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Thread: Need some tips for my 5 string

  1. #1


    I've got a Fender FM-60E 5-string electric mandolin a couple years ago and thought I would really enjoy playing it but that hasn't been the case. #It has two single coil pickups on it and I really don't like the tone I'm getting from it. #My first question is what kind of pickup would be suggested for rock music? #

    The second question has to do with the strings. #Where can I get some better strings for this thing? #I really don't know where to start. #The strings suck and its not very easy to play. #I guess that's what I get for paying $300 for a crappy Fender. #

    I'm new to this board so basically any tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    "A feather falls and lands so perfectly, reminding you that your underneath the wing of something bigger than, bigger than you".

    --Davy Baysinger

  2. #2
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002


    You can get some strings from me at More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Emeryville, CA


    If you try some lighter strings, it will make fretting a bit easier. However, is the neck bowed or is there some other reason why it is so uncomfortable to play? Fresh strings, tuned properly, may make it sound a lot better.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003


    Change strings first. Then maybe adjust the action at the bridge. Then if you absolutely have to adjust the truss rod.
    I've said this before and people have disagreed with me, but in the world of today's electronics, as long as a pickup is outputting enough signal, you can make an electric instrument sound like almost anything. I have a Line 6 Pod XT, and it has hundreds of sounds on it, from really warm and bluesy to hard and brittle to way way overdriven. I probably wouldn't blow too much money trying to trick out a Fender when there are so many much higher quality emandos out there.
    I would change the strings and do your own setup and then go to a music store and play through some effects and see if you can't find something that makes it sound more to your liking.
    If you are used to an acoustic mando it takes some time to get used to the feel of singles courses on an emando. Other players who want to try an emando for the first time are always suprised at how the lone e-string feels like razor wire in their delicate little fingertips.
    Forget with the cowbell, already...

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