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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 Robert Williamson on November 6, 2015 at 2:40pm

I never use my cases in the humidity controlled room and all that :)

Been playing it all day long. got 4 2-finger chords, a couple unbearable barrs and bunch of sus's D,C,G,Em,,,

Apparently Maggie May is a lot easier on Mandolin,, `cept that damn Am!

I'm guessing 7th fret is double dot cause it's the 5th?

Comment by Jim Yates on November 6, 2015 at 12:33pm

If it's set up properly, these can be good entry level mandolins.
I never lock my cases.  I figure nobody's gonna take the mandolin out of the case to steal it.
The position markers are in the normal place on your mandolin.  For some reason, guitars usually have no 10th fret marker but do have one at the 9th fret.  banjos, mandolins, ukuleles and almost all other fretted instruments use the 10th fret marker.

Comment by Robert Williamson on November 5, 2015 at 3:32pm

Bought a Mandolin. Slightly Store-worn.

Gretsch New Yorker, Light Mahogany, $300 with hardshell plush case, an extra set of GHS strings and uh?? a Dunlop thumb pick? The case must have been used :)  but at least the keys are still in their ziplock bag.

Guess its a beginners model. I know 2 chords or so... :)

SO much i don't know..the strange fret marker locations! ..2 finger chords!

wierd unison tuning..

i got Zepplin and Gloriana in my head right now...

Comment by Jim Yates on April 16, 2015 at 1:00pm

Edward, here's a really grainy, out of focus photo of John Doyle and Bruce Molsky playing at Celtic Colours, Cape Breton in the fall of 2013.  John is playing a guitar shaped OM


Comment by Edward Sparks on April 16, 2015 at 12:47pm
I am having an octave mando built which I will do so w work myself that will resemble a small bodied guitar.
Comment by Edward Sparks on April 16, 2015 at 12:45pm
Yep I scrolled down and saw that this morning!
Comment by Jim Yates on April 16, 2015 at 12:01pm

I just noticed that I'd already posted my photo 3 years ago.

Comment by Jim Yates on April 16, 2015 at 11:59am

I like the bone saddle Edward.  Did you add that?

Above is my mandolin arsenal.  Washburn Country mandolin, TC octave mando, Eastman 605.

Comment by Edward Sparks on April 16, 2015 at 9:55am

I have a Japanese knock off form the 70's that was willed to me by a friend who passed away in 1993, along with five other instruments.  It was a store brand for a place I loved to buy from called Veneman's Music near Washington DC back then, but it was bought by GC and is long gone.  Jim is correct, the F style is pretty to look at but adds nothing to tone.  Jim, thanks for the details on Eastman models as i didn't know that.  I want an octave mando, but am planning on building one myself as soon as I finish a semihollow bass I am about to begin.

Here is a picture and the description of my mando from my old website:

Company: Bradley
Model#: F-Style Mandolin
Year: Estimated 1975
Description: This instrument was one of five bequeathed to me by my friend Bruce Hathorne in 1993. The brand name on the headstock is "Bradley," a brand I had never heard of before. I had heard from Bruce that it was originally bought from Veneman's Music in Bethesda Maryland. About a year ago I met a person who used to work there and he told me that he was familiar with the Bradley brand name. He said that Ted Veneman had a grandson named Bradley. At the time it was popular to import an Asian made "store brand," similar to the way that Martin Guitars made the Ditson brand for a teacher/salesman when they were trying to get established in New York. Ted Veneman contracted with the Asian company to make his store brand and gave it the name "Bradley," after his grandson. This would make it a rare instrument indeed, since only so many of them were made. It is in excellent condition and stays and plays in tune. Particularly nice is the abalone inlay work on the head and fingerboard. I really like the natural finish on the top. It is all original, with the exception of the tailpiece cover, which Bruce added with his own initials, "BAH", engraved into it. The instrument came with it's original rectangular hardshell case.


Comment by Jim Yates on April 16, 2015 at 9:38am

Robert, Mostly the F-style mandolins are more expensive than an equivalent A-style.  The scroll adds a lot to the price.  Don't get a cheap F-style just for the scroll, since it adds nothing to the sound, but is purely cosmetic.  (or perhaps a $100 to $1000 strap hook) 

F-styles do look cool, and some folks believe that it's not true bluegrass if you don't have an F-style mandolin, but many feel it's not really bluegrass if you have a pick-up on your mandolin.
I agree with Edward that the F-4 styles with the scroll and oval hole are neat looking mandolins.  Eastman does make these. If Eastman's model number ends with a 4, it has an oval hole; with a 5, it has f holes.  If the middle number is 1, it has a scroll; middle numbers 0 are A-style.  The higher the first digit, the better quality that model is.


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