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Author Topic: electric mandolin  (Read 3438 times)

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Offline pfiddlepat

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electric mandolin
« on: Jul 28, 2005, 12:42:31 AM »
anybody ever make thier own electric mando? 

i am working on an electric fiddle now, so mandolin seems like the logical next step.

Offline fidla

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #1 on: Jul 28, 2005, 01:13:18 PM »
cool!

no but I've played a variety of them over the years.  The biggest advantage of electric is sustain.  Acoustic mandolins need double strings for projection and sustain, but electrics can get away with single strings (4 instead of 8).  They are harder to play for someone used to playing on sets of strings, but you can do much more with them in terms of soloing.  Not great for playing rhthm...

Offline Nicolas

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #2 on: Jul 28, 2005, 01:27:38 PM »
that looks more like an E-fiddle with a flat bridge and frets  :P

Offline Nfkfiddler

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #3 on: Jul 28, 2005, 01:53:45 PM »
A four string mandolin?   Surely, Adam, that should be moved to 'joke of the day'.

Offline Pete Hartley

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #4 on: Jul 28, 2005, 11:49:02 PM »
A four string mandolin?   Surely, Adam, that should be moved to 'joke of the day'.



The one on the left is a custom built 5 string mandocaster by Birmingham guitar builder Bob Barry. I had it built about 10 or 11 years ago and it's about to have its frets dressed

Offline pfiddlepat

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #5 on: Jul 28, 2005, 11:55:01 PM »
so pete, did you build it, or have it built for you?  I have a book on guitar making that has been a lot of help for my fiddle, so i think i will just make a miniature guitar sort of a thing, with the string length and frets in the proper place for a mandolin.  mabye a telecaster shape, dont know yet.  dad said i had to finish the canoe and my eagle project before i started the fiddle and i already started that and havnt finished the others yet, so it may be awhile till this mandolin starts.  but any info you can give would be great.  thanks.

Offline Nfkfiddler

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #6 on: Jul 29, 2005, 09:30:27 AM »
Opps!    My dictionary says, " guitar like instrument with strings tuned in pairs".   But I stand corrected, knuckles wrapped.................................

How do you tune five strings in pairs? :)

Offline pfiddlepat

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #7 on: Aug 02, 2005, 06:16:47 PM »
where can you find a magnetic pickup for a mandolin.  could you just use one half of a p(?) bass pickup?   

has anyone really ventured into the area of electric mandolins much? 

Offline David M.

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #8 on: Aug 02, 2005, 08:24:09 PM »
Quote
Opps!    My dictionary says, " guitar like instrument with strings tuned in pairs".   But I stand corrected, knuckles wrapped.................................

How do you tune five strings in pairs?

Must not be a Sam Bush fan, then, huh?  He wails on his 5 string electric Mandoblaster.   Tears it up w/a slide.

T'aint that hard to fathom, for me.

Offline pfiddlepat

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #9 on: Aug 02, 2005, 10:08:32 PM »
4 Strings, 8 strings, which one.  lets compromise and have some fun.  somebody needs to stop arguing and build a double necked mandolin.  8 strings for rythym and 4 strings (or 5) for lead and solos.  now that would be cool.

Offline Pete Hartley

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #10 on: Aug 02, 2005, 11:21:21 PM »
My friend Mike O Neil built a double neck electric mandolin, but with 2 x 8 strings with one being a regular mandolinand the other an octave mandola.

Pete

Offline David M.

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #11 on: Aug 03, 2005, 02:21:56 PM »
You know, to be honest I've never quite understood the 4 or 5 string mando.  Seen it played alot and played one for a while, but the twin courses is what makes the mando so distinct in its sound.  They're cool, but I wonder how the 4 stringer got started and why?  Strings'd be cheaper it seems   :)

Offline foose4string

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #12 on: Aug 04, 2005, 03:32:00 AM »
Quote
but the twin courses is what makes the mando so distinct in its sound.

I agree, gives it that natural chorus effect.

