The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #28992   Message #2688113
Posted By: Willie-O
27-Jul-09 - 01:09 PM
Thread Name: Bouzouki - What brand is best?
Subject: RE: Bouzouki - What brand is best?
Yeah, Tia. TC's are perfectly useful instruments for professionals or anyone else. The cost-benefits are hard to miss!

The difference in scale length between a bouzouki and an octave mandolin is about 4", typically about 21" for an octave and 25" for a 'zook. The practical effect of this is that you can play fiddle tunes on the octave (with a bit of creative fingerstretching sometimes), in standard GDAE, that would be very difficult on the zook. (SL is 17" on a mandola, and about 14" on a standard mando.) As with other double-course fretted instruments, you can set any of them up with bass-treble combinations on the lower strings if you wish to.

I know someone with a Laskin long-neck, don't know what the scale length was but it seemed she could capo it and play like a standard mando any time she felt like it--it had a slim enough neck that it seemed very comfortable to do so and of course sounded great. For most octaves, mandolas, etc, this is not the case. You can capo them to good effect but its more like playing with a capo than it is like playing a mandolin.