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Thread: Morris Flattop on the way

  1. #1
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    Default Morris Flattop on the way

    All,

    This is my first post, but I have been lurking for a couple of months. I stumbled onto the Mandolin by accident. I have been playing 5 string banjo for a couple of years. Last year, I learned that my Grandpa used to play the banjo and that my cousin, whom I have not seen in about 20 years, had Grandpa's old banjo and mandolin. I contacted my cousin and asked him to send me some pictures. He did better than that, he sent me the banjo and the mandolin. The banjo is a beautiful 1926 Bacon and Day Silver Bell tenor. The mandolin is a no name (probably from the 70's) laminated mandolin with neck and tuner issues. I was mainly interested in the banjo, but strung up the mandolin anyway. Surprisingly to me, I fell in love with the sound of the mandolin. The only problem was that due to extremely high action that can't be fixed without paying much more than the instrument is worth the strings were killing my fingers. I am mainly interested in playing classical, old time, folk, etc. Not really interested in playing bluegrass, so after a lot of research in the forums, I pulled the trigger today on a red sunburst Morris 'A' style oval hole flattop. It is still listed in the classifieds if you want to see a picture of it. The decision came down to either a Big Muddy or a Morris. I went with the Morris because I like the looks of it a little better, and because it was a little less expensive. It should arrive sometime next week. I haven't been this excited since I was a little kid. I would like to thank all of you. Your post over many years concerning Morris mandolins were instrumental (pun intended in helping me make my decision.

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  3. #2
    Registered User spufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Awesome! The Morris will be a joy to play and hear, no doubt.
    Blow on, man.

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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Hi Gwhamil,

    Welcome to the Café and thanks for the cool story. I think you've made a great choice for your 1st instrument. I am a real fan of flat-tops. They represent great value for the money. Plus, Mr. Morris' mandolins have a really good reputation.

    The best part is, when MAS kicks in (almost inevitable) and you get a hankerin' for a more pricey mandolin, you will want to keep the flat top, too. These have a decidedly different voice than the arched tops most people ultimately want. A cheap arched top might not be that desirable as a second mandolin, but a good flat top like this one, plus a decent arch top, will give you a really nice choice of voices to play depending on your mood, the genre or the venue. As I said, I think you've made a great choice.

    Welcome, and have fun!
    Purr more, hiss less.

  6. #4
    Mando Training Wheels kegcrowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Congrats, gwhamil! I just bought a Morris flattop myself, it was in the classified with yours and some others, so I know exactly which one you got. LOVELY! Mine arrived last Wednesday and it's sitting here beside me as I write. I also considered a big muddy, but I'm very happy with my decision. Enjoy your beautiful mandolin.

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    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Congrats!!! I love mine and you'll love yours.

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Morris mandolins are quality domestic instruments and they play wonderfully! Howard is a tremendous guy and really knows his craft. Congrats!

  9. #7

    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Bluegrass. Never say never.
    Silverangel A
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    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Thanks for all your replies and the warm welcome. I shouldn't really say I am not interested in bluegrass. I do play the 5 strong banjo after all. What I should have said is that I mostly play alone at home and am mostly interested in playing melody. I am not really interested, at this time, in a mandolin with a classic bluegrass chop or bark, or volume. Actually, according to my wife, the less volume the better. However, I do play a few bluegrass songs like old Joe Clark, and Arkansas traveler. I also play things like Moon river and The sound of silence. Also starting to learn classical mandolin on the artistworks site.

    Can't wait to receive my new mandolin.

  11. #9
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    gwhamil, I am so glad you have shared your thoughts on the types of music you play. Your banjo background will give you such strength as your mandolin skills build. I am using MandoLessons to build my repertoire and build picking and left hand skills, as well. The folk catalog of various fiddle tunes is really enjoyable. I have also been learning some of the most popular classical pieces, too, and I particularly have been enjoying the Bach's Cello suite No.1 Prelude in G - Major. Howard's mandolins are known for ease of play and a big open tone that sounds woody and organic.

  12. #10
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    I particularly have been enjoying the Bach's Cello suite No.1 Prelude in G - Major.
    Are you playing that on a regular mandolin or on a lower-voiced sibling?
    Doug Brock
    Silverangel Econo A (in work at Ken's shop); Eastman MD315, MD505
    Pisgah Little Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by flatpicknut View Post
    Are you playing that on a regular mandolin or on a lower-voiced sibling?
    Hi Doug, On a regular mandolin. Have you tried this piece, too, Doug?

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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    gwhamil, I am so glad you have shared your thoughts on the types of music you play. Your banjo background will give you such strength as your mandolin skills build. I am using MandoLessons to build my repertoire and build picking and left hand skills, as well. The folk catalog of various fiddle tunes is really enjoyable. I have also been learning some of the most popular classical pieces, too, and I particularly have been enjoying the Bach's Cello suite No.1 Prelude in G - Major. Howard's mandolins are known for ease of play and a big open tone that sounds woody and organic.
    Bach? Ambition! Much respect! I can't yet get O'Carolan's Concerto under my fingers (after years!), so I'm not ready for Bach.
    Last edited by Caleb; Mar-25-2019 at 11:56am.
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Longfellow

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Hi Doug, On a regular mandolin. Have you tried this piece, too, Doug?
    No, I haven't tried any classical on mandolin but I do like that piece. I was wondering how you handled the notes below G if you were using a standard mandolin.
    Doug Brock
    Silverangel Econo A (in work at Ken's shop); Eastman MD315, MD505
    Pisgah Little Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Doug, It is pitched up an octave, or two actually, so it is all manageable. There is no open G, so nothing lower than a fretted note on the G courses. I will include a link to tab that I have used, though I wouldn't shy away from the standard notation, necessarily.
    Caleb, no doubt you can handle this one if I can.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/tab/bach.txt
    Last edited by lflngpicker; Mar-25-2019 at 4:45pm. Reason: punctuation

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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Doug, It is pitched up an octave, or two actually, so it is all manageable. There is no open G, so nothing lower than a fretted note on the G courses. I will include a link to tab that I have used, though I wouldn't shy away from the standard notation necessarily.
    Caleb, no doubt you can handle this one if I can.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/tab/bach.txt
    Thanks for posting the tab. I have always enjoyed that piece and am going to give it a try. On a side note: I received my tracking info today and my Mandolin should arrive on Wednesday. Howard doesn't mess around when it comes to shipping.

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  21. #16
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morris Flattop on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Doug, It is pitched up an octave, or two actually, so it is all manageable. There is no open G, so nothing lower than a fretted note on the G courses. I will include a link to tab that I have used, though I wouldn't shy away from the standard notation, necessarily.
    [/URL]
    Ah, I didn’t think of TAB- I was looking at the music for cello!
    Doug Brock
    Silverangel Econo A (in work at Ken's shop); Eastman MD315, MD505
    Pisgah Little Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

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