin dealers are not mandolin dealers at all (Amazon). We often dismiss all the random off brands and bottom of the barrel instruments, but together, these represent a big chunk of the market (maybe the majority). Factories are churning these out by the tens of thousands and the US is the main consumer. People are buying them.

    The Cafe collective is highly educated in mandolins. Ambassadors so to speak. We are not representative of the average person. Even I forget this. Reading the Cafe nearly everyday for over a decade has changed my perspective of things as well. When I do try to step back, it is almost in disbelief that I again realize the mandolin is such a niche instrument and we (at the cafe) are a niche among the niche.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com
    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  49. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Folkmusician.com For This Useful Post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •