Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: 10-string mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Portobello, Edinburgh
    Posts
    5

    Default 10-string mandolin

    What do you call a 10-string instrument that's a standard mandolin with an extra C-string course below the G-string? I'm thinking this would be good after years of playing the standard instrument. Does anyone have experience of making this switch?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Danmark
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    The waldzither has 9 strings. One xtra low string.
    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
    Hora M1088 Mandola.....Hora M1087P Octave
    Richmond RMA-110-VS .Noname (German?) mandolin
    Pochette Franz Janisch...2 Pocket
    Puglisi Pocket 1908........Puglisi 1912
    Mandolinetto Neapolitane 1910
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...BŲhm Waldzither 1921
    Johs MÝller 1945............Fangel 1915................Luigi Embergher Studio 1933
    Marma Seashell back......Crafton.......................Luigi Embergher 5bis 1909

  3. #3
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    1,844
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    If it is mandolin scale length it is a mandolin. They are fairly popular in choro, Brazilian makers have standard models. Tom Morton in Seattle makes a metal-body resonator type. Thomas Buchanan in UK makes a standard model with either a pin bridge or floating bridge, at a scale length 1/4" longer than American. I play that and a custom electric at the same scale length. The mandolin scale allows reaches for chord shapes not possible on the longer-scale CGDA instruments.

    Check my links for lots of examples of 10-string tunes, especially solo acoustic. Also check Hamilton de Holanda, Brazilian virtuoso, for some amazing playing on 10-string.

    Also, check Ian Coury---
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ry-1st-solo-CD
    Bandcamp -- https://tomwright1.bandcamp.com/
    Videos--YouTube
    Sound Clips--SoundCloud
    The viola is proof that man is not rational

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Invergordon,Scotland
    Posts
    2,705

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    I have played 10 string mandolin since 1984 as my primary instrument. However I tune the bottom strings to D which suits me better. I play Scottish music.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR4M22Vrfrg
    David A. Gordon

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


  6. #5
    Registered User Mandolin Deep Cuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    The District
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    It’s a 10 string mandolin.

  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Portobello, Edinburgh
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin


  8. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Portobello, Edinburgh
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    Thanks, Dagger. Love your YouTube jigs. Any suggestions of a maker?
    Also love your Fyrish Reel, btw. Play it often

  9. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Invergordon,Scotland
    Posts
    2,705

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin.alastair View Post
    Thanks, Dagger. Love your YouTube jigs. Any suggestions of a maker?
    Also love your Fyrish Reel, btw. Play it often
    Thanks a lot man.

    A big part of finding a maker obviously depends on your location and your budget.

    As you probably realise, I play a Stefan Sobell 10 string mandolin. Hard to find and certainly expensive, but Sobell does now seem to be making mandolins again with a new chap helping him.

    Tom Wright (see above) seems to have had a lot of luck with Buchanan instruments. I know Mr Buchanan. He used to live near me here in the Highlands and I tried out several of his mandolins in years gone by, but I have never played a 10 string mandolin by him.

    I once (only once) tried a 10 string mandolin by London maker Paul Hathway in Hobgoblin in London. The guy in the shop really liked it and especially liked a pickup it was fitted with. It was not expensive, so maybe worth a look, but I have to stress I haven't seen much of his stuff.

    Paul Shippey in England makes nice mandolins. Ewen MacPherson from Shooglenifty plays his instruments.

    I don't really like recommending instruments which I haven't played, but this might give you food for thought.
    David A. Gordon

  10. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Invergordon,Scotland
    Posts
    2,705

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    Further to my comment about Hathway, I had a look to see if Hobgoblin are stocking his stuff these days.
    It turns out there is a 10 string by him in their London store. They haven't got a picture yet.
    No financial interest, and I obviously haven't tried it. If you live in Britain it might be worth a look, perhaps.

    https://hobgoblin.com/hathway-mandol...made-in-london
    David A. Gordon

  11. #10
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    6,010

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    There is a Girouard fan fret 10 string listed in the classifieds.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/190795#190795

    NFI
    Last edited by Charles E.; Aug-16-2022 at 5:42pm.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  12. #11

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    Interestingly, the reason I asked about Tom Jessen (TJ) and Cricket Fiddle in Minnesota (cricketfiddle.com) in the thread I started just yesterday is that Iím also think of getting a 10-string, and he makes them. Has a beautiful one available, in fact. If anyone has tried one of his instruments, Iíd love to know what you think.

  13. #12
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    1,844
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    I think Mandobart might have a Jessen.

    The factors to consider are scale length and body size and design. The floating bridge designs have more "pop" to the sound, and archtops are stronger in the midrange, especially F-hole archtops. These will be more audible in an acoustic-only setting. Then again, I always end up using amplification in a folk-dance gig.

    Professional players that I know use straight-fret, not fanned, and the ones used by the Brazilian players have a mandolin scale length. The Hathaway is longer, as is the Jessen (I think). I played a Hathaway and felt the body should be larger, and the scale shorter. I have three Buchanans, liking the newest one best.
    Bandcamp -- https://tomwright1.bandcamp.com/
    Videos--YouTube
    Sound Clips--SoundCloud
    The viola is proof that man is not rational

  14. #13

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    It's worth knowing that at a scale length greater than 14.3", a steel string will break when tuned to E5 or higher. Don't go longer than 14.25" - 14.3" if you plan on tuning to a mandolin's typical high E5.

