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Thread: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    On an absolute "whim" I have bought a 5 string electric acoustic mandolin with fan frets. It seems pretty enough but now that it is coming I really don't know what to do with it. I like mandolas and I like mandolins. I assume this one is tuned CGDAE. I have odrdered some 5 string "normal" sets from E Mando. Now to wait saand see wht it feels like. Any thoughts on a Chase 5 string ffan fretted mandolin?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    I own a five-course mandolin by the late great Walt Kuhlman of (Gypsy Magic). I normally play jazz and chord melody, with some funk, on mandola (mainly), occasionally on mandolin if something really fits better on it.

    I use the five-course mostly when pieces straddle both ranges, but also if I'm traveling, and also when working out material which fits the full range right out of the gate (like the tutor and pieces for liuto cantabile).

    Assuming you already play either mandolin or mandola, but not the other, now is the time to start exploring the other side. For example, if you don't yet play CGDA tuning, watch some videos by John Lawlor, or Tony Lombardo's excellent set of videos for Freddie Green comping on tenor guitar (and other CGDA-tuned instruments).

    Whatever path you choose, good luck!

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Last edited by mandroid; Nov-28-2020 at 1:16pm.
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    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Yes, mandroid, that is the one. You know anything bout it?

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    nope , never heard of the builder .. was it them selling thru Reverb or someone else (3rd hand) ?

    Pin bridge means ball end strings .. measure what is on there and shop for that diameter for replacements..

    Splitting Hairs: it's not a magnetic coil pickup, more the typical topic in this section..


    it's said to be an acoustic with a Piezo soundboard pickup,

    many players buy a Piezo.. Very High impedance for a 'hand shake' match

    Piezo Preamp to cope with the electrical output, characteristics in megaohms..

    that pickup discussion added on acoustics is ongoing in the other sections.. 'Equipment' , mostly..

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/forums/46-Equipment
    Last edited by mandroid; Nov-28-2020 at 1:40pm.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by J.C. Bryant View Post
    On an absolute "whim" I have bought a 5 string electric acoustic mandolin with fan frets. It seems pretty enough but now that it is coming I really don't know what to do with it.
    Two things going on here, and I'll comment on both.

    As regards electric mandolins I have a couple of emandos. A four and a five string. And I ask that question all the time. All my thoughts. I suspect, however this isn't your question.

    As regards five course fan frets, last year I purchased a Girourd 10 string fan fret. This beauty is my most of the time mandolin these days. I suspect, however, this isn't your question either.

    But... that's all I got.
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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    A five-course instrument gets you to useful accompanying and solo roles. There is enough range to offer chords that don't pull focus from a melody, whether singer or instrument. And the range also makes melody plus bass line feasible.

    I would look to learn some jazz chords and melodies. Also look to the Brazilian players for ten-string choro. Plenty of resources here for learning jazz, beginning with Pete Martin and Don Stiernberg.

    A ten-string covers both the Bach violin and cello solo pieces. I found it plenty in a duo of upright bass and amplified acoustic 10-string, doing Americana. I played a bunch of contra dances using it, English Country Dance, and an opera.

    My Souncloud page has a bunch of material, much of it unaccompanied, and some of it released commercially. I use either a Buchanan flat top or Almuse 10-string electric. Like JeffD, I only play 10-string. Unlike him, I own only 10-strings (5).

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    Last edited by Tom Wright; Nov-28-2020 at 7:13pm.
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    The Bach Cello Suite 6 is the only set of pieces written for a CGDAE instrument (piccolo cello, in this case) that I'm aware of (I'd love to hear of more, if anyone knows of any).

    Here's an mp3 (the little black triangle at the bottom) of the last page or so of the Prelude (made for Martin Stillion, who requested a soundbite of a Rigel R-200 that he sold for me) I'll get the pdf up later today (for free, for Christmas )

  11. #10
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    The Bach Cello Suite 6 is the only set of pieces written for a CGDAE instrument (piccolo cello, in this case) that I'm aware of (I'd love to hear of more, if anyone knows of any).
    Hamilton de Holanda published his 24 Caprichos, which are written for and performed by him on 10-string mandolin. To my knowledge these are the only pieces expressly for 10-string. You can download both the audio and a pdf of the music for each.

    http://hamiltondeholanda.com/caprichos/#musicas

    Here's one of them:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #11
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Thank you all so much! I have a lot to learn and look forward to the adventure. I have read and reread every post and gone to every reference. Thank you so much and I keep reading and searching. I am due to get the instrument on Monday. I will say more when I know more. Blessing, J.C. Bryant

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    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    i am beginning to think that I should branch out into 5 string territory - but not to play Bach - more to play my own things. Options seem to be quite readily available, but I'm probably more excited by the Eastwood 5 string tenor, predictably (for me anyway) - though one day i'd love to commission a top end acoustic 5 string. Love the idea of the deeeeeeeep notes
    Nice one JC, looks a cool instrument!!
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Physics :

    the lower pitch C is better on a longer scale, the high E a shorter one , so fan fret is a good compromise ..

    maybe more benefit in an acoustic than a solid body electric ..
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    I used a few sources to get off the ground on fifths-tuned 5-course.

