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The Oppressor

Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 7792
Location: glasgow

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: mandolins... Reply with quote

Evil evil things... my mother in-law wants to learn to play the mandolin, so as she's done us some seriously good turns over the last few years I thought I'd keep my eBay eye out for a nice old one. Got one last week needed a bit of work but seeing as that's my new hobby no problem, so got it all sorted and looking ship shape - got round to stringing it up and tuning it - WHO THE FUCK THOUGH TUNING IT LIKE AN UPSIDE-DOWN GUITAR WAS A GOOD IDEA - been seriously fucking with my brain. However the maw in-law loves it so jobs a good-un.
"Stop fucking about and get an SD-1"
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Mo Law-ka
strictly roots

Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 3105
Location: a series of tubes

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had the same problem (not the mother-in-law, mind you), but it does get easier. The hardest bit for me is making sure my large fingers aren't hamfisting more than one fret at a time.
Biggest tip is to learn the 'proper' chord shapes and not think to hard about it.

I think erstwhile member deaddonkey is the go-to guy for this; he plays mando in a well-known band in Eire.
[quote="jcyphe"] Mo is the most sensible person in this thread.[/quote]
[quote="icey"]and thats for the hatters (╯□)╯︵ ┻━┻[/quote]
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The 25.5" subversion

Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 6731
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Mummy likes it, then I reckon your job is pretty much done!

Early on, I always recommend the one-two punch of learning chords independent of anything to do with the guitar, coupled with "open" scales (don't finger past the 6th fret). Pretty soon fingers find their places just fine, and even for amateurs who know just a little about music, note in the scales can begin to fill in the gaps between chord positions and create some really tasteful passing tones.

Net year will mark my 30th year of first learning mandolin from the now-legendary Evan Marshall (search him on youtube to hear the master at work/play), and admittedly I'm still in that same beginner stage and will likely not leave it.


You guys have seen this one of me before, all 82kg of me doing very basic stuff on two songs in the keys of G and C. Easy backing kinda stuff with just a few notes here and there to connect the dots...I'll bet any of us here could do this and so much better with little work.

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Sweetheart of the Rodeo

Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 1123
Location: Dublin - Northsoide

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mandolins are tuned in fifths, so going across the strings, your octave is always at the 5th fret of the next string. Your major 3rd note is always down 1 string and down 2 frets. It's all repeating patterns.

The other important thing is to remember to use 1 finger per 2 frets in first position. And don't anchor your pinky on the top of the mandolin

pointing finger- frets 1 and 2
middle finger frets 3/4
ring finger - frets 5/6
pinky 7/8

Here's a recent recording. Enjoy!
everything is not going to be alright
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