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Thread: Demonstrating a mandolin

  1. #1
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    Default Demonstrating a mandolin

    Why is it that those folks that are trying to sell a mandolin, and producing a video, only play hot licks and chords. I would like to hear the individual strings one at a time. It would only take a few seconds to add to the video, and tell me as much about the mandolin than all the stuff they are playing. Any one else feel this way?
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Why is it that those folks that are trying to sell a mandolin, and producing a video, only play hot licks and chords. I would like to hear the individual strings one at a time. It would only take a few seconds to add to the video, and tell me as much about the mandolin than all the stuff they are playing. Any one else feel this way?
    I know what you mean. Most any demo will be someone blazing away at the same old fiddle tunes or Bluegrass licks. I hardly watch demos anymore because of this.
    ...

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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    They think they're selling themselves rather than the instrument.

    Back when dirt was new, my classical guitar teacher illustrated the resonance of instruments by playing the open strings in smooth, slow rest strokes, which is how I want to hear instrument demonstrations.
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    I think some of both is good - first play some open strings, single notes, open chords, and closed chords. Then play a fiddle tune to see what it sounds like in more context.
    I guess I'll just stay right here, pick and sing a while...
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Slow rhythmic flowing scales too.
    And slow, two string jumping, descending arpeggios with feeling and strong mature passion.
    Think Russian (or Ukrainian) and Italian music schools.

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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Why is it that those folks that are trying to sell a mandolin, and producing a video, only play hot licks and chords. I would like to hear the individual strings one at a time. It would only take a few seconds to add to the video, and tell me as much about the mandolin than all the stuff they are playing. Any one else feel this way?
    This is a good suggestion that I really never thought of... I'm going to bring this up next filming.

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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Why is it that those folks that are trying to sell a mandolin, and producing a video, only play hot licks and chords. I would like to hear the individual strings one at a time. It would only take a few seconds to add to the video, and tell me as much about the mandolin than all the stuff they are playing. Any one else feel this way?
    They want you to imagine yourself playing awesome stuff on their mandolin. It’s the same reason commercials for SUVs show the car riding in rugged, cool, off-road places instead of the driver go to the supermarket
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveGinNJ View Post
    ...It’s the same reason commercials for SUVs show the car riding in rugged, cool, off-road places instead of the driver go to the supermarket...
    If I really had the choice of 'rugged, cool, off-road places' to play a nice mandolin, then there's one place I'd love to be.

    That's years ago at an ex-girlfriend's place.

    Why don't they put that in the advert?!

  16. #9

    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    I agree 100%. There is one individual, regularly on Cafe Classifieds, youtube etc who wants to show the speed he can play and he is not alone. Total waste of the demo . We want to hear VOLUME and TONE and a few chords and a solo. Volume, tone, intonation, playability, balance are what people value. A few comments on thr actual wood, the tuners, the nut, the bridge etc are of interest.

    I turn the video off as soon as they start showing off.

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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Here's what I do when I make a video to sell a mando: open strings, open chords, a slow doublestop harmonized scale on each pair of strings, a tune that uses all the strings--not played too fast, a piece of a Monroe break in G-A-B to show what happens when you play the same thing up the neck, and some chop chords in G-A-B.

    https://youtu.be/rTFU3gT-eDw

    I asked for a demo of a mando from a well-known vintage dealer. I got a guitar player wailing on open chords on a mandolin that was out of tune. Crazy.
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    I would like to add to this demo discussion. When an individual or a shop is comparing two instruments, such as an Eastman next to a Kentucky, or an f-hole mandolin next to an oval hole, please don't assume that folks are looking at the instrument. Identify which instrument was played first and identify the second one, too. I like listening to what different mandolins can do, and I absolutely appreciate their being played together in a video, but give the listener a bit more verbal data by identifying which is which. In my case, I can't see videos, but I am imagining others, who may listen to demos while doing other things, would also appreciate the info.
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    The young lady who did the latest Klos CF review did a nice job with her demonstration, and I agree that her type of approach tells you more about an instrument than someone tearing it up who I’ll never be able to play like. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy the hot stuff, but either after single string/double stop/sustain/up the neck demonstrations or maybe sandwiching the slower stuff.

