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Thread: Music Store Etiquette

  1. #26
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    I would like to be in a room full of mandolins and hear those angel voices from the other instruments!

  2. #27
    Frodo Lives! Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Sherry, how did you pick out the mandolin you currently own?
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  3. #28
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    Sherry, how did you pick out the mandolin you currently own?
    My husband surprised me with it. It replaced a Harmony I paid $50 for at a pawn shop years ago. Still have it. Not sure why.

  4. #29
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    good luck, keep us posted on the outcome, lots of excellent choices out there these days in every pricepoint
    d
    Daryl, several have asked me to post the results of my search. I think I'll start a journal of sorts. Anyone not interested certainly doesn't have to tune in! (Sort of like me and the builder posts. Lol)

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  6. #30
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by mclaugh View Post
    +1 for Louise. Stan Jay of Mandolin Brothers once told me that he hired a high school kid to come in every afternoon and tune all the instruments so the whole room would resonate when you tried something out. Good idea to go to a less live space.
    What a great idea - it redcuces the chance of a 2 year old E string going 'ping !' as you tune it up from Eb and the string sticks in the nut.

  7. #31
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    My current instrument is an Alvarez A-100. It has served me well for almost 6 years. What kind of music i play is harder to answer. My teacher is a professional violinist, and has me play a lot of studies, as well as pieces with shift and rhythm challenges. I've made a jam notebook with classic country and old time (I think) pieces and am working on 3 finger chords to be able to participate in a friendly jam setting. There's a possibility of a mandolin orchestra starting in my area, which i would love.
    Thanks for the info Sherry. Here’s my recommendation.....you’re looking to move from an Alvarez to a $2-3k mandolin. I wouldn’t worry about taking it with you. The instruments you’re looking at are going to be better. If you need to read music, maybe take in one sheet. I wouldn’t take a pile of music and a music stand. But that’s me.

    It also seems like you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to find “the one.” At your stage in the journey of mandolin playing I’d say find something nice and if you don’t like it after awhile, sell it and try again. Owning different mandolins for a period of time helps educate you on what you like. I saw somewhere you’re looking at Gibson ovals. Great mandolins, each with its own character. I’d also take a look at a Collings MT or MT-0. Modern playability, nice tone, and easy to resell later if needed. Good luck!

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  9. #32
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    It also seems like you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to find “the one.” At your stage in the journey of mandolin playing I’d say find something nice and if you don’t like it after awhile, sell it and try again. Owning different mandolins for a period of time helps educate you on what you like.
    Having followed this thread, I nearly the posted the same as Shaun once or twice. It's awfully hard to find "the one' -- I'm not sure that I have -- and extremely difficult to achieve with one's third mandolin (at least in my experience).
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  11. #33
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    One here closed over 6 years ago..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  12. #34
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Bring whatever you need to help you feel confident in the decision that you may make. I believe you are talking about a trip to Nashville and those stores and, indeed, any store that has a decent selection of quality instruments would be fine with whatever you do. The rest is common sense. Find a salesperson and tell then what you are looking for and they will probably steer you in the right direction. Some stores prefer that they take the instruments down from the hooks and some are less nervous about it. Ideally if they have it is very busy ask if there is a quiet room or even a corner away from electric instruments or even other loud noises. And play as many mandolins in or around you price range that you can. If you are going to actual stores especially in Nashville you will be in one of the best centers for buying mandolins so go to all the stores you can and write down ones that appeal to you then decide which you will buy and go back and do that.
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  14. #35
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Why do you say Nashville? How'd we get there? She's in Texas.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Why do you say Nashville? How'd we get there? She's in Texas.
    You're asking Jim, but I can tell you I mentioned a road trip to Nashville in one of my threads.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Aha. OK ... Alrighty then!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  17. #38
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Since Nashville was mentioned, I'll mention Austin - actually Lockhart. When they were in Austin under previous owners, Fiddler's Green had an excellent variety of mandolins - old and new, cheap and expensive - and they would encourage you to sit around and play them all as long as you wanted to. The current owner's website indicates that they are dealers for several brands, but I don't know if the inventory is updated. Maybe worth a call to see what they have. Having said that, I know it's more than a 4 hour drive on the interstate from Dallas to Austin - the same amount of time to drive from Atlanta to Mississippi or to Nashville - a long way just to try a few mandolins. However, the answers to all the questions you are asking regarding what to buy will likely change over time as you progress more and play more instruments, so it's a good idea to do that as much as possible now if you can.

    Regarding etiquette, the main thing I watched for while working in the music store was belt buckles, loose hanging jewelry and watches, shirt and sleeve buttons, jacket buttons and zippers, rivets on blue jeans, and somebody taking instruments off the wall without permission. Anything that will make a noise when it strikes the instrument can scratch it. That's instant lost money for the store. Take off your jacket, roll up your sleeves a little, keep the mandolin away from your shirt buttons, un-tuck your shirt enough to cover your belt buckle. Better yet, wear a sweat shirt and no bracelets. Ask before taking down a mandolin off the wall hanger. Some stores don't allow you to take them down. If allowed, use two hands and take them down and put them back VERY SLOWLY so that you don't hit the instruments next to them. If the clerk sees you do all this, he/she will be your friend.

    Most music stores have a music stand. Keep yours in the car to take in if they don't. Most will loan you a tuner and a pick. Take your favorite pick and tuner, and ask if it's OK to use your tuner.
    Tom

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  18. #39

    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by mclaugh View Post
    +1 for Louise. Stan Jay of Mandolin Brothers once told me that he hired a high school kid to come in every afternoon and tune all the instruments so the whole room would resonate when you tried something out. Good idea to go to a less live space.
    Trying out a mandolin at Elderly I mistakenly moved to another room that looked quieter. It had about 50 banjos all in stands-talk about resonate! (I didn't by the mando btw!)

