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Help: mandolin (general discussion)

29 Aug 02 - 10:55 PM (#774012)
Subject: mandolin
From: GUEST

Hi! Any mandolin players out there, I'm a new starter and am interaested in playing jigs reels hornpipes etc. What is the best thickness of plectrum and how is it held, tight or loose?


29 Aug 02 - 11:22 PM (#774017)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: Áine

Dear Guest,

First, give us a name to call you by, OK? Always makes giving help a little easier, and definitely more personal, don't know ya know.

To start you off, here's a good thread entitled 'Mandolin Help', that'll get you started.

I'm looking forward to hearing from 'the ol' gang' again (i.e. the other Mudcat Mando-idiots) ;-) And welcome, welcome, welcome, to the Mudcat Cafe!

All the best, Áine


29 Aug 02 - 11:28 PM (#774019)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: Áine

Geez, how could I forget this thread, where you can click on the link that'll take you to the MP3.com site of one of our Master Mandolinists, derrymacash (aka Aidan Crossey), so you can listen to him play a mean hornpipe. He also runs a great website called Pay The Reckoning, where you can find his collection of Irish traditional midi files and tabs, and some of his own original material, too.

Happy clicking!

-- Áine


30 Aug 02 - 05:33 AM (#774120)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: mooman

Dear Guest,

As a resident Mudcat Mando-Idiot, I'd be happy to help out. I'd recommend a nylon pick with a decent grip, e.g. Dunlop or similar, of about .60 or .73 thickness, depending on your preference (I prefer the thinner). It is important to be quite relaxed when playing, therefore not too tight a grip is preferable. Various hand positions are possible, all of which have their pros and cons. I tend to rest the ball of my hand just behind the bridge (frowned upon by many but it has worked for me for 40 years) with my hand more or less parallel with the strings and the pick help at right angles to the hand between thumb and index finger.

Hope this starts you off OK...don't hesitate to asl for help. The site below via click blue thing is a Mando-Idiots's dream (I believe you have landed us poor souls with a label that will stick Dear Aine!):

Mandolin Cafe

Happy picking and good luck!

mooman


30 Aug 02 - 05:42 AM (#774125)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: nickp

Yup, I'll go with mooman about positioning etc. even tho' it's a bit frowned on by the purists. Be comfortable!! My only difference is that I use the Dunlop .46 which is a bit soft but I'm often amplified so it makes little difference. Get a handful of different picks, gauges, nylon/plastic and see which you feel happiest with. The 'grippy' bit certainly is good advice particularly as you start.

Happy playing, Nick


30 Aug 02 - 03:28 PM (#774419)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: Leadfingers

nickp has it right.Try as many different ones until you find one that feels right.Iprefer a very stiff pick myself but have friends who pla very well with picks I wouldnt go near.Its all personal preference.


30 Aug 02 - 03:39 PM (#774428)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: John Hardly

I like the Dunlop Jazztone 207. It's utterly rigid but, unlike the Golden Gate or the Dawg picks, it still has a point (in fact three in various sharpness). One reason I like it for a beginner is that the tone is nice acoustically (I don't play amped) but the thickness of the pick really aids in being able to hold on to it. I like that better than relying on the give of a thin pick to keep the pick seated properly in my hand.

I also flatpick the guitar and so I always use a rigid pick -- in my fiddle tune jam I'd be transparent with a thin pick!


31 Aug 02 - 09:31 AM (#774779)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: brioc

read this thread wiwth interest. Being a mandolin player myself, depending on if I am playing lead on tunes, or accompanying songs,sometimes I use a thickpick and sometimes a softpick. What I would be interested in knowing is what you other m.players favour for strings! Taking that you play Irish tunes and folk songs too. I have found a really nice bronze finished string, my mandoin is an old italian. Sometimes i would like to try other warmer strings, any suggestions.? Brioc


31 Aug 02 - 09:57 AM (#774789)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: Willie-O

I find I like to use the same pick for everything, so I go with a happy medium, yellow Tortex Dunlop .73, on both guitar and mandolin. I also pick guitar tunes and try to be loud enough, and I don't find a thicker pick than that to be louder. Picks with no flex have a tendency to dig into the strings and get stuck there.

