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Thread: New mandolin player

  1. #1
    Registered User pbrad74's Avatar
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    Default New mandolin player

    Hello everyone! I am a new member here as well as a new mandolin player. Guitar and Bass player off and on for years. I have been playing the mandolin for about 2 weeks now. I bought an Ibanez M22 F style for my first mandolin because I have always had great experiences with all of my Ibanez purchases over the years. I was slightly disappointed with this one however. I have the setup guide from Rob Meldrum and will be setting it up once I get the tools. The string height is too high, the bridge has areas of no contact with the top surface and the nut needs filed. I have confidence I can do all this however I am worried about the nut.

    It is plastic so can i file it down or is it hollow? Should I replace the nut or leave it be?

    After looking at other mandolins and reading reviews I think I could've gotten a better quality build with The Loar for the same price. Other than that though, I can't seem to put the darn thing down. I cant seem to play it enough and its causing me to run a little late running out the door for work in the morning.

  2. #2
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Welcome to the cafe. As you have already indicated that you know, the cafe is a great resource for mandolin information and a great family for support.
    Tony Huber
    1930 Martin Style C #14783
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  3. #3
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    I’d try filing the nut. Worst case, you get a new one.
    2016 Gibson Doyle Lawson F-5
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  4. #4

    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Make sure that each morning as you open the car door to go to work you check both hands.
    -don’t ever take your mandolin with you.

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  6. #5
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Get a set of nut files and slowly work on the nut. They are typically meant to be adjusted, so I won't worry about it being hollow. Once you get the hang of adjusting nut heights, you can improve many of your instruments with a bit of care. Really worth the time and effort.
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

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  8. #6
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Welcome and glad you found the Cafe. I continuously find it to be a learning tool that never stops rewarding me.
    Watch the Cafe classifieds and you will find many reasonably priced used mandolins that will be an improvement.
    I have bought and sold several mandolins this way with no disappointments. I always sell or buy with a 48 hour return policy with the buyer paying postage both ways if not satisfied.
    Stiver A style Custom Build
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)
    Harley Benton A style (grandchildren's learner)

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  10. #7
    Registered User LastMohican's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    So, my first mandolin was a used Washburn and the sound was about what you'd expect. But the previous owner had either done it himself or had someone else set the instrument up and, trust me, it made all the difference.
    "I actually wanted to be a drummer, but I didn't have any drums." - Stevie Ray Vaughn

    Northfield F5S "Blacktop", K&K Pickup

  11. #8
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Welcome!

    Jamie
    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 +

  12. #9
    Registered User pbrad74's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Thanks for the welcome and the advice. I'll post pictures of before and after once I'm done following the setup guide. Though with this upcoming weekend being the 4th, it might be a while.

  13. #10

    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Welcome to the Cafe!
    Here’s a songbook for ukulele (!)

    https://ozbcoz.com/songbooks/

    My advice? Learn the key of C then D and G major off by heart, forwards, backwards, up in thirds and back down, inside out etc.
    A LOT of ukulele songs are in C major. Use this book to learn how to improvise melodies in these keys. Hum or sing at the same time.

    This will make you very happy!

  14. #11
    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Glad to have you join us. Enjoy your journey...
    "All of us contain Music & Truth, but most of us can't get it out." - Mark Twain

    Eastman MD615SB
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  15. #12
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Welcome to the MADNESS! I would replace the plastic nut with a bone nut! You can get them already done from STEW-MAC, and with a properly fit bridge it'll play and sound better for you. You can always upgrade your instrument as you get better and be like the rest of us nut cases and chase that sought after tone you want in a mandolin-it can get expensive-LoL!

  16. #13
    Registered User pbrad74's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Quote Originally Posted by William Smith View Post
    Welcome to the MADNESS! I would replace the plastic nut with a bone nut! You can get them already done from STEW-MAC, and with a properly fit bridge it'll play and sound better for you. You can always upgrade your instrument as you get better and be like the rest of us nut cases and chase that sought after tone you want in a mandolin-it can get expensive-LoL!
    William, yes I have been looking at them. I will probably replace it during my next string changing. I completed the set up and after checking the string height at the first fret, the nut slots are pretty close to perfect.

    A few before and after shots.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...78#post1778978

  17. #14
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mandolin player

    Nice, you did a mighty fine job! I bet she sings a whole lot better for ya now.

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