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Thread: Any mandolin pickers out there? Advice needed.

  1. #1
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    Any mandolin pickers out there? Advice needed.

    I've always loved Bluegrass music, and the sound of the mandolin specifically. So I've decided I would like to buy and teach myself how to play the mandolin. Do any of you play, and if so do you have any recommendations on an inexpensive but decent brand of mandolin to purchase?

    Thanks in advance.
    What's the difference between a Socialist and a Communist? A Communist has a gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexHill View Post
    I've always loved Bluegrass music, and the sound of the mandolin specifically. So I've decided I would like to buy and teach myself how to play the mandolin. Do any of you play, and if so do you have any recommendations on an inexpensive but decent brand of mandolin to purchase?

    Thanks in advance.
    I own both Guitars, which I play daily and a mandolin, in my experience you really get what you pay for.
    I would like to recommend an inexpensive mandolin but, inexpensive musical instruments, especially stringed instruments suck so bad they make you want to quit.
    Buy a nice used mandolin from Guitar Center, pay to have it restrung and set up and figure on walking out the door 350 to 425 dollars lighter, otherwise its going to suck, have crappy string highth, maybe a bad neck and you will learn to hate it.
    Just my two cents..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Averageman View Post
    I own both Guitars, which I play daily and a mandolin, in my experience you really get what you pay for.
    I would like to recommend an inexpensive mandolin but, inexpensive musical instruments, especially stringed instruments suck so bad they make you want to quit.
    Buy a nice used mandolin from Guitar Center, pay to have it restrung and set up and figure on walking out the door 350 to 425 dollars lighter, otherwise its going to suck, have crappy string highth, maybe a bad neck and you will learn to hate it.
    Just my two cents..
    Oh, Kinda like buying an AR!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3 AE View Post
    Oh, Kinda like buying an AR!
    Funny how that works in many areas. Buy once, cry once, etc. Plus.. if you buy something good and don't stick with it, the resale value is there.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    Whichever way you decide to go, there are plenty new and used on Reverb. Agree with Mark's post, consider resale value if you decide to let it go.

    https://reverb.com/marketplace/folk-...ents/mandolins

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3 AE View Post
    Oh, Kinda like buying an AR!
    Just as valid is learning to repair and set them up yourself.
    You can take an absolute dog of an acoustic guitar, replace the tuners and strings, replace and or adjust the bridge and saddle give it a good cleaning and have something very playable. It may never have any real resale value, but it can be a heck of a nice sounding easy playing guitar.
    Acoustic instruments are unique in that a forty or fifty year old Yamaha may sell for 30 dollars, do all the above + straighten the neck and once in a while you'll have a gem, not always, but often enough to make it worth the work.
    Mandolins are a little different, you're going to want to do some research before you buy. Go to YouTube and look for Rosa String Works and see what he recommends. I believe you'll find Kentucky mandolins a good value for the money.
    Last edited by Averageman; 10-16-19 at 17:00.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexHill View Post
    I've always loved Bluegrass music, and the sound of the mandolin specifically. So I've decided I would like to buy and teach myself how to play the mandolin. Do any of you play, and if so do you have any recommendations on an inexpensive but decent brand of mandolin to purchase?

    Thanks in advance.
    Anything from Loar or Kentucky brands will be a solid starting point as a beginner.

    If you buy from Guitar Center, they have a no-questions return policy within 30 days. I have used this with guitar amps over the years and if you don’t know where to start, it’s a good “insurance” policy to have in case it isn’t what you expect.

    I also recommend having a plan in place for lessons prior to buying the instrument. At least find some beginner websites or YouTube tutorials on the basics of tuning, fundamentals of music theory, etc. I’m self taught as a guitarist and learned by strumming along to my dad’s Iron Maiden tapes, so I’m a big proponent of having fun while learning. Have some tunes you want to learn and get to pickin’.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Averageman View Post
    Buy a nice used mandolin from Guitar Center, pay to have it restrung and set up and figure on walking out the door 350 to 425 dollars lighter, otherwise its going to suck, have crappy string highth, maybe a bad neck and you will learn to hate it.
    Just my two cents..
    This 100%.

    I bought some minor setup equipment from Stew Mac years ago and learned how to do my own fretwork and setups over the years. Most factory “setups” are atrocious and you never know a stringed instrument’s potential until it’s truly adjusted for your taste.

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    The only guitars I've seen come with a consistently good to great set up from the factory are PRS guitars.

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    Thanks guys for all of your input. I'm going to check with my local music shops for some nice used, but quality brand instruments.
    What's the difference between a Socialist and a Communist? A Communist has a gun.

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