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Mandolin Players

Pick mandolin-family instruments as well as guitar? Share tips, tunes, and techniques in the mandolin group.

Members: 153
Latest Activity: Nov 13

Discussion Forum

new to the game 6 Replies

Started by Ron. Last reply by Robert Williamson Nov 13.

New mando player 4 Replies

Started by Jason Derrick. Last reply by Robert Williamson Nov 8.

Why do so many pros play the old Gibson A's? 5 Replies

Started by Janice Hamilton. Last reply by Jim Yates Apr 15.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Randy Lee Hano on November 11, 2015 at 8:05am

Health mojo Robert.

I agree with the squeezing of fingers into tiny spaces. Some of guitar buddies laugh the other day when the band played Wagon Wheel in A (Darius Rucker Version) as I use a capo to make the chords easier to play. If it was the Old Medicine Crow (key of G), no problem. Still struggle with the 4 note fretted chords to play the chop technique best so I just play 3 notes and mute the top two strings. Add to the non Bluegrass songs - Copperhead Road along with a few tunes from Heart - Dream of the Archer, Sylvan Song. 

Comment by Jim Yates on November 10, 2015 at 11:00pm

Now that Robert has introduced the topic, I wonder how many of us have other mando-things like mandolas, mandocellos, mandobasses, Octave mandolins, Greek bouzoukis, Irish bouzoukis, citterns, octophones, bandurias, or other types of monster mandolins.

Comment by Robert Williamson on November 10, 2015 at 1:46pm

Comment by Robert Williamson on November 10, 2015 at 1:40pm

Cue appropriate cursing:
I ripped off my thumbnail packing the Leaf Vacum :(

Comment by Robert Williamson on November 10, 2015 at 10:26am

Just got back from 24 hrs in hospital. \Under observation to determine if lincident monday morning was another mini-stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack) or another  diabetic neuropathy event.

Score: 2 docs for neuropathy, 1 for T.S.I.

One suggested nerve damage not only to neck but in right wrist..

sigh. and here am i giving myself cramps trying to play an Am on the mandolin.....:(

Mike Marshall seems like the Tommy Emmanual of the mandolin

Comment by Jim Yates on November 8, 2015 at 6:26pm

Sorry, I thought there were only three on the list.  I did mention both Caterina and Mike in my post, though I've never heard them pick together.  Thanks for that.
I think there's nothing wrong with playing a few songs on the mandolin while taking a break from guitar and I kinda like those "top three tunes".  I just don't think they should be in the top three.  I do that (take a break from guitar to play a couple of tunes) on the bouzouki, banduria and concertina, but I would never put my playing of these instruments in "the top three. . .tunes."
You're right that if I'd looked at all ten, I'd have worded my last post differently. 

I just noticed that Guitar Player's list call them 10 awesome mandolin tunes rather than the top ten mandolin tunes.

Comment by Robert Williamson on November 8, 2015 at 3:19pm

If you look at that list, it's pretty obvious is not based on record sale s;) check out #10

I'm getting a uncomfortable feeling of elitism.. it's telling me to sell my mandolin, because I bought it as an instrument to play on three or four songs while taking a break from guitar.  And that isn't a good enough reason?

.If you had checked the list at all, you would have never made that statement.

Comment by Jim Yates on November 8, 2015 at 12:45pm

I'm not yet 75, but I'm pushin' 72 with a broom.  Of course I've heard Maggie May, but I don't listen to much mainstream music I'm afraid. 

Unless "the top 3 non-bluegrass mandolin tunes" means the tunes that have made the most money, I sure wouldn't agree with those three.  I'd say something by Yank Rachell, Johnny Young, Carl Martin, Ry Cooder, Andra Faye or Rich DelGrosso in the blues genre or Mick Moloney, Martin Howley, Marla Fibish or Roger Landes in the Irish Trad genre or David Grisman, David Apollon, Jethro Burns or Mike Marshall in the jazz genre or Jacob do Bandolim, Caterina Lichtenberg or Carlo Aonzo in the classical genre.  All of these musicians have devoted the majority of their musical careers to mastering the mandolin.  It is not an instrument that they play on three or four songs while taking a break from guitar.  

Comment by Robert Williamson on November 8, 2015 at 12:10pm


A mandolin player i know told me today at the pool (both our kids go) the contact is meant to dampen the sympathetic resonance of the strings between bridge and tailpiece.

I worry about wear on the windings and bites on the plain strings.I feel that plate is meant to be parallel to strings, not in contact.

Comment by Robin June Nakkula on November 8, 2015 at 10:45am
In the 1920's Martin A models that that tailpiece is emulating the appearance of, the cover is a separate piece that slides down over the base that the strings are hooked to, and so can be elevated above the strings. Judging from your photo, that's not an option with your model. If so, then I'd guess your choices are
(1) ignore it, since the pressure is on the outside of the nut-to-bridge portion of the string, or (2) if it's got a sharp edge and is wearing into any of the strings, bend the cover to be more parallel to the strings: loosen the syrings to get them all out of the way, and then gently and even acoross the width and bottom surface, try to bend the angle up WithOut breaking the metal.

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