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Thread: Nother newbie

  1. #1

    Default Nother newbie

    Hello, all. I want to thank you in advance because youíre probably going to despise me soon. Iím that guy that just bought a mandola from goodwill and knows nothing. I played records and tapes but thatís as musical as Iíve gotten. Itís a Tanara and it came with a hard case, looks from the pictures to be in good shape, has no bridge,though. I ordered a bouzouki bridge and Iím going to learn to play mandola! Thanx in advance for answering questions. Jay

  2. #2

    Default Re: Nother newbie

    Hi Jay, lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here. Do a search first with whatever topic you have a question on, is my suggestion. If nothing (much ) comes up, ask away, and enjoy the adventure!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nother newbie

    Sounds like you'll be doing some setup work. I would contact Rob Meldrum (in fact, I did earlier this week) and get his mandolin setup e-book (free). I read through it yesterday. It would probably be useful when you install that new bridge on your mandola.!

  4. #4
    Registered User Frankie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    So Cal.

    Default Re: Nother newbie

    Welcome to the forum Cap!
    Eastman 515 Mando
    Gibson J-30 Guitar
    RK-80 Banjo

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nother newbie

    Welcome, Capt. First, what you have is a mandolin! Goodwill often has no idea what something is; this one was labelled Ďmandola, bouzoukií if itís the one I just looked up. Iíve even bought mandolins that are called lutes and Ďhandmade ukeleleí. Sometimes even the measurements are really wrong, but if yours is 27Ē itís a mandolin. The vibrating part of the strings, from the small end of the fretboard to the bridge should be about 14Ē. You donít have a bridge, though. A bouzouki bridge might be adaptable, if itís adjustable. Mandolas are bigger, and uncommon.
    This is good.
    . It is likely a recent, Asian import of variable quality, but if it can be set up, you can learn on it.
    So when you get to tuning it, it should be GDAE, unless somebody has messed with the strings. You probably need to get a $10 electronic tuner.
    Then look up things on this site.
    Have fun!
    Last edited by Richard500; Oct-22-2021 at 6:34pm. Reason: Add

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gainesville, FL

    Default Re: Nother newbie

    Welcome to our wild, wacky world. Be prepared for a lot of fun, sore fingers, frustration and woodshedding to learn new tunes. Remember, this is supposed to be fun.

  7. The following members say thank you to Denny Gies for this post:

  8. #7
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Augusta, Maine, USA

    Default Re: Nother newbie

    As a forever-newbie, I can assure you that Mando Cafe is a good forum for all levels. No question is too basic.

    Your mandola project sounds like fun. Keep us posted on your progress.

    And remember: If there's no photo, the instrument doesn't exist! (Hint, hint.)

    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  9. #8
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Beaverton, OR, USA
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Nother newbie

    From an old Newbie: Welcome, Capthavoc!
    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:

  10. #9

    Default Re: Nother newbie

    Thanx Richard. Mandola, Mandolin at this point they are the same to me. If I ever learn to play and learn the differences I’ll probably be a lot older!

  11. #10

    Default Re: Nother newbie

    Thanx Honkety! Will do

    - - - Updated - - -

    Charlie, as soon as I get it I’ll post pictures!

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