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So I pulled out my mandolin for the first time in over two years last night...

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  • So I pulled out my mandolin for the first time in over two years last night...

    ...and I still suck!

    I never got deeply into the instrument, but I do like them.

    All I have is one of those $50 Rogue Chinese specials, but at least it holds tune.

    Amazingly, it (barely) survived the flood late last year that destroyed just about everything else my family owned. The finish is kinda rippling up and it DOES smell very musty. The little cheap case I got for it is badly warped and messed up, so I know it got some water damage, but it actually still plays okay.

    There are a couple of pieces I learned back when I was trying to take up the instrument that I play while my wife accompanies on guitar. I had to re-learn them, but we managed to get it sounding pretty good last night.

    Lots of fun, but I'll never be a real player. Not enough time to devote to it and my ham-fingers make it hard to navigate the mando fretboard.

    I'd love to get an octave mandolin someday, but it's probably one of the many things I'd like to do but will never happen.

    Any other mando pickers here?
    I don't want to sell my music. I'd like to give it away because where I got it, you didn't have to pay for it.
    -Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet)

  • #2
    Muddslide, your story sound kinda like mine. I've had, and sold, three mandolins over the past four or five years. Each time vowing to never buy another one, but I always do. About a year ago I gave in to my mando lust and went out and bought a new Ibanez "A" style that I found at Guitar Center. Theirs looked like it had seen better days, so I went up the street to Sam Ash and bought the same model, same price, that was still in the box and in pristine condition. It's their $150 model. A cheap one, but nice enough for what I wanted. The back side of this one is actually as pretty as any I've ever seen.......and it's set up nice and plays and sounds great, IMO. Or, at least it's as good as any of the ones I've had in the past. It's an "all laminated" mandolin, of course, but I don't care about that. It sounds great for what it is.

    I don't play a lot of songs on it, but I still enjoy myself when the mood strikes me. I've learned "Ol' Joe Clark", in "A", "Angelina Baker", in "D", "Ashokan Farewell", in "D", "Washbash Cannonball", in "G" and a few others I can't remember off the top of my head right now. I do these very well, because these are the ones I play a LOT! I'll never be any good on a mandolin either, but I sure get a kick out of trying from time to time.

    I don't play it much.....but I really enjoy it on the rare occasions when I do play it. I really should devote more time to it. I'll say this......when I DO pick it up, I don't have any problem spending a couple of hours with it. It's just a fun thing to do.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><br><br>Three Dreads......2 Martins and 1 Yamaha<br><br>A fiddle, a mando, a uke, eight harmonicas, a Zoom H2, a Panasonic recorder, coupla penny whistles, an Italian made Titano accordion, three handguns, at least a dozen chess sets, more power tools than Bob Vila, and one old Westclox &quot;Big Ben&quot; wind-up alarm clock that still works! Oh, BTW, I forgot to mention my ocarina and maracas.</font></div>

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    • #3
      I believe TAH plays a bit of mando.

      I took it up a few years ago when MF blew out some really crappy Johnson f-style's for $80 [with a feather-light case]. I always liked the sound Zeppelin got with mando, guitar and vocals. Not much into bluegrass, so I've been poking at jazz and old jug blues tunes. I devote about an hour a day to it and can find my way around the fretboard not bad at this point. Coming from guitar it took a bit to get oriented - bit longer than learning a new guitar tuning.

      The bigger challenge is the tiny fretboard. I picked up a reso-mando along the way and quite like it's longer scale and wider fretboard. And I upgraded my Johnson to a Paris Swing that's all solid woods with an really nice ebony fretboard - it's a keeper for sure. I working on some guitar/mando tunes but get frustrated not being able to play both at the same time!
      -^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-^-

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      • #4
        Opa, I don't know you well, but you are one of the top people here that I'd love to jam with.

        My main thing is that I just don't have that much time to devote to playing anything, so taking up another instrument in any kind of serious way seems rather pointless.

        If anything, I hope to get better at harmonica. Portable, and it'll give my hands a break!

        Incidentally, here's one of the pieces my wife and I play together (this is NOT me and my wife in the video though!) :

        I don't want to sell my music. I'd like to give it away because where I got it, you didn't have to pay for it.
        -Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet)

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        • #5
          I put a P90 in my Rogue, and turned an only OK acoustic mandolin into a surprisingly good electric mandolin.

