Newbie from Texas say Howdy

  1. Wizard1962
    Howdy Everyone, Just joined and wanted to introduce myself. Been playing guitar for about 35 years, classic country mixed with alittle Bluegrass. Been wanting to try my hand at Mandolin, so here I am. Figured I would educate myself by reading all the great wisdom being shared here before I run out and buy one and get started. Really looking forward to picking your brains soon on good starter mandolins and lessons.
    Have a great evening
  2. HonketyHank
    Howdy back at you Bill. Welcome to the bunch.

    Re starter mandolins: Kentucky (models 150 and higher) and Eastman usually get the most mentions, but many of us started on something cheaper. A good setup is the key, even (especially) on a cheapo. I highly recommend that any mandolin player should know what makes a good setup -- so search in the main forum for "Meldrum" and you'll find many folks praising Rob Meldrum's free ebook on how to do a good setup with a few cheap tools. You'll also find out how to get it emailed to you. Read it, even if you don't plan to be doing setups yourself. Good stuff.

    A models are cheaper than F models and flattops may be a bit cheaper still. A models are usually the best bang for your buck unless you know and like the flattop sound. F hole is allegedly more bluegrassy, oval hole a bit more mellow, but I think the distinction is not very pronounced in the starter model category.

    Cheap mandolins are usually not solid wood or maybe are but not carved top and back. Ideally you want solid, carved wood.

    Re lessons: I am sure you know that in-person, one-on-one, with a good instructor who is also a good mandolin player is the best. But expensive even if you can find them. Many of us here started with free instructional videos from Baron Collins-Hill at . Brad Laird checks in here from time to time and he has some good videos for free as well as some for a reasonable fee. Same with Banjo Ben Clark. I haven't done any video lessons with real live instruction, but I think a few of us have. Hopefully they will chime in.

    Oh, yeah, I guess I should warn you. In general, a good mandolin costs more than an equivalent quality guitar.
  3. bbcee
    Howdy Bill, you're in for some fun!

    I'll just quickly second Hank's good advice & point out, as a transitioned guitar player, that a lot of your guitar techniques will translate over, but don't think of it as a small guitar with more strings, it has significant differences too. As well, you'll find instrument prices to be more along the lines of cheap violins!!

    Along with Baron lessons, I started with the "Mandolin for Dummies" book, and worked my way through quite a lot of it (which is against my nature!!). It introduced me to a lot of what's what in the mandolin world.

    Ask any questions, we're a nice bunch and love helping each other along their journeys!
  4. Wizard1962
    Good Morning ! Thank you very much HonketyHank and bbcee for the post and great information. I am spending alot of time reading post and soaking up all of the great wisdom on the forum. Looks like a great place with some good people. So I think I will pull a chair and stay awhile.

    Have a great day
  5. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Welcome, Bill.

    You will find everyone here is only too happy to help you spend your hard-earned cash or ill-gotten gains on mandolins. When you're ready to get serious about looking, you will get all the input you can manage. Tons of options for instruments, lessons, accessories, books.
  6. bbcee
    You will find everyone here is only too happy to help you spend your hard-earned cash or ill-gotten gains on mandolins.

    Dangit Louise, you gave away the secret!
  7. Ellsdemon
    Welcome Bill. Great group and lot's of advice here. Make sure you do the tune of the month, it gets you motivated and don't be afraid to post a video/clip of the song on the forum. You'll get lots of feedback and you can also break down some nerves of playing in front of "live" people. But if you've been playing guitar for sometime maybe that's not an issue.
    Don't hesitate to post questions on here as well, if you've got the question, I'll bet there's 10 others wanting to ask it.
    Welcome and play everyday.
  8. SOMorris
    Welcome Bill.

    Since you are already a musician, you know about practice :-). That is my weakness.

    When you start shopping, this site has several sponsors who sell nice instruments with a good setup.
  9. Erin M
    Erin M
    Howdy Bill!

    Welcome fellow mandolin newbie. You know, in the short time I've been playing mandolin (long-time bassist/cellist), I've fallen in love with the instrument. It just feels right at home. I'm sure you'll feel the same, and folks here on mandolincafe are incredibly helpful. So much to learn!

    Be like Ling Ling: Practice 40 hours a day!
  10. Ellsdemon
    My rule when I first started was at least 10 minutes a day, which has now turned into at least an hour a day.
  11. Wizard1962
    Thanks for the warm welcome and great advice everyone.
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