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Thread: Why play Mandolin?

  1. #101
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Oct 2002

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    The size the tone the bell like quality some instruments have and the round sound others have are just great to my ears.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  2. #102
    Registered User Jesse Harmon's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    Interesting to see this thread pop up after so many years. My brief response to the thread was the second in a line of ever increasing interesting comments. At 82 it occurs that many more influences were involved but let’s face it — if you saw an 82 year old man with a scraggly white beard sitting at McD. Would you in reality ask him “why” anything? So anyway I’ve still been playing for enjoyment off and on and recently picked it back up to do some rags and some Celtic tunes and have made plans to work a little more systematically on my mandolin chords along with transcribing some Duncan Chisholm Violin music for my mandolin notebook. I still play classical guitar along with a few harmonicas and occasionally try to make a recognizable sound from my Grandpa’s violin. And back in the cabinet is a low D penny whistle that I reach for on my really “good” days.

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  4. #103

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    As to why not play? ...
    Well it's a big world of music and instruments - myself, I'm into stuff where mndln isn't a leading voice. Sure mndln is always good for a flourish here and there or unisoning the melody - love that percussive sparkle, little bit of color... But I don't play any "Americana" folk forms any more. If I had a forro group, I might play some mndln, but - as they say happened 100 years ago - the accordion took over; for solo playing/performing, hard to beat it.

    I like to get out the CBOMs once in a while ... but again, group work - where they shine - hasn't exactly been prolific lately, so they lay mostly dormant.
    Randal Scott

  5. #104
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Bellingham, WA

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    uhhh... becauth ith cool...
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  6. #105
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Westchester, NY

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    I was in college and one friend garnered a spot on an amateur talent show that was on local TV. There were 6 of us and at least 3 played guitar so one guy lent me his Martin flatback mandolin. I liked it so bought myself a bowlback and played it from time to time. Then after college I wanted to learn fiddle and the mandolin was the perfect instrument: tuned like a fiddle but more or less played like a guitar. And I am still playing all those instruments plus a few more for closing on 48 years. I will never be a virtuoso but it has been and continues to be a fun ride.

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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  8. #106
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Augusta, Maine, USA

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by AndSoItBegandolin View Post
    . . . I would like to hear some input on your reasons for playing mandolin. Whats your story, how did you start, why did you start? How long have you played? . . .
    Hi, AndSo!

    I've played guitar for a long time. A few years ago (five? ten?), a friend asked me if I wanted to buy a mando. I said, "No, thanks. I'm a guitar guy."

    She said, "Fifty dollars."

    I said, "Sure!"

    I play it for the same reason I play guitar: It's fun!

    One big difference between acoustic guitar and mando is that mando is usually an ensemble instrument, while acoustic guitar is easy to play solo. You can woodshed on a mando, but for an audience, you generally want to play the mando along with another someone on another instrument.

    So jump into the nearest woodshed, get some chops together, and go out and find someone who wants to play with a mando person — you!
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  9. #107
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Key West
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    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    So jump into the nearest woodshed, get some chops together ...
    To extend your analogy: log some hours, spruce up your technique, and soon when you play out they'll pine for you to never leave. Just never forget your roots.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    My favorite bluegrass band

  10. #108
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Mar 2020
    New Hampshire

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    Not a timely response.

  11. #109
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
    Auburn, Washington

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    To extend your analogy: log some hours, spruce up your technique, and soon when you play out they'll pine for you to never leave. Just never forget your roots.
    You may want to branch out before you become an old stump

  12. #110
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Boston, Mass.

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    I can answer in two words: "Bad back."
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
    --Leslie Daniel, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die."

    Some tunes:

  13. #111
    Registered User
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    Dec 2021
    Toronto, ON, Canada

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    Why the mandolin? Because nobody around here likes, when I play the violin

  14. #112
    Playing on the porch
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    A Hilltop in Central Texas

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    I started with violin when I was 8 and became quite good for a young person. However, as I grew into my teens, I picked up trombone so that I could march in a band, and then life happened. For decades, I listened to good music, but I did not play it. After I retired, I picked up my old violin and restarted lessons. I regained some of my skill set, but what I had always wanted to also play was a guitar, and they were huge and tuned funny. I mentioned to my violin teacher that what I wanted was a small guitar tuned like a violin. She suggested thatI try a mandolin as they were tuned just the way I wanted.

    I bought my first mandolin five years ago and play for pure pleasure every day. It's relaxing, fun and it makes me work. I find it joyous!
    2021 Ellis F5 Special #564 mandolin
    1928 Roth (Amati) violin
    2017 Eastman MD515 mandolin
    1907 Foltz (Strad) violin

  15. #113
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Rochester NY 14610

    Default Re: Why play Mandolin?

    1. Bill Monroe reportedly took up mandolin because [A] there was a mandolin in his parents' house, and [2] his older siblings had grabbed all the other instruments. (Has anyone ever speculated what would have happened if the only instrument left was a tuba?)

    2. I took up mandolin because [1] I loved bluegrass music, and I had two other musicians around who played banjo and guitar, and [B] I had a couple mandolins, including a 'teens Gibson A-1, that I'd found in my grandfather's attic after he died and we were cleaning out his Pike NY house prior to selling it. (Has anyone ever speculated what would have happened if we'd found two tubas instead?)

    3. So I'm still playing mandolin 50 years later because [i] I love playing all kinda music on it, [ß] I'm obsessed with the variety of mandolin-family instruments, from "piccolo" to mando-bass, and [∞] it's easier to lug around than a tuba.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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