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In recent days I have been thinking about maybe learning how to play the mandolin. I wanted to hear from you all who know how to play, and those who maybe have tried and maybe found it wasn't something they wanted to pursue. In other words, I would like all kinds of opinions. Did you find it a lot harder than playing the guitar?  Did you find it helpful in becoming a better guitar player?  Or was it perhaps distracting? Or not beneficial to your quest in becoming a better guitar player?

I play the drums, guitar, and bass. But I have tried some other instruments that I just did not enjoy playing; and I thought I would. The banjo is one. I bought one. Got books, watched videos, and then, after some time, realized I didn't really like playing the banjo. It just wasn't my thing. Sold the banjo. 

If I did choose to learn, I would probably start out on a cheap model first. I didn't do that with the banjo.

And I would also probably wait later to learn; maybe this Summer, because I have too much going on right now in my life. 

I have to make the decision myself, of course; but what do you guys think? To learn? Or not to learn? That is the question?

Thanks...

 

 

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on my 60th Bday (bout 4 years ago) my fam bought me a mandolin. An F style washburn with a pickup.

not an easy instrument to learn.   Narrow necks and close frets...  it's a challenge and very different from what you are used to.

but it's worth it.. they are very cool..   I say DO IT!

 

 

Edited by kidblast
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4 minutes ago, kidblast said:

on my 60th Bday (bout 4 years ago) my fam bought me a mandolin. An F style washburn with a pickup.

not an easy instrument to learn.   Narrow necks and close frets...  it's a challenge and very different from what you are used to.

but it's worth it.. they are very cool..   I say DO IT!

 

 

Thanks for your response Kid. 
I just recently turned 59.  So I’d be almost the same age as you when you got yours. 
That might be a good sign.  😄

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You only need it for Maggie May.  Little chorus, get the reverb right, jangly up high on yer Tele neck.   It's always worked for me.  lolz

Good luck Brad1, I've always wanted to do that.

rct

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Saw Marty Stuart play many years ago and thought it would be cool to play one (and it is), but I ain’t Marty Stuart.....Frets too small and neck too narrow for me to play comfortably.  I suspect if I’d stuck with it I’d eventually play it as inadequately as I do guitar.  It’s certainly worth your time to give it a shot.  They are pretty cool.   If you don’t try, you’ll won’t know if the mandolin fits you well.  .......Anyway, a uke is fairly easy with its nylon strings.  

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9 hours ago, rct said:

You only need it for Maggie May.  Little chorus, get the reverb right, jangly up high on yer Tele neck.   It's always worked for me.  lolz

Good luck Brad1, I've always wanted to do that.

rct

you forgot Loosin My Religion dood...

 

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1 hour ago, kidblast said:

you forgot Loosin My Religion dood...

 

Didn't forget it, just don't want to hear it, or any REM for that matter.

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3 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Didn't forget it, just don't want to hear it, or any REM for that matter.

Pretty much.  I've only ever done One I Love.  Not a fan.

rct

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3 minutes ago, rct said:

Pretty much.  I've only ever done One I Love.  Not a fan.

rct

F-in whinny college rock all the hip kids who thought they were cool listened to 'em. Does anyone actually know what words are coming out of Michael Stipe's mouth?

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5 minutes ago, rct said:

Pretty much.  I've only ever done One I Love.  Not a fan.

rct

10 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Didn't forget it, just don't want to hear it, or any REM for that matter.

 

not my cup of tea either, but It was a good for learning a few chords and stuff on the mando  

 

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REMs EP, and first LP are great albums. I also like their next 4 albums. Document is the last album of their's that I like and that was made back in 1987. Haven't liked anything that has come out afterward. 

I went to College at the Univeristy of Georgia, in Athens Ga where REM was from. I saw them a few times before they had a record deal.  I bet if you had been there you would have liked it. 

But of course... they changed....

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8 minutes ago, brad1 said:

REMs EP, and first LP are great albums. I also like their next 4 albums. Document is the last album of their's that I like and that was made back in 1987. Haven't liked anything that has come out afterward. 