Offline farmerjones

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #13 on: Aug 04, 2005, 04:51:22 PM »
i'll just say Tiny Moore had a four string electric mando. He and Jethro Burns did an album together too.

i'm with Dave. The ring's the thing!
Mandos are magic. how do they get so much sound out of such a little resonator. Not the big F5s but the lil Army/Navy pancakes. It has to be FM.

Offline Pete Hartley

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #14 on: Aug 05, 2005, 08:43:06 AM »
I went down the route of single string electric, because I wanted to play lead guitar without having to learn all the guitar scales. The mandocaster was great, I could make it sustain - bend the strings etc. But then a friend (the same one I mentioned earlier - builder of the double neck) was selling his Fylde mandolin at a bargain price, and after buying that 8 years ago I have hardly touched the mandocaster. It has real charm, and I like the limitations double strings, also audiences respond to it. It is really usefull in the studio - put 2 tremolando mandolins at the back of a mix and it will sound Italian or at least Mediterranean.
A bit like if you want a track to sound Irish you put some pipes in it.

Offline David M.

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #15 on: Aug 05, 2005, 07:21:09 PM »
In a post above it's mentioned:  8 strings for ryhthm and 4 strings for solo.

I wonder if that's what alot of folks think about the mando?  That it's a strum-strum kind of instrument?

NOTHING could be further from the truth.  Mando pickers really PICK all kinds of tunes, lead breaks, solos, etc.  And percussive "chop" on the off beat.  The mandolin is an incredible instrument and not just for strumming.  That'd bore the "you-know-what" outta me.  Hot pickin's what it's about.  Or, mellow tremolo on double stops.  or, open-chord backup or barking chop chords.  It's all there.

Ok.  I'm good now...

Offline pfiddlepat

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #16 on: Aug 06, 2005, 03:27:16 PM »
yea, i did write that, because many people think of the mandolin with double strings as just a rythym instrument, much like a 12 string guitar that is (not primarily, but) mostly for rythym.  i personally only pick single notes or double stops, cause i havnt taken the time to learn any chords or anything.

Offline Pete Hartley

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #17 on: Aug 06, 2005, 10:17:44 PM »
In a post above it's mentioned:  8 strings for rhythm and 4 strings for solo.

I wonder if that's what alot of folks think about the mando?  That it's a strum-strum kind of instrument?

NOTHING could be further from the truth.  Mando pickers really PICK all kinds of tunes, lead breaks, solos, etc.  And percussive "chop" on the off beat.  The mandolin is an incredible instrument and not just for strumming.  That'd bore the "you-know-what" outta me.  Hot pickin's what it's about.  Or, mellow tremolo on double stops.  or, open-chord backup or barking chop chords.  It's all there.

Ok.  I'm good now...
I agree that great players play great music on a traditional mandolin, I am a real David grisman fan, but you can't make a trad  mandolin sound like BB king, Hendrix, Santana etc were as you can go some way with a 4 or 5 string solid body.
Pete

Offline mrmando

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Re: electric mandolin
« Reply #18 on: Aug 23, 2005, 08:32:14 PM »
Hi gang, please visit http://emando.com if you want to learn more about electric mandolins.

The Ukrainian domra, an established instrument with a long history, is essentially an acoustic single-course mandolin so the idea of a 4-string mandolin has been around a long time. The first 4-string electric mandolin was made in Brazil in 1942, based on the cavaquinho, a ukulele-type instrument. It might be nice to reserve the term "mandolin" for instruments with paired strings, but I don't think we're going to get everyone in this country to start saying "electric domra" or "electric cavaquinho" or even "guitarra baiana," which is what they're called in Brazil.

And, with advanced plectrum and finger techniques, you CAN make an acoustic mandolin sound like BB King or Hendrix, just as you can make an acoustic fiddle "feed back" when you overdrive the top with certain bowing techniques. It's just a lot easier on an electric, that's all.

John Knutson has made an 8/5 doubleneck like the one pfiddlepat suggests. So have a couple of other builders ... Polaris Instruments and Joel Eckhaus, if memory serves.

Fiddlin Pete, is there any way I can get photos of the O'Neil and Barry instruments from you so I can add them to emando.com? (There's a bit of blanket covering the Barry instrument in the photo you posted.)

 




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