    I generated a chord book for myself, although now there is a fifth-tuned five-course cittern chord book commercially available.

    I started working through the excellent Rafael Calace course for liuto cantabile, listed only as liuto on this page of methods and music by Calace from the Italian Mandolin Federation.

    http://www.federmandolino.it/wp/spartiti-music-scores/

    I have barely scratched the surface of the Calace material, but feel lucky to actually have a teaching method available from some who actually mastered five-course. I periodically pull it out and work from the beginning, to a spot a bit beyond my last attempt....

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  18. #15

    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Thanks for that, Explorer, I took a quick look at the Calace, I think I've figured out that the treble clef is transposed up an octave (for the luito, but perfect for my instrument) while the bass clef is not transposed? (Easy enough to work with, but one wonders why this choice of notation.) Those close-position chords in the Cadenze have me stymied, though any suggestions?

  19. #16

    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    Those close-position chords in the Cadenze have me stymied, though — any suggestions?
    I'm going to admit... I cheat.

    A while ago, I invested the time in making a hand-written chart of the fingerboard, with actual double staves. Being that I wanted something consistent and reasonably readable, I did it big with note name ("C3" for example), and then a double-stave stamp (from Etsy I think) with the note position marked. That makes it easier to look for convenient places to use a barre up the neck.

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    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    I have been working on Tarrega's "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" for years. It has helped my picking a lot, developing a smooth duo style. Ruggiero Ricci arranged it for violin, putting it C. Evan Marshall does it for regular mandolin, in D. I play it in the original key of A, albeit one octave higher. I suppose it could be tackled on liuto cantabile, but the reaches look unreasonable. On my 14.25"-scale 10-string I can more easily emulate the guitar's harp-like ringing sustain. I would be interested to hear if it is feasible on those fan-fret instruments.

    Here's my arrangement, with fingerings and strings indicated. Numeral indicates finger, Roman numeral indicates course, numbering from the E as I, and C as V, so 3 (III) is 3rd finger on the D course. I don't have the higher-level version of Finale so I leave out the sustaining notes. Just try to hold the bass notes where possible, to let them ring. Also, to the extent possible, the higher note should ring on.

    I use flat pick throughout.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Tom Wright; Nov-30-2020 at 4:53pm.
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    This instrument was built by Jack Chase of Wichita, Kansas.

    http://emando.com/builders_inactive/Chase.htm
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    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    YAY!!! YEAH! "mrmando" has done what I could not do. He has found the very mandlin I was trying to find out about. I can not thank you enough and appreciate it very much. Now that I know it is a 5 string acoustic (the one I have is the one on the right in the picture above) built by Jack Chase, I would ask this: " Would the 5stdring sets from EMando be okay to use with the fan frets"? Blessings, to all.

  23. #20
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    So, now that itis established that I have a 5 string acoustic electric. What strings? I have ordered the normal (11-50) guage from Emando, but should I use lights (10-48), or do I need to do a custom because of the fan fret? What do you think?

  24. #21
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    The Emando Normal string set gauges are chosen with a standard 13.875" scale length in mind. What are the scale lengths for each string on the Chase mandolin?
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    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Well I finally have it in my hand. I've never owned anything quite like it. It seems very well made. To me, it seems to have a golden setained maple or a Koa back and sides with what looks like a cedar top. The top was, at first glace thought to be a two ply, but, after closer examination demonstrated that the upper left quadrant of the top (around the sound hole, was indeed two ply for reinforcemente, I presume. the Lower bout is 10 3/4", the body length is 13 5/8". The high first string. E, has a scale length of 14 17/32", the A is 14 27/32", D 14 29/32, the G is 15 8 /32" and the C is 15 16/32". tdhe nut and saddle have both been "compensated". I find that acoustically it has what I would call a very loud sound (wife agrees),actually a loud but sweete sound, not harsh and the sustain is very good to great. The strings on it, I might add, are older and rusty. I have not plugged it in but will try that next. So far I REALLY like it! But it is significantly different than anything I've ever owned. Oh, yes, it also has a custom fitted Tonegard and a fantastic rectangle hard case in excellent condition. I am in the process of trying to contact Jack Chase to find out more about it, etc.

  26. #23
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    gotta say it sounds like, with some new strings & a bit of time, that you've done exceedingly well there JC!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

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  27. #24
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    Thank you all for your input! I have gone to youir sites and listened with awe and grown in my apprediation of this wonderful site. Thank you Rob, I am proud of the new instrument. I don't know whether I will be able to do it justice but I will try and enjoy the process of learning something new. I believe, anyway, it is all about the journey! thanks all

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  29. #25
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chase 5 string Fan Fretted Mandolin

    in my short time with a five course instrument; being a predominantly chord playing type myself. having not to go up the neck or rely on different inversions - blooming useful.
    I'm a better player now - although I write all my stuff... I'd definitely love a go on a 5 course mando. Though me being me, I'd probably tune CGDAD
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, 59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: 57 Gibson ETG-150, 80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
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    My band's website

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