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Author Topic: Impulse Buy  (Read 6652 times)

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Offline concertA

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Impulse Buy
« on: Feb 27, 2010, 05:25:35 PM »
Just bought a cheap Chinese mandolin.  Don't really know why except there is a lot of folksy country music played around here in the bars and they usually have mandolin/fiddle players, so I've always wanted to mess around with one. 

I know the strings are tuned the same as a violin....and that exhausts my knowledge of mandolins.   ;D

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #1 on: Feb 27, 2010, 05:37:44 PM »
Quote
they usually have mandolin/fiddle players, so I've always wanted to mess around with one.

Hussy!

;D

..Joe

(And you a teacher! Honestly: what grammar!)
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline concertA

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #2 on: Feb 27, 2010, 06:35:35 PM »
LOL   Well, the one mandolin/fiddle player I know IS kinda cute.   ;)

Offline martyn

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #3 on: Feb 27, 2010, 08:05:05 PM »
Aww shucks :-[





 ;D

Offline Worldfiddler

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #4 on: Feb 27, 2010, 08:16:37 PM »
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Aww shucks

Yes, he is cute, I agree! :) :) ;)

Mr Jim xxx

Offline Worldfiddler

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #5 on: Feb 27, 2010, 08:22:32 PM »
Well, I'm thinking of getting a uke ... seriously ... but the small one is a bit high-pitched for me, and I'm guessing the tenor uke is pretty expensive. I've never liked melody mandolin much (cos I'm not really that good a melody-mandolin player). I do like the chordal / chop stuff tho .. so ideally I'd like to be able to do that on a tenor uke.  What you want to do, and what you can actually do, are two different things, given that life is so short :)

Happy days with the mandolin, Heidi-ho!

Jim
« Last Edit: Feb 28, 2010, 05:17:00 PM by Worldfiddler »

Offline concertA

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #6 on: Feb 28, 2010, 04:30:06 PM »
It should be here Wednesday!  Yay! 

I also ordered a book called Bluegrass Mandolin for the Complete Ignoramus.   ;D

Offline Worldfiddler

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #7 on: Feb 28, 2010, 05:16:17 PM »
Quote
I also ordered a book called Bluegrass Mandolin for the Complete Ignoramus.


Does it  come with a bow, or do you need to buy that yourself? :)

Jim

Offline concertA

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #8 on: Feb 28, 2010, 06:35:56 PM »
LOL  I did buy some picks yesterday.  A lot cheaper than bows.

Offline woodwiz

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #9 on: Feb 28, 2010, 06:59:23 PM »
Setup, or at least the action, is even more critical on a mando than on a fiddle.  They can be really hard on your fingers if they are not set up right. Intonation has to be adjusted, too.

I set mine up, and the local big-dog mandolinos like it, but it took me quite a while to learn.

I play mando because it helps me to think in chords.  I play behind a lot of singer, and am starting to play some jazz and swing at jams, and I'll use anything that will point my little head in the right direction.  Half the time, I'm playing tunes I never tried to play before.

Offline sreizes

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #10 on: Feb 28, 2010, 07:11:12 PM »
I did that a while ago myself - impulse purchase of a mando.  It sits in the corner a lot, mainly since my instrument time keeps getting put to violin.

Offline concertA

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #11 on: Mar 04, 2010, 04:55:30 PM »
Should be arriving today!

Offline concertA

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #12 on: Mar 05, 2010, 03:09:58 AM »
Well, it's almost the same as a fiddle...but sort of different. I'm struggling with frets.  I think I'd be happier if they were off the fingerboard.   Also struggling with two strings per and tuning.  I think I need to buy new strings.  I'm sure it came with the worst strings known to man. 

Here is my first recording after playing for a bit.   ;D  Can't quite get the open G's  in tune for some reason. 

Joy to the World 

Takes me back to my beginning violin days! 

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #13 on: Mar 05, 2010, 03:24:41 AM »
Is the neck about the same length? I'm wondering if your finger memory will work on it for note positions, and then maybe you can just ignore the frets...

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline concertA

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #14 on: Mar 05, 2010, 03:32:52 AM »
Is the neck about the same length? I'm wondering if your finger memory will work on it for note positions, and then maybe you can just ignore the frets...

..Joe

It is a fairly small thing...but I think the problem is the frets.  I have in my head that each fret should be a corresponding finger.  In my screwed-up-fiddle-trained brain I think third finger for third fret, but third finger is a G. .  However, each fret is actually a half-step, so F# is three frets up on D string.  So I'm having some confusion with what I read in the music and what I'm seeing on the fingerboard and what note I play. 

I'm sure it will work out. I've only had it for a few hours.  LOL  Maybe I can peel off the frets. It IS cheap Chinese after all. I'm sure they are just glued on.

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #15 on: Mar 05, 2010, 03:47:13 AM »
I don't know why I'm chiming in here, my flirtation with mandolin was very brief.  Frets were one problem for me (the other was the pick ;D ::)).