    It’s cool that The Acoustic Shoppe has chimed in and is listening. I also like that the lady in the Klos review asked for feedback prior to the demo (and listened to it).

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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    Here's what I do when I make a video to sell a mando: open strings, open chords, a slow doublestop harmonized scale on each pair of strings, a tune that uses all the strings--not played too fast, a piece of a Monroe break in G-A-B to show what happens when you play the same thing up the neck, and some chop chords in G-A-B.

    https://youtu.be/rTFU3gT-eDw

    I asked for a demo of a mando from a well-known vintage dealer. I got a guitar player wailing on open chords on a mandolin that was out of tune. Crazy.
    Nice one Don. Not sure if you're aware that video shows up as unlisted.

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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Seale View Post
    Nice one Don. Not sure if you're aware that video shows up as unlisted.
    The video shows a nice demonstration of a Hogan mandolin for me.
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Yes, the video is there. But, the video is unlisted which means you have to have a direct link to view it. It won't show up in a search.

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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    The mandolin is gone so no reason for it to be public.
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    It's largely the same in the guitar world. Look up a demo of a nice dread and it will likely be someone trying to play Bluegrass licks as fast as possible. Look up a Strat demo and you'll get blues licks. I was pleasantly shocked somewhat recently when I found a guy doing classical guitar bits on a Strat wth a crazy paintjob! Not "neo classical" like Yngwie Malmsteen (sp?), but guitar-resting-on-left-knee, proper classical guitar technique.
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Interesting discussion.

    When I’ve sold instruments, I’ve often played strings up each fret, as well as playing some licks and snippets of tunes. Thanks to GMorgan’s post, should I sell one in the future, I’ll be more cognizant of sight-impaired folks.
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Why is it that those folks that are trying to sell a mandolin, and producing a video, only play hot licks and chords. I would like to hear the individual strings one at a time. It would only take a few seconds to add to the video, and tell me as much about the mandolin than all the stuff they are playing. Any one else feel this way?
    I'm sure someone does, but I don't. Videos don't do a good job of capturing how an instrument sounds in real life. Or how I'll sound playing it. You get an idea of whether it can be tuned, but that's about it. Hearing each string individually wouldn't help me much.

    I like video demos, but they're entertaining, not informing. So when I shop online, I just make sure there's a good return policy so that if I don't like the instrument, I can send it back.

    In fact, none of the instruments I've bought online — three mandolins and a few guitars — have even had video demos. And I've never made a video to sell an instrument. They're just not important. If someone needed a video of something I'm selling, I'd just write the buyer off as too fussy to deal with.
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    When I bought my '22 Gibson I asked the store to simply play each string slowly over the phone. I listen on speaker phone, as it has better sound. I wanted to specifically hear the G string. I bought it on what I heard and it is still the best sounding old Gibson I have heard. The sound of the G string is important to me and it is entirely overlooked in nearly all demonstrations. Sometimes someone will wail on the G using very fast up and down strokes, not what I want to hear. Please strike it and let me hear it. I listen to computer demonstrations thru decent computer speakers and can hear the sound quite well. Hopefully it hasn't been run thru a bunch electronics.
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    . . . I listen to computer demonstrations thru decent computer speakers and can hear the sound quite well. Hopefully it hasn't been run thru a bunch electronics.
    Well, there, then!
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  37. #22
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    Default Re: Demonstrating a mandolin

    From someone sitting on the selling side of the fence this is all good interesting stuff, so thanks for the tips

    Seriously though, some of us do worry about how to adequately demonstrate stuff online, and more to the point, to do so in a way that doesn't involve playing the same thing every time (simply because I get bored - sorry!). Two things elude me: volume, and responsiveness. Volume you might be able to compare two different instruments and use one well known model as a baseline, but responsiveness is so much about how the instrument feels when you're playing, and whether it matches what you're used to that it's simply very hard to convey online. True story: I once had two different customers play the same mandolin here, one complained it was too loud and harsh, the other that it was too quiet and mellow. The thing was they were coming from different points of view and playing styles, one thrashed the heck out of it, the other hardly touched it. Both were right, and both were rather missing the point. In short, you've got to find the one that speaks to you, but also, when confronted with a strange instrument, take the time to get to know it and what it can do, rarely do you figure that out in 5 minutes. Bit like people really...

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