Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst 12345
Results 101 to 120 of 120

Thread: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

  1. #101
    Registered User Miltown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    North America
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Andy Statman. Not that I'll ever sound anything like him.

  2. #102
    Registered User Grizzly Adams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    I primarily play the 5 string banjo, and have for about the last 50+ years. Always found Mandolins to be a bit irritating! For me playing the Mandolin is "a little hair of the dog." That said, I really like the portability of the Mandolin vs the banjo.
    If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a vet.

  3. #103
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    I play Canadian old-time (quite different from Appalachian and southern old-time) and Cape Breton music on fiddle. I also have a love of blues. Having heard fine blues on ukelele, I picked up one sitting around the house, learned a few chords, and took an afternoon workshop. I enjoyed playing, but thought that if I'm going to put effort into it, I might as well try mandolin since it has the same tuning as a fiddle, so I'd have a head start. A friend loaned me his "tater bug" that he seldom played, and I liked playing it. But, since his mandolin's bowl and my midsection were more or less the same shape, that instrument wasn't the best for me. My buddy also also introduced me to the music of Yank Rachell, then there was no turning back -- I've discovered a great many other blues mandolin players since.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfYMsRzVFXQ

    I bought a Godin A-8 flat-back, which is electric but has a fine acoustic sound; I play it almost exclusively un-amped. Recently, I bought a 1923 Little Wonder banjolin (banjo-mandolin) with the same GDAE tuning, from a woman who was great to deal with, on Mandolin Cafe Classifieds. I especially like this instrument for playing ragtime, American C-19th folk, and early blues. I was inspired in this purchase by the following video, with Bill Foss playing a banjolin variation called a "commodium", and by advice from its inventor, Keith Cary.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQy1om865I0

    I still play fiddle as well as mandolin almost daily, but a few factors make the mandolin very attractive. I like the sound of the mandolin. It's not hard for a fiddler to learn, though the right-hand is a challenge. It's physically much easier to play than the fiddle. Since I was starting the instrument in my sixties after a few injuries and some arthritis, this was important. However, the violin requires considerably less finger pressure. As well, the spacing is different on the instruments, so there is a learning process. Furthermore, there are numerous fine guitar players around, with a fifty-year head start on me, whereas playing mandolin is often a novelty in a session, even if I'm no master. I've learned that the mandolin's tuning, in fifths, is special. By keeping my fingers in the same position and moving across or up and down, I can always create another chord -- if you watch the guitar players, they have to jump all over the place. Interestingly, because of my fiddle background, I'm better at picking than chording, whereas most players of lute-family instruments (guitars, ukes, banjos, etc.) begin by chording, so they're sometimes impressed by my ability to pick, while I'm thinking, "I wish I could chord that." Finally, the differences in note-playing on violin and chording on mandolin teach me a great deal about theory and how music works that I wasn't getting from just fiddle.

    I also fool around with a Serbo-Croation instrument called a "prim", a small tamburitza, another lute-type instrument. That's a whole other story, involving hanging out with Serbs in high school. However, I love the fiddle and mandolin, and usually play different styles of music on both, but sometimes overlap with blues on fiddle or old-time on mandolin.
    Last edited by Ranald; Feb-10-2018 at 8:00pm. Reason: typos

  4. #104

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterleyenaar View Post
    I came from a fiddle background , ...
    Likewise.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterleyenaar View Post
    ... the right hand, that's where guitar players have the advantage, ...
    Well... IMO, guitar picking-hand technique is more of a problem and hindrance to progress, on mandolin.

    The hand position is different.

    I think it's easier to learn flatpicking on a mandolin *before* ever touching a guitar, that way you don't have to unlearn guitar technique.

    Slow tunes, probably doesn't matter. But (for example) fast fiddle tunes will show up any inefficiencies in picking hand technique on mandolin.

    Oddly though, the reverse of that does *not* seem to apply - mandolin picking-hand technique seems to transfer quite well to guitar. But just not the other way around.

    IMO, FWIW, YMMV, 2c, etc.

    ------------
    Full disclosure: The first thing I ever tried to use a normal flatpick on, was a mandolin. I already played fiddle, and years prior to that dabbled briefly in badly-played goose-quill dulcimer. Mandolin was smooth sailing *after* I got over the usual beginner tendency to grip the pick too tightly. My dad (who played mandolin, among other things) told me, "Hold that pick so loose that if you turn your hand sideways, the pick almost falls out." Before trying his advice, I was thinking "Well that sounds like a dumb idea, it's not even logical," but I went ahead and tried it anyway, and to my surprise, that was all it took to make the pick behave itself. I'm guessing the reason *why* that works, is because it allows the fingers to make occasional 'micro-adjustments' while playing.

  5. #105

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly Adams View Post
    ... Always found Mandolins to be a bit irritating! ...
    Lol. You probably have good high-frequency hearing. If my own playing is any indication, the high-pitched E-string notes have the most potential for causing irritating sounds. Same as on fiddle, now that I think of it.

  6. #106

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Mandolin was number 4 for me. I started on banjo, then went to guitar, then bass guitar, then mandolin. I still play them all, though I'm a master of none.

  7. #107
    Registered User zedmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    At home
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    With any instrument, the way it feels when I hold it is important--even if every thing else is perfect--if that feel is off--I won't buy it.
    PArt of that is an intangible.
    I am not referring to playability--although it is connected.
    Playability can be improved in most cases--but feel is feel.

