Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User mtndan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Posts
    65

    Default Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    Hi friends,

    I've been playing a beautiful Weber Yellowstone HT A wide nut since 2014. I love the sound and the look but I'm considering a trade and wanted to ask for some advice. It's signed by Bruce and he did some customization on it as well - scooped extension and nut adjustment. It's also got an internal K&K pickup.

    First, I know it's just a strap hanger, but I want an F style. I've always loved the look, and am willing to pay the extra tax for it.

    More importantly, I've always struggled with the Weber neck. It's a wide nut, I don't have huge hands, and the neck profile always has felt too chunky to me. It was probably the wrong choice from the get go.

    I get pain in between my thumb and index finger, especially when I'm reaching and the neck pushes into that spot in the "crotch" of my hand. I know mandos come in all manner of neck profiles. I think a narrower nut will help, but also maybe a different shape.

    I'm getting older and need something more comfortable to play. I'm just a casual player, occasional jams, mostly for self entertainment though.

    Would love some advice, especially on the neck profile and comfort factor.

    Thanks in advance,
    Dan
    mtndan

    2013 Weber Yellowstone HT A Wide Neck
    2009 5 string JL Smith e-mando
    2002 Martin 000-15M

    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Posts
    1,912

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    It’s no fun to play with pain. While it may be the wide neck/profile, technique is also a consideration. Do you get the pain on your other instruments? Maybe have your left hand position examined by a competent instructor. Pete Martin, Mike Marshall and Don Julin all have videos about mechanics. Check those out too.

    You should try some narrower necks to see if the pain diminishes.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow Jazzbo
    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Gibson F5L
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  3. The following members say thank you to Bill McCall for this post:

    mtndan 

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    Iíve got a Weber and a Northfield with standard necks (1 1/8), and a Collings MT-O with a wide neck (1 3/16). I have no trouble switching between them so I agree with Bill on evaluating your left hand position. But that said, there is no reason to play with pain, so go try a bunch of different neck profiles.

    A vs F, that is a different discussion but I agree, if youíre gonna make a switch might as well go for the style you really want. Many choices, I think Northfield and Weber standard neck mandos are great values.

  5. The following members say thank you to scotta for this post:

    mtndan 

  6. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    East Concord, NY 14055
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    I had an Eastman 915 with a sort of vee neck and 1 5/32 nut, radius fretboard and old hands. For me the answer was 1 3/16" nut, "c" shaped neck and FLAT fretboard. Trial and error.

  7. The following members say thank you to Steve Mead for this post:

    mtndan 

  8. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,260

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    I play a 1 1/8 C neck, and the same in a V neck, also a 1 1/4 neck. It seems I can go between them all without a problem so I would look at technique. That being said find something comfortable for you and if you want an F style by al means get one. I am lucky I like a A model mandolin. Should you get a new mandolin be sure the neck works with you and maybe work on technique so you eliminate any pain you may be experiencing.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  9. The following members say thank you to pops1 for this post:

    mtndan 

  10. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    2,345

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    i come from a fingerstyle guitar background-with a preference for wide nut width guitars. when i started mandolin, i was advised to start with a wider nut width. i purchased and traded into 1 3/16" Webers and Collings. in time, i found that a more narrow nut width was more efficient and just felt better. the neck profile shape is extremely important to me also-that took a while to figure out. i have L hands and "standard" finger length(meaning not short or not long). eventually i would learn the wider nut width actually tired my hands, string courses being further apart and requiring more movement possibly. it took a while, took "more than it should have" trades, but i finally found tension free and relaxed hands with 1 3/32"-1 1/8" nut widths and a soft v profile. Sharper V's and C shape/rounded necks bother my hands as well. So, i totally understand where you are coming from.

    there are folks out there who can pick up any size or shape instrument and not have any issues playing, i'm not one of them.

    ironically, learning mandolin would in time have me exploring a less wide guitar fretboard width, and ended up with trading and seeking less wide nut widths than i once thought i wanted/needed.

    good luck with your search
    d

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to darylcrisp For This Useful Post:


  12. #7
    Registered User Isaac Revard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    Do whatever is going to bring you happiness. Trade her off and get that scroll man!

