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Thread: Newbie looking for info

  1. #1

    Default Newbie looking for info

    Hello everyone! Thursday I will be getting my first mandolin. Nothing fancy or expensive. I'm trying to teach myself the fiddle but am getting hung up on the bow. I figured I'd give the mandolin a shot and hopefully transition over to the fiddle.
    Anyway, I couldn't find a sticky anywhere but I'm looking for a newbie section if there is one. If not, what are some suggestions to get started? Books, CDs, YouTube channels etc.
    I understand Google. I'm looking for those that want to share how they started. What worked and didn't. Things like this.

    Thanks for any help


  2. #2
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Connecticut, USA

    Default Re: Newbie looking for info

    welcome and congrats! there is a newbie section over in social groups you can check out -- or do a quick search in the cafe's archives for lots of links, recommendations and discussions. before you know it, you'll be finding out all about setup, strings, picks and MAS -- it's all before you. Enjoy!
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
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    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

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  4. #3
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    New Mexico

    Default Re: Newbie looking for info

    Hi, Jim.

    If you go to the Learn/Listen tab at the top, then Social Groups, you will find the Newbies group. It's quite active, no question is deemed unnecessary, and there's lots of good information, encouragement, and commiseration.

    This thread was on here not long ago about method books people used—you might find it interesting. Do you read music?
    1988 Reno mandolin, Trinity College mandola, Kentucky KM 272 oval hole mandolin, a few bowed string instruments and some stray woodwinds

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  6. #4
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Beaverton, OR, USA

    Default Re: Newbie looking for info

    Welcome, Jim! Plenty of room left in the Newbies group.

    My “getting started” tip is to get Rob Meldrum’s free set-up book. See link below.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

  7. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Default Re: Newbie looking for info

    Jim, this is not a suggestion on how to play but when my dad bought me my first mandolin I was a guitar player so I wrote down all of the notes that made up a chord on the guitar for every major chord and then translated those to the mandolin and I guess you could say I was self taught but then one day I saw a book with the mandolin chords shown in it and low and behold I was making them all correctly except for the F major chord which I couldn`t make any way.....

    I didn`t mean to "bump' this thread but just thought maybe you would like to hear what made me get so enthused in mandolin playing, that and Bill Monroe of course...You now have so many great mandolin players out there to learn from, lots lessons on the Internet also...

    Good luck and let us know from time to time how well you are proceeding...


  8. #6

    Default Re: Newbie looking for info

    Hi Jim, I am also just started out and found the following very useful.
    - Mandolin Cafe,
    Nigel Gatherer website,
    Simon Mayor book with accompanying CD

    After my first posting on mandolin cafe i was suggested to look at
    petermarpress and Mandolessons website which has some great videos for beginners, especially for holding a mandolin in a way that suits you and hopefully not set up any long term

    The Simon mayor book would be the only thing you have to spend any cash on but all other information mentioned is free to help you get started.

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