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Thread: Do you name your instruments?

  1. #1
    Every day is a gift. Sheila Lagrand's Avatar
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    Default Do you name your instruments?

    Why, or why not? If you have multiple instruments, do you name all of them or only some? How do you select names?
    Now, what was I after when I wandered in here?

    Phoebe, my 2021 Collings MT mandolin
    Dolly, my 2021 Ibanez M522 mandolin
    Louise, my 193x SS Maxwell mandolin
    Fiona, My 2021 GSM guitar-bodied octave resonator mandolin
    Charlotte, my 2016 Eastman MDO 305 octave mandolin
    Giuliana, my 2002 Hans Schuster 505 violin
    Sally, my 2021 Jasmine S35 guitar

  2. #2
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    My (then 3 yr old) son named my two F5s, the red one and the yellow one. Check my avatar for reference
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
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    Too many microphones

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  4. #3
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Yep. It all began with my mid-70s F-12, Mandy Lynn - short for Amanda Lynn. She was with me for thirty years, through thick and mighty thin, until she was stolen in broad daylight from my van, parked in the loading bay of my storage place, with security cameras all around. The search for her led me here, so it's not all bad. And it also led me to buy back the 1935 A-00 I had found for Mindy Jostyn (Carly Simon's accompanist on small gigs) when she wanted to add to her arsenal. She had died much too young, and the mandolin was just collecting dust hanging on the wall. This was dubbed Mindy Lynn. Not a great instrument, but worked all right for the seasonal Cajun-country-bluegrass band. Got me through most of that winter's gigs, until I found a 1917 Gibson A pumpkin - much akin to my first, which shall remain nameless - which sounded so much better, even with the old strings on it, that I literally walked it from the shop where it had been sent to that evening's gig and put her right to work. Sometime next year or the year after, not sure when, she got named. One night after the gig, someone asked me, "What do you call that?" Not, "what ya got there?" or "what is that, a ukulele?" or "what kind of guitar is that?" - "What do you call that?" I must have been a bit peeved about something - other than being asked that sort of question for the umpty-leventh time - and surely had a couple-few beers in me, because I said, "Molly." I quickly had a second thought, and reverted to my default sending, which is kindness, and explained what a mandolin is. I didn't think twice about it and would have forgotten about it - in fact, did - but the pedal steel player came over and told me he just cracked up when he hear me say, "Molly." I guess I gave it a good, dry delivery. So the name has stuck. Indeed, when I got another one a few years later - similar vintage and finish - so I could swap out if I broke a string, which was happening all too often in the other band I was playing in then, I called her "Molly," too - or was it "Molly II?" Anyway, those are the only ones I've named. Well, except the solid body electric built by Steve Ryder. She's called "Ezy Ryder" - there's a Hendrix song by that name.

    PS: One time at a gig, I got to talking with a nice young lady, who told me her name was Amanda Lynn. I told her that was the name of my mandolin. I think she even believed me. But I know she did not believe me when I told her fate had brought us together, that we were meant to be. Oh well! Still, it was quite a coincidence.

    I see your husband is Rich, which may help explain how you have so many nice instruments.
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  6. #4
    Playing on the porch
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Sheila,

    I noticed your own signature when I finally got around to officially joining Mandolin Cafe. I liked the names you chose for your instruments, and wrapping up the list with your husband was fun.

    Yes, I name my instrument, after friends or family. The only non-person name was for my Eastman 515. Since it was my first mandolin, I did not want to forget the builder. So, the Eastman became "Kodak."

    All good instruments deserve a name. But, I was also the kid who used to name his bikes...
    ---
    2017 Eastman MD515 mandolin
    1928 Roth (Amati) violin
    1907 Foltz (Strad) violin
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  8. #5
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    No.

  9. #6
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    I give them numbers, so I can write them into my excel spreadsheet with data such as string standard, which bag or case suits, when bought, where made etc.

    If I do the setup myself, I also write down saddle and nut heights and action.

    I never understood people who call their animals he or her but mentioning an instrument as she??!!
    I'm not collecting, not collecting, not........OUMM.....
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  11. #7
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Yes, and I call all those things you play into on stage "Mike".

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  13. #8
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Of course - "the Flatiron" and "the Gibson".

    D.H.

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  15. #9
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hicks View Post
    Of course - "the Flatiron" and "the Gibson".

