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Thread: Four string Mando for young children?

  1. #1

    Default Four string Mando for young children?

    Is a 4-string mando for young children...a thing? Maybe with nylon strings?

  2. #2
    small instrument, big fun Dan in NH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    Yes, ukuleles DO exist.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    There's also this:
    http://www.redvalleymandolins.com/mandolin-amw-nylon
    Might be a little pricey to trust to a small child though. You could always get a soprano ukulele and put fifths tuning strings on (GDAE like a mandolin). A ukulele neck is quite different from a mandolin neck though, much wider.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    Uke with special strings on it - so you can tune it GDAE - is an option. Elderly Instruments used to carry the strings, probably still do.
    There was a mandolin called a KidMo that I've heard about - made a few years ago. Not sure if you can find one.
    Backpacker or mini mandolin could be an option.
    Or buy an inexpensive mandolin and only put 4 strings on it. Worked for a young Bill Monroe...

    Good luck! and good for you for getting a young child into music!

    Kirk

  6. #5

    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    I forgot about this one too:
    https://www.magicfluke.com/Mandolin-p/flea-mandolin.htm
    It's got a plastic neck, back and sides so it's super durable and a small ukulele body. Seems great for a kid. Steel strings though.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    Quote Originally Posted by tiltman View Post
    Uke with special strings on it - so you can tune it GDAE - is an option. Elderly Instruments used to carry the strings, probably still do.
    There was a mandolin called a KidMo that I've heard about - made a few years ago. Not sure if you can find one.
    Backpacker or mini mandolin could be an option.
    Or buy an inexpensive mandolin and only put 4 strings on it. Worked for a young Bill Monroe...

    Good luck! and good for you for getting a young child into music!

    Kirk
    That's what I was thinking...I just can't believe nobody makes one.

    My thinking is that not only would the single strings vs courses be easier to learn on...but the neck shape/size is much closer to a fiddle as well. And since they're normally tuned the same...it might be a good primer to beat on for a child that's too young for a fiddle. And since you could then play it both plectrum and fingerstyle...it might be the archetypal "first instrument".

  8. #7

    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    Quote Originally Posted by milli857 View Post
    There's also this:
    http://www.redvalleymandolins.com/mandolin-amw-nylon
    Might be a little pricey to trust to a small child though. You could always get a soprano ukulele and put fifths tuning strings on (GDAE like a mandolin). A ukulele neck is quite different from a mandolin neck though, much wider.
    Thank you for that recommendation! They DO actually make one. The body is a little large...but at least someone makes one. Unfortunately, the price is stout...

  9. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    You can get a uke for under $30 that would be fine for that purpose. Then get strings to tune to mandolin tuning. There is little need for a separately made instrument. The Fluke costs $515. Much cheaper to get a uke, etc.
    Jim

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  10. #9
    small instrument, big fun Dan in NH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    Quote Originally Posted by tiltman View Post
    Uke with special strings on it - so you can tune it GDAE - is an option. Elderly Instruments used to carry the strings, probably still do.
    There was a mandolin called a KidMo that I've heard about - made a few years ago. Not sure if you can find one.
    Backpacker or mini mandolin could be an option.
    Or buy an inexpensive mandolin and only put 4 strings on it. Worked for a young Bill Monroe...

    Good luck! and good for you for getting a young child into music!

    Kirk
    For soprano uke, Aquila AQ-30. For Concert/Tenor, Aquila AQ-31.
    Eastman MD-514 (F body, Sitka & maple, oval hole)
    Kentucky KM-250 (A body, spruce & maple, f holes)

    And still saving my nickles & dimes & bottle caps & breakfast cereal box tops for my lifetime mandolin.

  11. #10
    small instrument, big fun Dan in NH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    Quote Originally Posted by milli857 View Post
    There's also this:
    http://www.redvalleymandolins.com/mandolin-amw-nylon
    Might be a little pricey to trust to a small child though. You could always get a soprano ukulele and put fifths tuning strings on (GDAE like a mandolin). A ukulele neck is quite different from a mandolin neck though, much wider.

    Are his mandolins flat top like Big Muddy, or arch top like, well, mandolins.

  12. #11

    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in NH View Post
    Are his mandolins flat top like Big Muddy, or arch top like, well, mandolins.
    Flat top. I played a couple at Dusty Strings in Seattle and they were lovely.

  13. #12
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Four string Mando for young children?

    How young?
    Purr more, hiss less. Barn Cat Mandolins Photo Album

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