    AFter that--yes playability & sound are important--as is condition.

    As well as price & availability.

    I have an Epi Mandobird
    I wasn't specifically looking for an electric solidbody mandolin, but it was on the radar--I knew I liked them--so when I found a used one on sale for a price I couldn't refuse (Had the cash on me at the time--well gift cards & cash) I couldn't pass it up.
    My original plan was to wait for a local stores rental sales (lower prices on 30 day rentals)--rent one & see if it took hold or not.
    Then decide which one to get.
    But before the next rental sale--well I found the Mandobird & that, as they say, was that.
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

  8. #108

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Howdy and welcome to the mando world.

    True story...I was the second guitar player in a Kingston Trio style band in the early 60's. We wanted to be a Bluegrass band, so the guitar players flipped a coin, I lost, and became our mandolin player...We all chipped in $35.00 for the Korean Kingston mando, and took it to the Blue Guitar in San Diego to learn how to tune it...no internet back then.

  9. #109
    Registered User Seatosky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Found an old bowlback with a broken neck in my granfathers attic that was very obviously a decent instrument as opposed to wall ornament. Seemed a great shame that it wasn't being played so i found a luthier and got it fixed. Fell in love with the sound and portability (i can play guitar, but my local session is in a tiny pub where elbow room is at a premium). Still learning, but i really enjoy it.

  10. #110

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly Adams View Post
    I primarily play the 5 string banjo, and have for about the last 50+ years. Always found Mandolins to be a bit irritating! For me playing the Mandolin is "a little hair of the dog." That said, I really like the portability of the Mandolin vs the banjo.
    I'm also a long time 5 string player. I can't say I ever found the mandolin to be irritating,but it wasn't until maybe 5 or 6 years ago that I ever gave it consideration as something to learn. Now that I record my own music, I needed something more than guitar and banjo. Fiddle is out of the question until they make one with frets. I do play bass guitar though.

  11. #111
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    15,502

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    45 years ago I was unable to accept a ride, while hitch-hiking with my guitar ,
    offered by a nice woman in a small sports car,
    because of the size of my instrument..



    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mandroid For This Useful Post:


  13. #112

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    45 years ago I was unable to accept a ride, while hitch-hiking with my guitar ,
    offered by a nice woman in a small sports car,
    because of the size of my instrument..




  14. #113
    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lancashire/UK
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    I'm a Bass player and the mandolin was a challenge to see how small an instrument I could play along side without getting confused.
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....


    Fylde Touchstone Walnut Mandolin.
    Gibson Alrite Model D.

  15. #114
    knows little
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    a remote Sierra Nevada village
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    I didn't choose mando over other stuff. It chose me, somewhat. I started on mountain dulcimer (played guitar style) and then guitar. Over a decade later my aunt decided I was mature enough to inherit grandpa's ancient banjo-mandolin, and that's the only 8-string I had for another couple decades. It is loud, perfect to cut through a jam's noise. But you make enemies.

    I'm a blues-folk-rock guitarist with background in modes and drones. That's how I attack mandos. I'm usually in 'Celtic' GDAD or its equivalent, maybe tuned down a minor third to play blues. In GDAD etc I play fifth-interval chords and counterpoint on the bottom 3 strings, and drones and guitar riffs on the top 2. Best of several worlds, hey?

  16. #115
    Registered User Al Trujillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Southern Colorado
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    One song....'Mr. Bojangles' by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I remember hearing it and listening closely to the mandolin...and wishing I could play one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-LVXR6rjXs

  17. #116
    Registered User MissingString's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    North Shore, MA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Great instrument for someone who travels by car and plane a lot. Sometimes I can find a local jam but mostly can practice in hotel room once work is wrapped up for the day. Great place to practice and only once have I been asked to stop (somewhat rudely I’ll add). It was about 8pm (east coast time) and my next door neighbors (in the hotel) were in from Austria and wanting to sleep. I wanted to make a banjo joke but didn’t think it would translate LOL.
    “Without music, life would be a mistake” Neitzsche

    Collings MF5-V
    Kimble A5
    An electric rig with an envelope filter trying to sound like Jerry...

  18. #117
    Registered User Seatosky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    oops
    Last edited by Seatosky; Jul-13-2018 at 3:13am. Reason: Duplicate post

  19. #118
    Registered User Papalobo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Duluth, Ga
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    I chose Mandolin because I've always been enchanted by the sound. I've played fiddle ,guitar and bass most of my life , this is an opportunity to expand the musical palette.

  20. #119
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    22,678
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Everyone was playing guitar.

    I wanted in but as a contrarian. I didn't want to be yet another chord banger sitting around on porches singing Neil Young and James Taylor and Simon and Garfunkel and the Beatles, and being all emotionally unavailable, (though for some reason I didn't understand, getting dates.)

    I was introduced to a bowl back mandolin and was hooked.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  21. #120

    Default Re: Why did you choose the mandolin over another instrument?

    Guitar at 13.
    Classical Violin at 16.
    Cello at 50.
    Electric Bass at 56.
    Back to guitar at 60.
    Mandolin at 62. Thinking about mandola.
    Looking at starting piano soon.

    Lot's of brushes to paint with. Love them all.
    Last edited by BoxCarJoe; Aug-05-2018 at 6:48am. Reason: forgot an instrument

  22. The following members say thank you to BoxCarJoe for this 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
  •