For strings I have just put Elixirs on both my cheap mandolin and my inexpensive but well-made mandola. In both cases they make the instrument sound twice as valuable.

Besides, I just started in a one-year college program and I figured I'd put one-year strings on everything I own while I still have bucks! (Quit my job yesterday!)

Willie-O


31 Aug 02 - 10:43 AM (#774806)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: Aidan Crossey

Áine ...

thanks for the plug!

The mandolin cafe link is a must for the "celtic" minded mandolinist. I've posted around 1,000 tunes there in tab format from all of the dance rhythms ... jigs, hornpipes, reels, polkas, mazurkas ...

If I was starting from scratch, I'd love to have someone point out that site to me!

Aidan


31 Aug 02 - 11:34 AM (#774831)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: Áine

Your welcome, derrymacash (we'll talk about reimbursement later - hahaha).

If any of you 'Catters have a fast enough 'net connection, you should try entering mandolin in the Search box at the top of the Forum page and pressing 'Go' . . . There's a bevy of threads on here, going back several years. Makes for some great reading; if, of course, you can bear to put down your favourite mando-baby for a minute. ;-)

In re the string discussion -- Does the kind of music you play on your mandolin dictate the kind of strings you use? I'm asking because I'm learning both bluegrass and Irish tunes on my little Fender, and I'm feeling like the sound is way too 'bright' sometimes when I attempt something I've heard ol' derrymacash do, like 'Madame Bonaparte'.

All the best, Áine


31 Aug 02 - 11:51 AM (#774833)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: Amos

And congrats to Willie O for his feat of derring do!!

Big ones, Willy!!



A


31 Aug 02 - 11:08 PM (#775039)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: GUEST,Anahootz

Bluegrass. Tortoiseshell, 1.05-1.3mm. D'addario j-75's (.041-.026-.016-.0115) F-5's...got 4 of 'em.

'Hootz


01 Sep 02 - 01:10 AM (#775070)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: Mark Cohen

While we're on the subject, I've just started playing backup guitar with a few Irish musicians, and, in addition to becoming motivated to break out of I-IV-V (or vi-V) on the guitar, I'm thinking about getting a mandolin and trying my hand at playing some of those tunes myself. Any suggestions on a reasonably good inexpensive instrument? (and I'm definitely going to bookmark Derry's site...)

Aloha,
Mark


01 Sep 02 - 09:40 AM (#775138)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: John Hardly

Mark,
I too am searching and so far the best value, solid wood mandos seem to be Kentucky and Webber and Kelly. I may be getting a Webber used for about $500.


01 Sep 02 - 11:38 AM (#775181)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: Áine

Dear Mark,

If you can wait a few months for a beautiful handmade mandolin, then check out Davy Stuart, a luthier in New Zealand. Wesley S brought over his new Davy Stuart octave mandolin the other weekend, and let me tell you, it was lovely to hold and it sounded fantastic. And you can't beat the price, either.

Wesley also has a Webber A-style mandolin, which sounds wonderful, too. They're a bit expensive, but lovely.

All the best, Áine


02 Sep 02 - 12:43 AM (#775368)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin
From: DonMeixner

Can anyone suggest a pickup and EQ/Amp combination for an A-Model type mandolin?

Don


02 Sep 02 - 11:49 PM (#775932)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: Seamus Kennedy

Don, I have 2 small Barcus Berry pickups on the inside of my Shiro copy of a Gibson F. I use an EQ box and runi through the board. Sounds just fine. Shiro makes a real good copy of the Lloyd Loar forabout $600.00. I use Jim Dunlop Tortex Sharpies .73 for both picking and chording. Thye're stiff enough for lead work without the "clater" you get from more flexible picks. And Gibson Mandolin strings. For a beginner, one thing to practise (among many) is to make sure your upstroke is as strong as the downstroke, and practise the tremolo until you can sustain it without breaks.

All the best, have fun, and listen to Derrymacash.

Seamus


08 Sep 02 - 11:23 PM (#779413)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: Áine

Hey Seamus!

