Learning the mandolin (1 Viewer)

Erable

Aspiring journeyman
Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
49
Age
24
Hometown
Vancouver, BC
I'd like to learn to play the mandolin, I own a crappy mandolin, and I've got the drive to learn it, now all I need is something to learn, goals, and songs to learn.

I'll be taking my mandolin with me when I travel Europe in the summer, and I want to learn some cool shit before then. Is there any books I should pick up, techniques I should learn, lingo I should learn?

I'm already proficient at guitar, and bass, so I have some music background, but mandolin is a whole new animal, and I have no idea how to approach it.
I appreciate responses, even if it's just a video of someone noodling on mando, I'm still willing to listen to anything and everything you folks have to say on the subject.
 
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OrganVile

Lurker
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
16
Age
27
Hometown
Cinci
Learning the chords will let you bullshit your way through a bunch of songs with the help of ultimate-guitar and get you the feel for it. You going to realize there's hella ways to play each chord, I'd suggest learning the four-finger variety and two-finger of each. You can play basically all the chords you need easily with two fingers, but learning the shapes that hold down all strings lets you move from key to key seamlessly.

Google the circle of fifths.

All the books suck ass.

A lot of old folk songs have tab out there somewhere, mainly mandolincafe.com.

Youtube is your best friend, watch people play and there's actually a few cool instructional videos. check out some Jayke Orvis.
And finally, BILL MONROE. Listen. All day for weeks.
 

OrganVile

Lurker
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
16
Age
27
Hometown
Cinci
Oh, and a shitty mandolin will get you through as long as the intonation is alright. Google intonate a mandolin for much better explanations than mine.
 

ODBeef

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Jan 13, 2014
Messages
13
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Chicago, IL
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I just picked one up and have been mastering songs with a handful of chords in them. A LOT of Devil Makes Three. Just look up tabs and then look up how to play the chords. Cake.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2014
Messages
10
do you guys have any reccomendations for mando's you like playing best?I almost bought a Denver A-style Mandolin today for 130$ to take tree planting with me. i figured getting a newish one from a music store might be better than waiting for one on craigslist as im going tree planting in april and want to get one before then.
 

katiehabits

Lurker
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
270
Hometown
Dawson City, Yukon
Website
kthabits.tumblr.com
I agree that all the books out there suck. Mandolins are tuned the same as violins GDAE. So most of the books out there are all in music not tab. I tried to learn how to read music so I could use this book I got but I had little patience for it. I would rather learn how to read French than music. That being said if you can read music go look at some beginners books at that Long and Mcquade store on Hastings.

Learn chords and just start playing old timey songs. Most of them are just C, G, and D anyway.
 

Doobie_D

The Slack Action Hero
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
836
Hometown
Florida - FEC milepost 105.1
Whatever you purchase make sure the shop you get it from does a proper setup.

A lot of times when shops buy mandos (especially the cheapo ones) from the factory the intonation is off due to bridge misplacement or the action is too high because of bridge height.

Most good shops will do a full once over and correct any problems.

My first mando came from these guys:

Www.mandolinhut.com.

Also solid body mandos sound WAY better than laminated but they can be super expensive. I can attest to the Savannahs (basically Johnson) to being super awesome sounding for the price. Rogues on the other hand are passable but.. meh.
 

plagueship

Newbie
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
258
Hometown
the desert
obviously it depends what you want to do (what sort of music etc), but i think if you're competent on guitar and bass, that will serve you well - mando is a great easy lil thing to fuck with if you've got some string knowledge already. the main 'special technique' it has is that tremolo picking sounds awesome. and yeah, not having a lot of strings makes chords pretty easy to figure out. at first i just constructed the open-string versions of G and D major, minor and 7th and then moved em around as bar chords; C and F and probably some others have special fingerings too. but yeah basically get a plectrum, learn two chord shapes and you can play almost anything.
 

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