          God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

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          • #6
            Opa, I don't know you well, but you are one of the top people here that I'd love to jam with.


            Well, I don't have any plans to get out to your neck of the woods, but I do have an old Army buddy that grew up in Seaside. He's lived in southern Germany since the mid '60s, though. If I ever get out your way, I'll let you know and we can do some pickin' and grinnin'. Portland's a looooooong ways from "Klumbus"!

            I liked that "Abandon", BTW. It sounds Greek to me. I'll have to learn that one. That's about my speed and doesn't look like it would be too difficult to learn. They're playing it in "A minor". One of my favorite keys.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><br><br>Three Dreads......2 Martins and 1 Yamaha<br><br>A fiddle, a mando, a uke, eight harmonicas, a Zoom H2, a Panasonic recorder, coupla penny whistles, an Italian made Titano accordion, three handguns, at least a dozen chess sets, more power tools than Bob Vila, and one old Westclox &quot;Big Ben&quot; wind-up alarm clock that still works! Oh, BTW, I forgot to mention my ocarina and maracas.</font></div>

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            • #7
              I bought a cheap Rover mandolin a few years ago for my wife when she expressed an interest in learning. On rare occasions I take it out and strum a few chords but that's all the playing it gets and all the playing I do. Pretty much the same as my banjo.
              Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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              • #8
                I play some mandolin. And if I weren't already spoken for, I'd propose to Meredith Axlerod on the basis of her rhythm playing alone!

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                • #9
                  I play some mandolin. And if I weren't already spoken for, I'd propose to Meredith Axlerod on the basis of her rhythm playing alone!


                  Gotta agree that her rhythm playing is really precise and her bass runs are perfect.

                  God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

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                  • #10
                    I need to get another mandolin. I had to get rid of a Mid-Missouri mandolin a couple of years ago when I was laid off. I have a very cheap Surf City (honestly, what a name) oval hole flat head, but it suffers from the usual cheap mando problems; doesn't tune well, poor intonation, hard to play. One of these days I'll get a better one. I mostly use it to add flavoring to the odd recorded track.
                    __________________________
                    Gary Blanchard
                    www.garyblanchard.info

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                    • #11
                      I need to get another mandolin. I had to get rid of a Mid-Missouri mandolin a couple of years ago when I was laid off. I have a very cheap Surf City (honestly, what a name) oval hole flat head, but it suffers from the usual cheap mando problems; doesn't tune well, poor intonation, hard to play. One of these days I'll get a better one. I mostly use it to add flavoring to the odd recorded track.


                      If $$$ is tight, the Rogues are surprising good instruments for such a modest price...excellent fretwork w/ very good intonation, and, like Yamaha guitars, they sound fairly decent, even though they have laminated tops. Quite a bitter better than their rock bottom price would lead you to believe, once they get a proper set-up.

                      With a pair of JJBs underneath the bridge, they can sound pretty good through a sound system. Mic'd, they're adequate.

                      For a bit more, GoldTone is pretty nice...my GM-50 has a street price of about $375, I think (got mine used).

                      There are bargains out there these days for mandolinisteros!
                      God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

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                      • #12
                        My first mandolin was a Rogue; I traded up until I had to trade down. I may go for another Rogue at that. I'll skip on the electronics, as I almost never plug in. I prefer using mics.
                        __________________________
                        Gary Blanchard
                        www.garyblanchard.info

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                        • #13
                          I play mando a bit--main problem is that sometimes I don't take it out for months and have to re-familiarize myself with it. I certainly play it more than I play my 12-string guitar or my e-bass. Like Gary B I mostly use it as an added flavor on recordings, which is also mostly what I use my Strat for.

                          My mando is a $40 (Craigslist) Harmony A-style. No idea how old it is, but it's pretty old. Crappy tuners that I should replace, but surprisingly nice tone and playability.
                          __________________________
                          She's the lady of the light
                          Yellow incandescent night
                          Tiger eyes burning bright
                          In the understory
                          I can't see the forest
                          For the branches and the leaves
                          But I believe
                          I do believe
                          by me:

                          www.box.com

                          "Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn."
                          Charlie Parker

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