  19. #40
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    A small room with 50 banjos?!? Yikes! Yeah, get out of there right quick!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  20. #41
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Something that's hard to deal with in violin shops particularly are instruments that've been hanging on the wall for years. Sometimes the reasons are obvious - I once saw a Hill workshop violin that had faded to bright salmon pink over the years. It was a lot cheaper than I expected, and the shop owner said orchestral players wouldn't even try it because of the colour - they couldn't face the ribbing they'd get for other players. I did play it, and it was a bargain in terms of sound/£. You get instruments that have been refinished or heavily repaired, and they can be great value for playing. I don't know if this happens with mandos, but some violins 'go off' if they're not played regularly, and a really nice instrument can sound unremarkable in the shop. Violins shops sometimes have an arrangement whereby you can play a mid price up instrument at home for a week or two to bring the sound back, or at least to see if that happens.

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  22. #42
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Most violin shops over here in the US also do that. A friend of mine has a couple of fiddles she is considering. Many years ago a concertmaster from one of our local orchestras came to one of the fiddle camps I was at with a real verified Stradivari he was trying out. It was a little unnerving but he was careful.
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    Wait ... You have a 50 dollar pawn shop Harmony ... And an Alvarez A-100 pressed top plywood ...... And you want to upgrade?
    All kidding aside, if you find "the one " well that's great. Surely you'll find something better, but maybe not necessarily the one. Play it, enjoy it, at the very best look at it as a step up to (maybe?) something better. I went 10 years between having my "good" mandolin and my lifer. That was a retirement present (as my late mother would say " Who better than me?"). I guess I'm saying don't look at this as the one and only last chance. "Maybe yes ... Maybe no". Rocky Roccoco - Fire Sign Theater.
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  25. #44
    Every day is a gift. Sheila Lagrand's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Sherry, please forgive me the tangent, but I wonder why music stores don't maintain a big stack of protective "capes" like barbers and hairdressers use. The hair pros use them to protect the client, but it seems the oversized bib thingys would serve to protect instruments being played, too . . . .
    Now, what was I after when I wandered in here?

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  26. #45
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila Lagrand View Post
    Sherry, please forgive me the tangent, but I wonder why music stores don't maintain a big stack of protective "capes" like barbers and hairdressers use. The hair pros use them to protect the client, but it seems the oversized bib thingys would serve to protect instruments being played, too . . . .
    Good idea!

  27. #46
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila Lagrand View Post
    Sherry, please forgive me the tangent, but I wonder why music stores don't maintain a big stack of protective "capes" like barbers and hairdressers use. The hair pros use them to protect the client, but it seems the oversized bib thingys would serve to protect instruments being played, too . . . .
    I think I read on another forum about a guitar shop that has aprons they give to people to put on when someone wants to try one of their guitars.

    Whenever I would go to a music shop to try out instruments I would always make sure to take my jacket off before playing and remember to wear a pull over hooded sweatshirt rather than a zip up one underneath. I have a tuner app on my phone so that eliminates needing to ask if it's ok to use a clip on one, and I always bring my own picks. I'll usually play a tune that incorporates double stops, triplets, and a high b to see how it feels playing those on the instrument in question.
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  28. #47
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    NFI on my part but this Weber Gallatin oval A in the classifieds is a great price and might be a handy way to upgrade - it could be just the ticket, or at the very least if you decide to climb further up the mandolin food chain you wouldn't have a problem selling it and getting your money back on it. I've had two Webers and always found the neck profiles on them really comfortable to play. Oh, and I just noticed that the seller is in Austin! https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/167780#167780
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  30. #48
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    I always asked before approaching any instruments.
    Sometimes the staff would ask you which one you wanted to try, and get it down for you, sometimes they would just wave you on and say, in effect, "Go for it".

    Stan Jay of Mandolin Brothers didn't wait for me to ask.

    The minute I poked my head through the door, before I said anything, he told me to feel free to pick up and play any instrument.
    I could have been a mandolin-smashing maniac for all he knew, although I guess he had a sense for that.

    He and his assistant also quickly sussed that my wife wasn't interested, and sat her down, made her a cup of tea and chatted with her about non-musical topics while I browsed happily. As a result, both of us have fond memories of the place - not always the case with music shops.

    The resonating effect is real, in any room with hanging instruments.
    It can be disappointing when you get the instrument home and find it doesn't have that same room-filling sound that it had in the shop!

    That's why it's a good idea to take your existing instrument, no matter how modest, to see what difference the resonance effect has on it by way of comparison.
    Bren

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  32. #49
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    NFI on my part but this Weber Gallatin oval A in the classifieds is a great price and might be a handy way to upgrade - it could be just the ticket, or at the very least if you decide to climb further up the mandolin food chain you wouldn't have a problem selling it and getting your money back on it. I've had two Webers and always found the neck profiles on them really comfortable to play. Oh, and I just noticed that the seller is in Austin! https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/167780#167780
    Jill, I asked the guy for pics last night! Am tempted to spring for it while still available. Haven't looked thus morning.

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  34. #50
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Music Store Etiquette

    My opinion (FWIW) is Do it - you have little or nothing to lose! *

    I commented on this on your thread on the newbie page.

    * Other than the opportunity for the road trip.

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