I went to College at the Univeristy of Georgia, in Athens Ga where REM was from. I saw them a few times before they had a record deal.  I bet if you had been there you would have liked it. 

But of course... they changed....

I like Zappa many don't. REM  makes me laugh and are deservedly in Rock Hall of Fame with all the Rappers and if I was band inducted I would asked to be removed.  I guess I missed the bus on them. I would rather listen to Drivin N Cryin.

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Go for the mandolin. We might not know many mandolinists but they are out there. Here is David Grisman:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=David+Grisman&atb=v211-1&iax=videos&ia=videos&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D9WZF1MENtzY

and Ry Cooder:

I inherited a 12 string version (its called something else I think), which was unplayable. 

However I have a concert Uke and a couple of violins (used to have a 5 string banjo). Anything fretted can be easily learned. You have a guitar, so you are 3/4s there already. 

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11 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I like Zappa many don't. REM  makes me laugh and are deservedly in Rock Hall of Fame with all the Rappers and if I was band inducted I would asked to be removed.  I guess I missed the bus on them. I would rather listen to Drivin N Cryin.

Doc,  you LIKE  Zappa?   I'll have to edit my post over on the acoustic forum now. 

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Brad,   I'm a closet 5 string banjo player.   I assume that's the kind you had.  They make 'banjuitars'   which are banjo bodies with 6 strings tuned like a guitar. Obviously, you're not learning anything 'new' with those.    You might want to consider what about the banjo didn't work for you.  They are easier to fret, but call for fingerpicking or 'frailing'.   two very different right handed techniques than what you'd do on a guitar - so that has a learning curve.  Big difference, to me, is the different KINDS of music you can play.  Banjo doesn't just 'sound different', it  is more limited than the guitar.   I would guess you'll find the mando is also 'different' and the learning curve similar to the 5 string banjo.  It's tuned like a violin (fiddle), except, as you know - it has 4 sets of paired strings.    Standard joke - people with mandolins spend half their time tuning them and half their time playing out of tune.   G'Luck.

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What's the difference between a frog driving a car and a mandolin player driving a car?

Much better chance the frog is heading to a gig!

Seriously though I just never cared that much for the sound they make so never thought about trying to learn to play one.  If you really like the way they sound and making that sound would make you happy then I'd say go for it.  Always good to expand your horizons.  But as you said probably best to start with a fairly inexpensive instrument in case you decide it's not for you.

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I went through this phase a few years ago. Bought a couple inexpensive mandolins and got bit by the bug.  Learned a couple favorites like Maggie Mae and Cash On The Barrel Head. Then bought some books and expanded my playlist. Then I added a nicer mandolin. If you're interested, I think I still have the inexpensive ones and would part with them for a modest St. Jude's donation. I would have to check them out first. Here's my favorite book. Here, There, Everywhere sounds like it was made for the mandolin.

41eMeFM8OUL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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12 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

Brad,   I'm a closet 5 string banjo player.   I assume that's the kind you had.  They make 'banjuitars'   which are banjo bodies with 6 strings tuned like a guitar. Obviously, you're not learning anything 'new' with those.    You might want to consider what about the banjo didn't work for you.  They are easier to fret, but call for fingerpicking or 'frailing'.   two very different right handed techniques than what you'd do on a guitar - so that has a learning curve.  Big difference, to me, is the different KINDS of music you can play.  Banjo doesn't just 'sound different', it  is more limited than the guitar.   I would guess you'll find the mando is also 'different' and the learning curve similar to the 5 string banjo.  It's tuned like a violin (fiddle), except, as you know - it has 4 sets of paired strings.    Standard joke - people with mandolins spend half their time tuning them and half their time playing out of tune.   G'Luck.

Yeah it was a 5 stringer. I wanted to do a lot of picking.  I didn't want to just strum. . So I bought some of those metal finger picks. And I just didn't like having them on my fingers.

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