It took me a long time to figure out that you put your finger just behind the fret, not on it.  The fret stops the string, not really your finger.  You mando players can correct me if I'm wrong.  Anyway, I think you do need the frets.

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Offline concertA

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #16 on: Mar 05, 2010, 04:55:54 AM »
Ah...ok.  I'll try that. 

Fretted instruments.  Sheesh! 

Offline woodwiz

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #17 on: Mar 05, 2010, 05:27:02 AM »
The scale length is an inch longer, so even though the tuning is the same, playing the left hand isn't. Good news is, it'll stretch your hand out pretty well.

I'd start with Sevcik.  Can't think of a quicker way to find your fingers and find the strings with the pick.

Right hand doesn't have the same range of expression as a violin, but RH technique and pick selection are vital to good tone production.

You probably will have to adjust the position of the bridge to get good intonation. 12th fret harmonic and fretted note should be the same.

Finger right behind the fret is good. Too far back gives bad sound, and on top of the fret mutes the sound.

D'Addario J-74s are a good choice for strings. They cost around $10 per set (been a while since I bought any).

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #18 on: Mar 05, 2010, 04:30:25 PM »
Clayton picks. They sound so much better than all the others, and are worth every penny. I think they cost about two-thirds of a US dollar.

;)
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Offline sreizes

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #19 on: Mar 05, 2010, 05:08:52 PM »
My mando flirtation got me one with a widish neck - sits in the corner mostly, but I can pick it up and play tunes I know.  The frets weren't an issue for me so much as the stretch, I've always had small hands, and the picking of dual strings.

First thing I did with my was restring...

Offline Worldfiddler

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #20 on: Mar 05, 2010, 06:14:50 PM »
I think Michael has got it right - those strings, bridge check and Sevcik.

You know, I never had any tuning problems with my first mandolin. None at all. Mind you, it didn't have any strings on it ... :)

Jim

Offline madmat

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #21 on: Mar 05, 2010, 07:21:17 PM »
In my screwed-up-fiddle-trained brain I think third finger for third fret, but third finger is a G.
You've got the proper mind-set for playing guitar and electric bass. ;D

One fret up is a half-step, two frets is a whole step... think intervals and you'll be fine. The same fingers play the same notes on the violin, despite the longer scale length. Since I started out as a guitarist, the right hand thinking comes pretty naturally, as does alternating picking and picking triplets.

I actually prefer to learn tunes on the mando, as it takes a lot of intonation and right hand problems with the violin out of the picture... you get used to the way a piece SHOULD sound by playing it on the mando.
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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #22 on: Mar 05, 2010, 07:24:50 PM »
Well, I'm thinking of getting a uke ... seriously ... but the small one is a bit high-pitched for me, and I'm guessing the tenor uke is pretty expensive. I've never liked melody mandolin much (cos I'm not really that good a melody-mandolin player). I do like the chordal / chop stuff tho .. so ideally I'd like to be able to do that on a tenor uke.
What you really want is a baritone, that's tuned like the top four strings of a guitar.

All the rest (soprano, concert, tenor) are tuned the same, a fourth higher than a guitar with the top string an octave higher than it would seem to need to be if you're coming from a guitar (that is, it has a reentrant tuning, which throws the fingering off for melodic playing). All of your guitar chords will work on the uke, they are just a fourth higher than they would be on guitar.
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Offline chuck1

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #23 on: Mar 05, 2010, 09:21:51 PM »
Interesting topic.  I did the same thing about a year ago.  I kept hearing on this forum that many played mandolin as well and some of them the mandolin was their main instrument.  So I thought that when I was frustrated because of my fiddle playing that the picking might be good. 

I purchased a Johnson mando for 50.00 I believe it was.  I had looked in music stores at what they were selling for many times the price.  The one thing that I noticed was that there was not much sustained tone after picking the string.  The Johnson has the sustained tone and I do like it.

The frets messed me up thinking finger position.  But after I figured out what was going on things came together ok.  Darn those strings are close together.  It does hurt my fingers my fiddle doesnt.  So the fiddle is more enjoyable to play.  I had real problems trying to get good tone out of the E strings on the first couple of frets.  Slides and hammers cant be done.  I tried adjusting it the best I could and that didnt help.  I was told I could have it refretted for 100.00 back then....I just put up with the way it is and it is still fun to play...I just pick out the melody....chuck

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Re: Impulse Buy
« Reply #24 on: Mar 06, 2010, 06:04:12 PM »
Here's a pic.



I'm working on my fret-thinking.  I've been playing chromatic scales and thinking one finger = two frets and really thinking about those half-steps.  Then I played some book 1 Suzuki stuff.  Worked ok.  I think I'll just work my way through my old violin books to get my head straight on this fret problem.   Are those little dots on the fingerboard supposed to help you in some way?  The third one up is the next open note but I'm not sure how useful that would be in remembering notes.  I guess it would help for shifting when I get around to that.  First finger in third position would be between the 2nd and 3rd dots. 

Hmmm...might have to break out the gold stars to mark some notes.   ;D

 




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