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Thread: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

  1. #1

    Question Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Good afternoon all,

    I'm one of the newer guys at Elderly Instruments, and one of my jobs is running the new Elderly Instruments blog. One thing I would like to do is one informational/educational/historical post per month. Some topics I've hit so far are Why Are Large Guitars Called Dreadnoughts and 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Banjo.

    So what are some mandolin-centric topics you would like to see addressed? I'd love to hear what you guys think. Also, if anyone is interested in writing a guest post on some sort of mandolin topic, shoot me an email at ty@elderly.com.

    Cheers!

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  3. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    A short treatise on the different types of mandolin –– bowl-back, flat-back with either a canted or a flat top, carved-top in either A- or F-models, plus other types such as solid-body electric, resonator -- maybe even the different "family members," such as mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello etc. -- might be of interest to the general reader, even one who's contemplating buying an instrument from you. Construction differences, styles of music generally played on each type, etc.

    We get 'way "into the weeds" here on the Cafe, and I assume you're aiming at a broader audience, one who may have a bit of knowledge of the instrument, but doesn't want to get overwhelmed with minutiae.
    Allen Hopkins
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  5. #3

    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    A short treatise on the different types of mandolin –– bowl-back, flat-back with either a canted or a flat top, carved-top in either A- or F-models, plus other types such as solid-body electric, resonator -- maybe even the different "family members," such as mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello etc. -- might be of interest to the general reader, even one who's contemplating buying an instrument from you. Construction differences, styles of music generally played on each type, etc.

    We get 'way "into the weeds" here on the Cafe, and I assume you're aiming at a broader audience, one who may have a bit of knowledge of the instrument, but doesn't want to get overwhelmed with minutiae.
    +1 on this great suggestion

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    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Stan Werblin is one of my favorite people and Elderly one of my favorite vendors, NFI. We appreciate your asking us for mandolin issues. Some that come to mind are proper setup (worth paying more?), tone wood effect, f hole vs oval hole, F5 vs F4 vs hybrids, genre specific mandolins (Sobell for instance). Boutique vs. box store regards to value and much more. Thanks again.
    Tony Huber
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    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Allen pretty much said it all for me as well. The only things I'd add, probably a follow up post, (as you need to blog regularly, as you know!) would be how pick and string choices can make a big difference. I know a few touring pros who get mentions here on the cafe have told me that they feel sting and pick choices are more important to them than the actual mandolin. Not sure if they're exaggerating, but it is an interesting point of view. Then agin, maybe that's heading out into Allen's weeds...

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  11. #6

    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    How about a post demonstrating instruments that have certain sound qualities, ie. "Tubby," "woody," "Good Bark," etc.

    Those terms always seem to cause confusion around here, and I'd expect that a good description with sound clips would get a bunch of links from here.

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    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    It might be interesting to do a post on either famous instruments or the instruments of famous players through the years.
    --------------------------------
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  15. #8

    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Just in case you were thinking about it, "A Style vs F", "The Blue Chip Pick", and "Do mandolins really open up" are topics that I personally would not touch with a barge pole.

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  17. #9

    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    I agree with OldSausage about mandolins "opening up". I'd also love to see a post about different topwoods and the differences between them like Englemann, Adirondack, sitka, etc. Plus HUMIDIFICATION!
    ~David Chernack

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    Registered User Michael Neverisky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Advice for aspiring multi-instrumentalist: 3 or 5 or whatever ways the mandolin is not a guitar. Topics include left and right hand technique, chords and accompaniment strategy, the symmetry and beauty of 5ths tuning in scale patterns, the dusty end of the fingerboard starts at the 7th, not the 5th fret.

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  21. #11
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Welcome Ty!

    I guess you’re finding out what an opinionated bunch mandolinists are. You have enough topics now for a decade of blogs!
    Don

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  23. #12

    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Thanks for so many quick and helpful responses! A lot of good ideas here (and if you have more, keep 'em coming!). I'll certainly be around the forums from time to time to take advantage of all the experience and opinions here.
    Ty Forquer
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Many opinions here Ty, lots of ideas, keep in touch!
    Maybe something about the late ‘70’s pac rim introduction of surprisingly serviceable mandolins? There are some (maybe many)who were introduced to mandolins after that period when the Ibanez, Alvarez, Aria instruments made the first inroads.
    Just a thought
    Timothy F. Lewis
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  26. #14
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Quote Originally Posted by AKA Frosty View Post
    Advice for aspiring multi-instrumentalist: 3 or 5 or whatever ways the mandolin is not a guitar. Topics include left and right hand technique, chords and accompaniment strategy, the symmetry and beauty of 5ths tuning in scale patterns, the dusty end of the fingerboard starts at the 7th, not the 5th fret.
    Second this (these).

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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Also might be nice to do a blog on what a "step up" from a beginner mandolin would look like - we find many inquiries here from folks interested in moving up to a better instrument, but they're looking at instruments that are just a move "sideways" from what they've already got, rather than a bump up (due to lack of knowledge).
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  30. #16
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSausage View Post
    Just in case you were thinking about it, "A Style vs F", "The Blue Chip Pick", and "Do mandolins really open up" are topics that I personally would not touch with a barge pole.
    I guess we could add "Use of 4th finger" to that list!

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  32. #17
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    Default Re: Mandolin topics for Elderly Instruments blog

    Quote Originally Posted by KEB View Post
    How about a post demonstrating instruments that have certain sound qualities, ie. "Tubby," "woody," "Good Bark," etc.

    Those terms always seem to cause confusion around here, and I'd expect that a good description with sound clips would get a bunch of links from here.
    That's a great idea. Can't think of another string instrument that has such a range of sounds for different music genres. From the clean ringing string tone of classical mando to the snare drum effect of a bluegrass chop. There's a wonderful range of sound instrument-to-instrument.

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