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Thread: Noob. Hiya!

  1. #1

    Default Noob. Hiya!

    Hi all,

    Just registered, been meaning to do it for ages as I've been relying on your posts for a long time now researching stuff - thanks for that!

    First picked up a mandolin in my teens (well, "borrowed" it from my stepdad) when I was trying and failing at guitar (everyone wants to be a rockstar in their teens right?) and for some daft reason went back to continue to beat my head on the brick wall that was learning guitar for decades with no progress whatsoever.

    Now in my 40s and thanks to a local folk-club starting (which involved another year of head-to-wall contact on guitar...) I "borrowed" that mandolin again - made more progress in three weeks than the previous 3 decades - turns out my brain is tuned in fifths...

    Now a year and a bit on I'm the proud owner of a Vintage (brand, not age) mandolin, an Ashbury Style-E Octave Mandola (which I had fitted with a Headway under-saddle pickup), a 1980's Gibson-era Epiphone tenor banjo, my trusty old Italian built Eko Ranger from the 70s which I've re-tuned in NST (almost all fifths, just about works for me!), and a now largely redundant Crafter electro-acoustic guitar. Oh and I restrung my daughter's bright pink Mahalo Uke in GDAe tune which is hilarious in a trad-folk session...

    I'm playing mostly Irish, Scots and English traditional folk and dance tunes and don't see that changing much anytime soon. I'm certainly no virtuoso, it still takes a good while to get a new tune down, I'm only just starting to read music (my 8 yo daughter's way ahead of me there...) and I still can't play by ear - I'll get there one day I'm sure. Current project is to learn a whole Morris Dance tradition as it's a very big thing in the town where I live - just the playing, the dancing looks too much like hard work!

    Like all string players I suffer badly from Gear Acquisition Syndrome, I've got my eye on adding to the arsenal with an electric tenor guitar or/and a 'zouk at the moment...

    Anyway, thanks for letting me in!


  2. #2
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Beaverton, OR, USA

    Default Re: Noob. Hiya!

    Welcome, calumscott. Sounds like you have the mandobug for sure so you came to the right ward.
    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).

    My website and blog:

  3. #3
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Pottstown, Pennsylvania, United States
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Noob. Hiya!

    Welcome! Enjoy our obsessions!

    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

    + Give Blood, Save a Life +

  4. #4
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Connecticut, USA

    Default Re: Noob. Hiya!

    Welcome to the cafe! Playing with others -- especially for dancers! -- is a great way to jump into learning by ear so you have that going for you! Depending on where you live, there might be workshops (weeklong or weekend) that might help you with technique and ear or reading training. There's lots out there once you get into it, and lots of music to enjoy. Glad to have you aboard!
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

  5. #5

    Default Re: Noob. Hiya!

    Entertaining post, welcome and enjoy. :-)
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Canterbury, Kent
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Noob. Hiya!

    Welcome, Calum! I also have a Vintage brand mandolin, which now lives in my office and gets played after work at least once a week. I'm in Kent, so I also play some Morris tunes. But I've only played at sessions so far, not for dancers. Enjoy your mandolin journey!

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gainesville, FL

    Default Re: Noob. Hiya!

    Welcome to our wild, wacky world. Remember, this is all fun, fun, fun.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Noob. Hiya!

    Welcome CalumScott! Sounds like your trying to learn guitar was like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole -- just won't work. I'm glad you found your niche!

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