    It's a weird convergence of string tension, weight and strength. It just doesn't last long beyond those limits.
    ----

    Playing a funky oval-hole scroll-body mandolin, several mandolins retuned to CGDA, three CGDA-tuned Flatiron mandolas, two Flatiron mandolas tuned as octave mandolins,and a six-course 25.5" scale CGDAEB-tuned Ovation Mandophone.

    Love mandola?
    Join the Mandola Social Group!

  15. #14

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    I've played my Paul Shippey oval hole mandolin since 2001, absolutely superb instrument, I bought it direct from Paul, his service was superb, great bloke to deal with.

    Dave H
    Eastman 615 mandola
    2011 Weber Bitteroot A5
    2012 Weber Bitteroot F5
    Eastman MD 915V
    Gibson F9
    2016 Capek ' Bob ' standard scale tenor banjo
    Ibanez Artist 5 string
    2001 Paul Shippey oval hole

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Portobello, Edinburgh
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Thanks a lot man.

    A big part of finding a maker obviously depends on your location and your budget.

    As you probably realise, I play a Stefan Sobell 10 string mandolin. Hard to find and certainly expensive, but Sobell does now seem to be making mandolins again with a new chap helping him.

    Tom Wright (see above) seems to have had a lot of luck with Buchanan instruments. I know Mr Buchanan. He used to live near me here in the Highlands and I tried out several of his mandolins in years gone by, but I have never played a 10 string mandolin by him.

    I once (only once) tried a 10 string mandolin by London maker Paul Hathway in Hobgoblin in London. The guy in the shop really liked it and especially liked a pickup it was fitted with. It was not expensive, so maybe worth a look, but I have to stress I haven't seen much of his stuff.

    Paul Shippey in England makes nice mandolins. Ewen MacPherson from Shooglenifty plays his instruments.

    I don't really like recommending instruments which I haven't played, but this might give you food for thought.
    Thanks, Dagger, that's all really helpful. I'm exploring some of those options while trying not to spend too much...

  17. #16
    working musician Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Limache, Chile
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    It's worth knowing that at a scale length greater than 14.3", a steel string will break when tuned to E5 or higher. Don't go longer than 14.25" - 14.3" if you plan on tuning to a mandolin's typical high E5.

    It's a weird convergence of string tension, weight and strength. It just doesn't last long beyond those limits.
    I've used Thomastik light-gauge E's on my Rigel 15 7/8" scale 10-string R-200 "mandolin/mandola"s (Pete Langdell's definition) for years, and haven't had one snap yet.
    mandoscales.com
    technical exercises for rock blues & fusion mandolinists
    free downloadable pdfs & mp4 backing tracks

  18. #17
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    3,444

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    I have 3 10 stringed instruments by Tom TJ Jessen (Cricketfiddle). A custom 10 string Hardanger 15" viola (5 top strings, 5 sympathetic understrings). It's a viola vs violin because of the body size. I have a custom 25-1/2" 10 string F4 shape mandocello. It's a mandocello vs octave mandolin again because of the body size and scale. I also have a 10 string A4 shape mandola bodied instrument (16-1/2" scale, over 2" deep). It's clearly too big to be a mandolin. You could call it a mandola-lin I guess. I call it a 10 string mandola. And guess what I run E strings up to .010 without breaking. No fan frets either.

    To me, the body size determines what the instrument is - that's what determines the timbre and tonal properties. Decades ago when people first added a low C string to a violin that didn't make it a viola. When I added a high E to one of my violas that didn't transform it into a violin.

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


  20. #18
    Registered User Marcus CA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    No. California
    Posts
    1,166

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    I bought one from Lawrence Nyberg early last year. He calls that model his ďmini-cittern,Ē because he built it to be tuned CGDAE. I refer to it as my mandolinola, though, to convey that it has all the notes on both a mandolin and a mandola. It has a Sitka top with maple back and sides, because I wanted it to have lots of punch for when I play bluegrass.

    The scale length is 15Ē, so Nyberg put a 9 on it for the E string. Itís incredibly tight, but I havenít snapped one yet.

    Because I donít play mandola, I approach this mainly as a mandolin with a bonus course. Iíll start solos in the mandolin range, and then dip down to the C string somewhere in a solo. For a song in C or D, Iíll play most of the solo on the three D, A, and E strings, and then sometimes end by running all the way down to that low root note.

    For chords, I can only play four-finger ones on the mandolin strings. On the mandola strings, I can only play three-finger chords, although that includes mini-bar chords like 2245x for a D chord.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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


  22. #19
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    17,376

    Default Re: 10-string mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin.alastair View Post
    What do you call a 10-string instrument that's a standard mandolin with an extra C-string course below the G-string?
    I have a fanned-fret one that Bernie Lehmann built for me. I call it "Bernie."

    Takes a bit of "gettin' used to" to manipulate five courses and fanned frets. I've been spending most of my time with a standard mandolin instead. Still, the fanned frets and course-to-course varying scales allow one to use fairly standard string gauges.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

Posting Permissions

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