  13. The following members say thank you to Isaac Revard for this post:

    mtndan 

  14. #8

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    Two issues. Both valid.

    If you want a scroll, you should get a scroll!

    More importantly, you should play what is comfortable. Neck profile makes a big difference to some (me included).
    Girouard Concert A5
    Trillium Mandola
    Dunwell B-1 Bouzouki
    Girouard Custom A4 (on order)
    www.singletonstreet.com

  15. The following members say thank you to Chuck Leyda for this post:

    mtndan 

  16. #9
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    Yes, do what makes you play with less pain. Some folks don't like the larger necks on Weber instruments. It happens. Some don't like sharp V necks of some vintage instruments (raises hand). Find what you are comfortable with and enjoy it.

    And if it happens that the instrument has a scroll, no problem. I went from never wanting an instrument with a scroll to now having two and am perfectly happy with it.
    Peter Coombe #248, 2017 Northfield F5SA, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  17. The following members say thank you to Eric Platt for this post:

    mtndan 

  18. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,260

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    I have more of a problem with neck depth, not shape. A deep neck is not comfortable for me. The V shape is usually deeper, but doesn't feel like it due to where I place my thumb. I know others have mentioned having problems with the depth of the neck more than the shape or width of the nut. Something else to consider.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  19. The following members say thank you to pops1 for this post:

    mtndan 

  20. #11
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    264

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin?

    I agree with the folks above that if you want a scroll, you should get a scroll.

    With the hand pain, in addition to trying other mandolin neck shapes and widths, and checking your technique/hand position, I would recommend going to an orthopaedist/hand specialist to have your hands examined. You mentioned "getting older," and basal thumb joint osteoarthritis is something that is not uncommon as one ages. There are ways to deal with it, but you may want to get it checked out while you are checking out different mandos.

  21. The following members say thank you to TheMandoKit for this post:

    mtndan 

  22. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,264

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    I have small hands and am also "older," I find the standard nut comfortable. I have slightly different neck shapes on all of my mandolins, none are particularly uncomfortable for me, so I agree with trying different ones to find what is best for you. Happy Hunting!

  23. The following members say thank you to LadysSolo for this post:

    mtndan 

  24. #13
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    972

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    I'm with you. It's hard to know whether to trade me or my mandolin. One or the other has serious limitations.
    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.

  25. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ranald For This Useful Post:


  26. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    central VA
    Posts
    867

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    It may be a good thing that you're not looking for a pristine F, as you may want to have the neck profile changed. My preference is a narrow neck with deep V shape, and I had my Stanley A5 neck reshaped like this. Wanting a second mandolin to keep in D tuning, a strong A9 w/ ~ 1" nut came my way. The pics seemed to show the V shape I was looking for, but it turned out being a very chubby thing. So I was planning to have it reprofiled, but meanwhile, a 1 3/16" L&H popped up and somehow I got used to it, so now the A9 neck is okay and the Stanley neck feels even smaller and perfect.

    Unlike you, hand pain wasn't my issue just yet - but it was coming. The moral of the story is that width is only one important factor. I've played Martin A's that felt good with the 1 3/16" (short scale) neck if the shape was right. If you have access to enough mandolins (which I don't), you may find the one with say, a 1 1/8" or 1 1/16" nut that sounds good, but you may need to reshape the neck to make it right. Personally, a bluegrass mandolin nut with 1 1/16" or 1" with deep V is my ticket. But for non-bluegrass, a 1 3/16" nut on a short scale w/ light strings works just fine, sans stretch chords of course.

    So there are lots of factors in addition to neck width. Hope you get a good 'un. I'm also over the scroll thing and prefer an A5.

    BTW, Charles Johnson has a couple of F9's. (NFI, just sayin')

  27. The following members say thank you to dan in va for this post:

    mtndan 

  28. #15
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Grass Valley
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    Hi Dan,

    I have a 2007 Weber Fern I play a lot and it has a 1+1/8 nut with a radius fingerboard. It is totally comfortable, I never think about it.

