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Mandolin Lovers Online


Playing a second instrument

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Mar 21, 2020 - 8:37:47 AM
32 posts since 9/20/2012

So if a mandolin player were going to play a second instrument, what should it be?
Violin - same scale length and tuning
Guitar- same right hand/pick techniques
Dobro - low string is a G, so easier to know where you are on the fretboard
Banjo - who would want to play banjo? ;)
Thoughts?

Mar 22, 2020 - 5:17:22 AM
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207 posts since 12/23/2010

What other instrument(s) do you like to listen to? What do you think would hold your interest?

I think the easiest transition would be from mandolin to guitar, although it is tuned different. You'd still use a flat pick, so it would basically be a matter of learning the chords, backup techniques and where the melody is. This is assuming you're not going to finger pick the guitar.

Changing from mandolin to banjo would be somewhat different as you'd have to learn to wear picks, how to do rolls and various slides, hammers, pulls, etc. And there are lots and lots of people (like me) who love the banjo!!

Dobro would mean learning how to use a steel and there definitely is a technique to that and getting used to wearing picks.

The violin/fiddle, to me would be the most difficult. No frets to help you and a bow technique to learn.

Mar 22, 2020 - 10:40:19 AM
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32 posts since 9/20/2012

Actually, I love banjo. Just trying to be funny. I've spent months to years trying to learn each instrument in the standard bluegrass band lineup. But have restricted myself to mandolin and guitar the past few years. I was worst at fiddle, but only slightly less terrible at banjo. Just trying to generate some discussion. Guitar is great for playing and singing at home, but when you show up to a jam that already has eight guitar players, folks are happy to see the mandolin.

Mar 22, 2020 - 3:04:28 PM
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Robert

USA

56 posts since 12/30/2010

I started guitar just before the Beatles came to America, followed by banjo then fiddle. One day it dawned on me that mandolin was kind of a combination of fiddle and guitar and well here I am. What calls to you? That will answer your question.

Mar 23, 2020 - 3:55:26 AM
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4 posts since 1/27/2015

My house is filled with guitars, mandolins, fiddles, keyboards, Banjo’s and more.

Add to that an impressive collection of Irish whistles and the capacity to record everything (8 tracks at a time)

It's a fun hobby!  Recently I've been learning how to play cross harp on the harmonica. Now there is an inexpensive and portable idea if you are looking for a little adventure. 

Edited by - Greg Connor on 03/23/2020 04:08:24

Mar 23, 2020 - 8:40:32 AM
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2 posts since 3/23/2020

I love what Greg has said above. My house is just as he describes. Plus recorders, clarinet, fifes, flutes, and bansuris. Then we get to percussion.

Banjo can be played claw hammer style, and that's the way I play most often.

Although I wish I could record 8 tracks! I am jealous. But lately I've been using my Boss JS10 to record audio from two microphones in my livingroom. One pointed at my Instrument, one at my mouth and do them in performance mode.

But truly, if you've been playing mandolin for years, the fiddle is the most capable of all, difficult yes but lyrical.

Thank you for posting this and generating some discussion and information.

Blessings

Edited by - Kapn Krusty on 03/23/2020 08:41:26

Mar 23, 2020 - 9:30:52 AM

32 posts since 9/20/2012

Hey Bob, you mention taking up guitar just before the Beatles came to the U.S. Although I own more valuable ones, my favorite guitar is a 1965 Gibson B-25 (adjustable saddle replaced with a regular one - huge improvement). I always imagine that some teenager must have gotten this just after the Beatles arrived in the U.S.

Mar 24, 2020 - 7:33:49 AM

Robert

USA

56 posts since 12/30/2010

I worked to earn half of the price of that $32.50 OM beauty that brings upwards to $400 today. The "steel reinforced" neck bowed like a fishing pole and the tuners got tighter than the dickens, but it was my first guitar. I bought a Harmony electric after the Beatles came along and kids would go by on the school bus calling me a ridge runner. At 15 those were fighting words. I ended up playing in a couple of bands including a soul band. Even got into playing electric blues for a while. Was about to get drafted, went into the USAF where I met Kenny Hall at a local fiddler's convention in the San Joaquin Valley near where I was stationed. Got more deeply back to my roots and now I play too many instruments and ignore some others.

I remember those Gibsons, some parents spent more money on their kid's guitars but mine worked just fine for me.

Edited by - Robert on 03/24/2020 07:35:07

Mar 28, 2020 - 10:58:45 AM

TSSN

USA

776 posts since 1/3/2011

Like most responders, I have a house full of instruments (mandos, guitars, fiddles, banjos, tin whistles, harmonicas, even a ukulele), and varying degrees of skill on them all. For me the banjo was the toughest, though I find clawhammer style a bit easier, as it doesn't require finger picks. Even so, I keep coming back to the mandolin.

I think Robert is right: "What calls to you?"

Mar 28, 2020 - 2:09:57 PM

32 posts since 9/20/2012

I've been a bass-strum with bass runs between chords kinda guitar player for a long time. I've been working on some Homespun video lessons. Steve Kaufman is excellent. I rarely play guitar at jams (plenty of guitar players, and I'm a lot better at mandolin), but when I do, it would be nice to be able to take a break.

Apr 6, 2020 - 6:25:04 AM
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329 posts since 12/26/2010

yooper .... If you want to spend the next decade learning to fiddle it is what I would recommend. A bow is not a pick , it has no frets and you hold it under your jaw..... and that's just the beginning or it. However .... there are rarely too many fiddlers at a jam. A good fiddler can usually find a place to play even if it is a street corner and make some money and have some fun. R/
PS .... You will eventually have to learn how to play Ashokan Farewell and Orange Blossom Special .... R/

Apr 6, 2020 - 9:51:32 AM
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Robert

USA

56 posts since 12/30/2010

quote:
Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

 
PS .... You will eventually have to learn how to play Ashokan Farewell and Orange Blossom Special .... R/


Truer words were never written.

Apr 6, 2020 - 1:53:23 PM

32 posts since 9/20/2012

When my older son was 7, he started fiddle lessons. I thought it would be fun for both of us to take lessons and practice with him. After a year, during which I practiced about 4 times as much as he did, he was a lot better than me. I just could not get a decent sound out of the bow. And no frets! Who ever thought up that idea?
Fiddlers have my respect.
PS - as a mandolin player, I had to learn Ashokan Farewell and Orange Blossom Special anyway. :)

Apr 6, 2020 - 2:52:56 PM

Robert

USA

56 posts since 12/30/2010

I played guitar and fiddle before mandolin. As a result once I got used to the frets being where it felt my fingers should be the only other hard part were those four finger chords!

Apr 12, 2020 - 9:45:03 AM

TSSN

USA

776 posts since 1/3/2011

I thought fiddle would be the most daunting when I first started out. I am still not that proficient at it.

I think my big hang up was the centuries of mystique built up around the violin, the Stradivarius, people stressing how hard it is, especially at first. It isn't easy, to be sure, but once I stopped giving a damn how I sounded (came home and played over my lunch hour when I was the only one there), I improved pretty quickly.

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