I was fixin' to work out a melody last night, and I couldn't find my favourite mandolin pick (a no-name black one with a little bit of a grip at the top), so I raided Dear Hubby's pick jar and found a 2.0mm Stubby jazz pick. Worked a treat; although I think I'd want one a little less than 2.0mm to work with all the time. Does anyone know if I can get a 'Stubby' that's a .73mm or thereabouts? And where could I get it from? Dear Hubby doesn't remember where he 'picked' this one up from.

All the best, Áine


09 Sep 02 - 09:47 AM (#779629)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: Hecate

I wouldn`t go so far as to say I can play it, but do own an interesting curio - a 12 string mandolin. I gather they are hard to come by because the pressure of so many strings tends to make the poor things fold in half. Thus far, mine hasn`t, and is of a fair age. I live in terror of ever having to restring it.


27 Sep 02 - 07:20 PM (#792691)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: death by whisky

My new one (ozark)turnerd up from Cardiff.Intonation was out ,fixed bridge,had to send it back.


27 Sep 02 - 09:20 PM (#792729)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: Áine

And I'm still wondering where I can get a new 'Stubby', don't ya know.

-- Áine


28 Sep 02 - 07:42 AM (#792900)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: GUEST,prob daft question

Is there any reason why a mandolin couldn't be strung wrong round (from high to low) ? If possible - standard (though incomplete) guitar chord shapes could be used to help get a novice started.

.... I'd imagine there are reasons.


28 Sep 02 - 09:23 AM (#792927)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: death by whisky

Mandolin,banjo and fiddle are all tuned the same,so its useful to learn it as it is.But,your instrument.Do with as you please.


28 Sep 02 - 04:55 PM (#793124)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: JohnInKansas

Guest - daft:

One problem with stringing backwards is that mando strings are so short they need a lot of compensation in the bridge. You'd have to make a properly compensated "left-hand-mirror-image" bridge.

Having suffered a split bridge cap on the first day of a 2 week + campout, I've found that you can whittle a serviceable replacement from something hard (I used a glue-up of a couple of clothespins) without too much trouble.) I'm not sure I'll bother getting a real one soon - sounds pretty good.

John


29 Sep 02 - 05:03 PM (#793619)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: Mark Ross

You don't have to string the mandolin backasswards, just think of your guitar chords upside down!

Mark Ross


29 Sep 02 - 05:19 PM (#793627)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: Áine

I'm in complete agreement with Mark -- "just think of your guitar chords upside down" -- worked a treat for me! ;-) BTW, I saw a great quote in a copy of Acoustic Guitar Magazine last month -- "Inside every guitarist is a mandolin player trying to get out" -- how true, how true, how true!

All the best, Áine


30 Sep 02 - 03:22 AM (#793862)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: Seamus Kennedy

Áine, a ghrá, I've no idea where you could get .73 stubbies, but how about buying a bunch of standard shape .73s, cutting them to stubby size with scissors, and filing them with an emery board? And quit swipin' your hubbies' picks!!

Seamus


30 Sep 02 - 04:06 AM (#793870)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: Catherine Jayne

Great info. Just bought a mandolin myself. Being a fiddle player the guy in the shop said it would be no problem learning it......oh how wrong was he!!!! But Im having fun with it anyway!!!

cat


30 Sep 02 - 08:51 AM (#793960)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: Áine

A Shéamus, a chara chóir,

Who's 'swipin' anything (hehehe) -- Texas is a community property state, don't ya know ;-) Besides, the other shoe dropped at last, and I figured out that instead of raiding his pick jar, I'll just 'confiscate' any picks I find in his jeans pockets when I do the laundry . . . possession is 9/10ths and all that *BG*

Anyway, the poor wronged man in this case went online last night and found me some Stubbies at the Musican's Friend website. What a guy!

Now, I'm looking for a place that has mandolin straps for A model mandolins -- any suggestions anyone?

All the best, Áine


30 Sep 02 - 11:51 AM (#794025)
Subject: RE: Help: mandolin (general discussion)
From: wysiwyg

Some links to good info here:

Local Folks - Fiddle Tunes?

The site server has a bad case of the persnicketiz today. I could only get there by using mutiple page refreshes.

~Susan