    At the moment I have my Stiver Fern with Bruce Weber so he can install a new fingerboard identical to my Weber.

    Do you play holding the neck between your thumb and forefinger? Or do you have it in the crotch of your hand with your thumb sticking up? This might be an issue.

    Billy
    Billy Packard
    Gilchrist A3, 1993
    Stiver Fern, 1990
    Weber Fern, 2007
    Gibson F4 Hybrid #1, D. Harvey 2009
    Gibson 1923 A2
    Numerous wonderful guitars

  29. #16
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Beautiful Salem County, NJ
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    Life's too short to wrestle with the 'me or the mandolin' issue, or to stick with a mandolin that doesn't thrill you. Try out others as available, find one that seems right and buy it. If it turns out not to be 'the one', repeat the process. Mandolin ownership doesn't have to be for life. If it's not the one, find one that could be and move on.

    Oh, and enjoy the search. This mandolin stuff should all be fun and satisfying. If it isn't, why are we doing it?
    Purr more, hiss less. Barn Cat Mandolins Photo Album

  30. The following members say thank you to Bob Clark for this post:

    mtndan 

  31. #17

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    It is probably easier to trade the mandolin than yourself.

  32. The following members say thank you to CarlM for this post:

    mtndan 

  33. #18
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,234

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    Age and osteoarthritis was the reason i moved away from many of my instruments to the ones with smaller/thinner necks, so yes, it's certainly a thing that gets done. And it put me in line for probably the best instrument I'd ever want. So the search was -- at least for me -- worth it. The important thing is being able to play comfortably -- or else you won't want to play at all. if a scroll is what you want, go with a scroll but first, make sure the neck profile is comfortable. We're in a gold age, if you can't find something that fits, you can have it made for you.
    --------------------------------
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

  34. The following members say thank you to Randi Gormley for this post:

    mtndan 

  35. #19
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    28,591

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    Much does depend on how wide that neck is as far as I am concerned. My optimal is 1-1/8" but I can handle narrower and even wider to about 1-3/16" (only 1/16" wider). My National has 1-1/4" and that is generally too wide for me but I can handle it if needed however I don't play as well on it as on the narrower ones. Neither hurt my hand though. In any case, not a fan of the much wider necks.
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Jul-11-2021 at 6:34pm.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  36. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:

    mtndan 

  37. #20
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    South of France
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    My octave is just under 1 1/2 inches -I’m pretty comfortable when I play that.
    What kind of hammock do you use?

  38. The following members say thank you to Simon DS for this post:

    mtndan 

  39. #21

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    I also do not have big hands, so a wide nut or chunky neck does not work for me. I have had several mandolins on the catch and release program. some really good mandolins buy respected builders that I knew in short order that were not for me. You should have a mandolin that fits like an old piece of clothing or shoes, you pick it up and it just feels right. You have had it for a long time and does not seem that you have ever felt that way. Hopefully you will be able to a few shops that carry a decent inventory to try some out. If not festivals or jams. Find what is comfortable to you and keep at it, it will make a big difference. Just my 2 cents.

  40. The following members say thank you to Northwest Steve for this post:

    mtndan 

  41. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    The Great Northwest
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    No guidance here. I just received a Clark Two Point that I ordered a year ago. I love everything about it. Did I need it? Emphatically, no. I have a Weber Yellowstone. There was just something about the tone and the really beautiful details (including an Adams inlay) that I couldn’t let go of.

    So, when you reach a point where you know for sure that no one gets out of life alive, do what brings you joy.

  42. The following members say thank you to Peter Barnett for this post:

    mtndan 

  43. #23
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alvarado/Mansfield, Texas
    Posts
    4,003

    Default Re: Considering a trade - is it me or the mandolin

    This thread title reminds me of the words of Bill Monroe, "Well ... it ain't the mandolin"

    https://youtu.be/yG9PllY1TG8

    WWW.MARKGUNTER.NET
    ----------------------------------
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN

    ----------------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Blues Mando
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  44. The following members say thank you to Mark Gunter for this post:

    mtndan 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •