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Author Topic: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)  (Read 10586 times)

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Offline madmat

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #25 on: Aug 03, 2007, 06:49:57 PM »
Do other people who play both have any problems with the callous thing, is there smooth wound strings?
On guitar and bass, you can get flatwound strings, which are much "deader" sounding than roundwound, they're popular with the electric country folks... there are bass strings that are "ground round wound" (say that ten times really fast) so that you get the punchy sound of roundwound strings, but smooth so you can do your slidey-fretless stuff. I've never seen flatwound mando strings, and you probably wouldn't want them for the deader sound.

The callouses from mando are really not that bad... I imagine if they are, the action isn't set properly on your instrument. I'm using .012 high E's on my mandos, which would be really heavy strings on a guitar, and have no problems fretting them easily.
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline patheslip

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #26 on: Aug 03, 2007, 07:00:24 PM »
You've inspired me to get down my dusty old machine and have a go.  Something It've just realised; to make up chords for the mandolin, just take the fingering pattern for the lower four guitar strings, invert it, and you have a mandolin chord of a sort.  Saves thinking, though it's probably easier to look up proper mandolin chords.  Enjoy.

Offline saintjohnbarleycorn

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #27 on: Aug 04, 2007, 09:32:31 PM »
thanks

Offline lastchair

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #28 on: Aug 19, 2007, 08:11:46 AM »
Regarding flat-wound mandolin strings, I just discovered there are Thomastik mandolin strings, kind of pricey, but smooth as a violin string.  I haven't changed mine yet because I haven't got callouses yet.  I think Steve set mine up nice and low action so I'm having it easy.

Offline Celtic Lass

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #29 on: Sep 11, 2007, 03:11:32 AM »
I too am a fiddler interested in trying the mando, and I have a question. When playing a melody on a mando, how does it compare to the fingering of the fiddle. I know the tuning of a mando is the same as a fiddle and was wondering how different it is.

Offline madmat

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #30 on: Sep 11, 2007, 03:23:08 AM »
I too am a fiddler interested in trying the mando, and I have a question. When playing a melody on a mando, how does it compare to the fingering of the fiddle.
It is EXACTLY the same. If you can play it in fiddle, if you learn how to pick you will be able to play it on the mandolin as well.

I find that since the frets are there you do not have to worry so much about intonation, and with bowing removed (I have flatpicked guitar for a long time) if you stick to strict alternating picking, you can learn tunes a lot faster on the mandolin. Sight reading, the tune will stick in my head faster. That way, when I take the tune to the fiddle I have a good idea of how it will sound, and worry only about the right hand.
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline madmat

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #31 on: Sep 11, 2007, 03:29:32 AM »
Something It've just realised; to make up chords for the mandolin, just take the fingering pattern for the lower four guitar strings, invert it, and you have a mandolin chord of a sort.  Saves thinking, though it's probably easier to look up proper mandolin chords.
That works because the circle of fifths is the circle of fourths in reverse. It only works for chords on the lowest four strings of the guitar, because they threw that major 3rd (G to B) in there just to mess up stuff like this! ;)

Fred Sokolow's/Bob Applebaum's "Fretboard Roadmaps for Mandolin" has some really interesting "applying theory to mandolin" parts that I've never seen presented so clearly anywhere else; it also applies to fiddle fingering, but without the frets... :)
http://members.aol.com/sokolowmus/general.htm

The Ossian Mandolin Chord book is the best of the "chord grids" books, and inexpensive.
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline saintjohnbarleycorn

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #32 on: Sep 11, 2007, 12:56:21 PM »
You will notice that the frets may be  farther apart then the violin, the mandolin has a longer string length. 

Offline ApK

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #33 on: Sep 11, 2007, 02:05:12 PM »
You will notice that the frets may be  farther apart then the violin

Yeah, they are kind iof INFINITELY farther apart, since the violin has no frets at all. ;-)

But yeah:

It is EXACTLY the same.

Since space between the fingers will likely be different, I'm not sure if EXCATLY is the right word.  But certainly immediately and easily transferable at any rate.

Offline saintjohnbarleycorn

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #34 on: Sep 12, 2007, 03:40:57 AM »
sorry I wasn't being critical. just noticed the difference and measured it. Its about 1" longer on the mandolin. It is a good stretching exercise on the violin for me.

Offline lastchair

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #35 on: Sep 12, 2007, 04:14:47 AM »
Yes, I also learned that the "scale-length" is one inch longer than the violin the hard way.  I ordered a mandolin and was surprised when it showed up what a stretch it was.

No worries, Mike Dulak of Big Muddy Mandolin will make a violin scale length (13") for you.  Of course I already purchased his only "demo" unit.  So all others will have to wait.

My fingers are pretty short, so it's a reach across the fingerboard for my pinkie (4.7 cm).  My index finger is (6 cm), middle finger (6.8 cm) and the distance across my palm is 7.5 cm.

Offline saintjohnbarleycorn

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #36 on: Sep 12, 2007, 11:45:52 AM »
that is interesting, I wonder how that all works? If you shorten the string length do you have to use different strings or is it all relative, as long as you shorten it relatively ? I also wondered about a fretless mandolin with the same string length of a violin.

Offline Jack002

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #37 on: Sep 12, 2007, 04:18:14 PM »
that is interesting, I wonder how that all works? If you shorten the string length do you have to use different strings or is it all relative, as long as you shorten it relatively ? I also wondered about a fretless mandolin with the same string length of a violin.
Anything with frets on it is locked into a fixed string length.

Do they make a fretless mando? I never saw one?

Offline jenford

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #38 on: Nov 08, 2007, 01:22:26 PM »
wow - A Big Muddy (Formerly Mid-Missouri)- with a violin scale! 
How are you liking it?

Best,
Jen Ford

Offline Johanna

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #39 on: Nov 12, 2007, 09:38:50 AM »
hi all, I am so happy to read this thread because I have been playing fiddle for a year and am in love with it but recently I have also been covetting a mandolin. Yesterday I impulsively bid on a cheapie one on ebay and I am VERY excited!! Does anyone know of any good beginners books for Irish music?

Offline madmat

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #40 on: Nov 12, 2007, 05:55:36 PM »
Does anyone know of any good beginners books for Irish music?
Philip John Berthoud's "Irish Mandolin Playing" and once you're through that, Dan Gelo's "Fiddle Tunes and Irish Music for Mandolin". The nice thing is these also work as fiddle tunebooks, and you can play along with either mando or fiddle with the included CD's.

I really like Steve Kaufman's "Four Hour Celtic Workout", though there is not a lot of mando-specific instruction in it (but there is standard notation, mando tab AND guitar tab!)... the nice thing about this one is that it's got 4 CD's with it, with each tune played fast and slow, so you can listen to things over and over to get them to stick to your brain. Again, you can play fiddle or mando along with the CD's!
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline jenford

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #41 on: Nov 14, 2007, 11:46:42 PM »
would that be 4 hours of hefting pints? 

I think I'd like that workout :-)

Best,
Jen Ford

Offline Johanna

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #42 on: Nov 15, 2007, 01:35:40 PM »
me too!! thanks for the suggestions.

Offline madmat

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #43 on: Nov 15, 2007, 04:50:24 PM »
would that be 4 hours of hefting pints? 

I think I'd like that workout :-)
When you're done with your course of Vicodin... ;) We have a semi-proper Irish place called Muldoon's out here; four hours of hoisting tankards of Fat Tire would indeed be their program. ;D
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline fidla

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Re: Fiddler thinking of mandolin (maybe)
« Reply #44 on: Nov 18, 2007, 05:59:33 PM »
I recently acquired one of Bruce Wei's gorgeously inlaid f5 mandolins.  The instrument itself is nothing to write home about, but the inlay is spectacular.  I have never had such a lavish instrument in my life. 

 




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