    D.H.
    Hehe, I agree to that
    I'm not collecting, not collecting, not........OUMM.....
    Kentucky KM-805
    Hora: M1086 Portuguese II; M1088 Mandola; M1087 Octave
    Richmond RMA-110-VS
    Noname (German?) mandolin
    Mandoline Pochette by Franz Janisch Wien; Unknown Pocket Mandolin
    Mandolinetto Neapolitane
    Johs Møller 1945;
    Marma Seashell back
    Crafton(in the car)

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  17. #10
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    No

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    We almost always name our cars, but I’ve never named my instruments. Not sure why, as I like it when there’s a good story to go with the naming. Insert shoulder shrugging emoji. They usually get called by the maker or, if I only have one, for example, “the Octave.”

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  21. #12
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Kind of when referencing:
    STIVER KENTUCK WEB COLEMAN COZART ROGUE
    Stiver A style (A DREAMED FOR KEEPER)
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)
    Cozart (unplugged emando silence for my usually tolerant wife)

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  23. #13
    Play on FredK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    No. As much as I love playing my instruments, I've never named a single one. I just call them by what they are. Same way with all my other belongings. Names, to me, are reserved for people and pets.
    "If your memories exceed your dreams, you have begun to die." - Anonymous

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  25. #14
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Thought about it.

    Laziness? Lack of imagination? I call them by their surnames: Girouard, Silverangel, and Eastman. If I were to adopt another from the same family, would I assign a given name? Sophie Silverangel?

    Nah
    Girouard A
    Silverangel A
    Eastman 615

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  27. #15
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Nope, never have given any instrument a personal name.

    Like some of you, they are called prosaic things like " the Vietnamese mandolin", the ES-175", "the black acoustic".

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  29. #16
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    I've named one or two (owned maybe a few dozen since 1966), but the names didn't really stick. It's always the Gibson, the Epiphone, the Gretsch, the Martin, the Breedlove, etc.
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  31. #17
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Nope.

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  33. #18
    Registered User withfoam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Breaking with the thread, YEP. I don't name them all, but some I do. My Collings is named, "Tex." (Pretty obvious as to why).
    Collings MF Deluxe
    Kentucky KM-1050

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  35. #19
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Named one guitar way back in college because my (then) girlfriend and duo partner had named her guitar and thought that I needed a name for mine. 🤷 Never have since then.

    I am with the folks above who tend to use generic or descriptive terms: the Old Wave G#, the F-4, the Martin OM, the 000, etc.
    Kit
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  37. #20
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    No, but then I never got around to naming my children either.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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  39. #21
    Registered User Isaac Revard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    I jokingly call my children numbers 1-3...my kids call my mandolin #4. I do sometimes give it a kiss goodnight so there’s that...

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  41. #22
    Registered User Scott Rucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    I sometimes call them profane names when my playing is off a bit. Does that count? The builder, Ken Ratcliff (Silverangel mandolins), named one of them when building it. It has a lady's name in black ink on the inside of the back plate. My wife calls that same one "Old Bessie". But I have never named any of them myself. The brand name and model is all the naming I do, "the F5" "the D18", etc.

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  43. #23
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Rucker View Post
    I sometimes call them profane names when my playing is off a bit...
    +1 -- Scott beat me to it.
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  45. #24
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    I don't think I ever named anything,,the parrot I had I called "bird"..my cat now of 16 years still doesn't have a real name,,she's deaf though so it doesn't really matter,I call her all kinds of names,,,as far as mandolins go,I have my Gibson,,and I have my other Gibson...

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  47. #25
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you name your instruments?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    as far as mandolins go,I have my Gibson,,and I have my other Gibson...
    See, that wouldn't work for me. Because I have my Gibson, and my other Gibson, and my other Gibson, and my other Gibson, and my other Gibson, and ... It would take too long for my assistant to fetch the one I want if I didn't have some way to be more specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Rucker View Post
    I sometimes call them profane names when my playing is off a bit. Does that count?
    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    +1 -- Scott beat me to it.
    No, indeed not! For shame, sirs! How dare you impugn the character of your loyal, faithful companions rather than accept responsibility for your own erroneous actions, to which you have already and so casually admitted? You may feel free to direct your profane ire at your deserving selves, but not toward these innocent instruments. For shame!
    Last edited by journeybear; May-17-2021 at 12:53pm. Reason: just one more thing ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

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