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Thread: Hello from a noob

  1. #1

    Default Hello from a noob

    I bought a $50 Rogue mandolin from MF a few years ago, because I love the sound of a mandolin and I wanted to try one. I quickly gave up on it after it shredded my fingers though. I gave it to my bro in law. He recently gave it back to me. I tuned it up and played it a bit, and again wound up with very sore fingers. Being a wannabe guitar player for a good long time, I've learned a few things about setups, and after these years without that mandolin, I quickly realized that the setup on it was really bad.

    I leveled the frets a bit, filed the nut slots down, lowered the bridge, and set the intonation, and suddenly this thing is surprisingly easy to fret, and for a cheapo laminate and my untrained ears, it sounds pretty decent. It's the first instrument other than a guitar that I could actually make some passable sounding noise on.

    I really love the nice orderly and logical perfect fifths tuning. Makes figuring out chords and scales quite easy, compared to a guitar.

    I believe I'm hooked.

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  3. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Howell, NJ

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Welcome to the Cafe. You can never own too many mandolins.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  5. #3
    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
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    Dec 2017
    Chesterfield, VA

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    The 'hooked' part is easy if you spend any time at all with a mandolin...Welcome to the mando world
    "All of us contain Music & Truth, but most of us can't get it out." - Mark Twain

    Eastman MD615SB
    Martin D35
    Gibson SG

  6. #4

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Well let us know when you want to upgrade, pretty sure you can start at $150 and the sky is the limit, although $2kish can get a low-end (no frills) pro quality instrument used, new is closer to $3kish.

    And there are many levels in between. :-)

    And enjoy it, sometimes the most fun mandos are the first ones, not the best, but the most fun.

    Consider taking lessons... To get the playing fundamentals right.
    Davey Stuart tenor guitar (based on his 18" mandola design).
    Eastman MD-604SB with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  7. #5

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Welcome, notamusician! This is a good place.

  8. #6
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Welcome! You'll get a lot of good advice here.
    Don't think about upgrading until you feel you're comfortable on the mandolin and know a couple of tunes pretty well.Until then you won't be equipped to make a good decision on a new instrument. When the time comes, don't get tied up in "it's more expensive so it's better and I'll like it more" land.The best instrument,of any kind,is the one you like the best regardless of price.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

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  10. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Jackson, CA

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Welcome to the hippest mandolin hangout on the web "notamusician". Hopefully within a few short years you will pick a genre to focus on and we will help you change your handle to "agoodmusician".

    These guys and girls on this board are some of the most informed and considerate people you could ever meet. Everyone here is interested in your progress and I'm sure if you give it a chance it will soon become your home on the web.

    That ol' Rogue is an amazing instrument for the price and A-styles have such a nice bass.
    We all wish you all the best on this exciting journey and if there is anything we can help clarify or expound upon please feel free (after searching existing threads for any related info) to post your questions, concerns, experiences, or anything else you wish to share, and these people will do the best they can to help you out.

    If you haven't already, look for the setup guide and sign-up for the traveling pick sampler. Blessings

  11. #8

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Be prepared for a life of callouses on your left hand finger tips. I practice at least 15 minutes every day to keep those calluses hard. Sometimes I have to play 2-hour sets and if I don't keep the finger tips tough, the set has to end before the two hours are up.

    Someone in a different thread suggested super glue on the finger tips, but I am not that desperate yet.
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

  12. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    SE Florida

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    This IS one of the friendliest user forum on the Net from my experience and I have learned so much so I bet you will as well. I have a Rogue as well, currently tuned ebf#c# using DR 12's.

  13. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gainesville, FL

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Glad to have you aboard, this is a great site. When MAS strikes, take two aspirin and call me in the morning. You'll have a lot of fun and frustration but it is all worth it once you pick out your first tune.

  14. #11
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Connecticut, USA

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Welcome to the mandolin and the café!
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

  15. #12
    Registered User treidm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Default Re: Hello from a noob


    And the journey begins, best of luck...

    2011 Black A5 (#9) Mandolin
    1952 Gibson A-40N Mandolin
    1924 Gibson TB-1 Trapdoor Tenor Banjo
    1975 Gibson MK-35 Hybrid Braced Dreadnought Guitar
    1993 Washburn M3 SW/TS F-Style Mandolin
    2004 Martin D-16 GT Dreadnought Guitar
    2006 Martin DC-16RGTE AURA Dreadnought Guitar
    1997 Seagull S6 Dreadnought Guitar
    1970's Kay KB-52 5-String Banjo
    1960's Pirles 4-String Tenor Banjo

  16. #13
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Portland, OR

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    You'll be needing a different handle, now...

  17. #14
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Kent, Washington

    Default Re: Hello from a noob


  18. #15
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Pottstown, Pennsylvania, United States
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Welcome and enjoy.

    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

    + Give Blood, Save a Life +

  19. #16
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Beaverton, OR, USA
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Hello from a noob

    Hi Nota. I think that being able to do a decent setup is a huge step. Welcome to the bunch.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog:

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