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Mandolin: Good one to learn on?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by wayloncash, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. wayloncash

    wayloncash Tele-Afflicted

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    I have made up my mind to learn mandolin, banjo, and resonator in that order hopefully. I believe from the information I have obtained and an observation of the skills I possess I should be good at least at one of these. Since part of my own personal style of guitar playing relies on bluegrass and I can make a guitar resemble a banjo or mandolin, I bet I can pick up one of these fairly quickly.

    So does anyone have any recommendations for a starter mandolin. I have looked at epiphone, Washburn, and rogue. If I only spend $150 on one will I regret it? Is that $50 rogue a POS? I read and watched a bunch of reviews saying it was good. Any help is appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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  3. wayloncash

    wayloncash Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank you, I had basically sworn off Craigslist, No one ever comes through but I will check it out, is this a decent price?
     
  4. J. Hayes

    J. Hayes Friend of Leo's

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    Hey WC.... Just about any cheapo mandolin will be OK to learn on. Just remember to get the action fairly low with heavier strings as you won't be bending them much as they're in pairs... I've seen the Rogue and it'd do you just fine as a starter instrument. They actually sound almost decent (not quite) but almost. Mandolin was my first instrument back in the fifties and I've played it most of my life except for a period of about ten years where I didn't even own one as I was mostly concentrating on electric guitar and pedal steel but I started hearing in in hit records such as Rod Stewart's "Maggie Mae" and the Seals & Crofts tunes and then when Emmylou Harris started having her hits in the seventies I decided to get one and have had one now for years.

    I currently have four good mandolins. I have a natural finish old Gibson F-style (scroll), a Hondo solid body F-style that weighs almost as much as a Les Paul, an Epiphone A-style MIJ from the early eighties, and a Fender mando Strat which is s 4 string which looks like a mini Stratocaster.... I play out three nights a week these days and on Monday and Friday nights I play guitar and double on mandolin. On Saturday nights I play guitar and double on pedal steel... Here's some shots of my mandos, don't pay any attention to the overalls as this was on Halloween night. I don't have a shot of the Epi thought...JH in Va. 100_4948.JPG 100_7443.JPG 100_7444.JPG
     
  5. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    I have a $40 rover mandolin that was a gift a couple christmases ago from my father in law. I constantly go back and forth about upgrading it. It sounds decent but the thing will not stay in tune. I figure if I swap out the tuners and the bridge, I could have myself a pretty decent little man do for another $75. It amazes me how much the price jumps up from super beginner to intermediate mandolins. Much bigger price gap than in the guitar world.
     
  6. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I got an Epiphone MM-30 a few years ago and it has served me well. Not many complaints. It buzzes on the 'dusty bits', the higher frets, but I cant see myself ever using that part of the instrument as I use it for rhythm playing mostly.

    I think Kentucky makes quality instruments and you might be able to find a used one in your range.
     
  7. wayloncash

    wayloncash Tele-Afflicted

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    Is that this? If not does anyone know the brand or info on this? 00P0P_jaoFzHfXSbV_600x450.jpg
     
  8. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    There seem to be quite a few Made in China mandolins at the $100 to $150 price point, so try out as many as you're able to. I have an old MIJ Global A-style from the 1980's that I learned on. It was nothing special, but i was able to learn on it.
    A few years ago I picked up a MIC Savannah f-style for a little more than $200. It's okay...
    I seldom play out anywhere, I will use it from time to time to give a little different texture to praise/worship songs at church.
    As has been pointed out, there's quite a jump in mandolin prices from beginner to intermediate or professional grade.
     
  9. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

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  10. wayloncash

    wayloncash Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't dislike the idea of a rogue, I owned one about 14 yrs ago, it wasn't terrible only high action was the main problem. I might do that just to get going with thw thought in mind i will be upgrading.
     
  11. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Mine is an old Alvarez A style that I've had for about 30 some years..After a setup it plays and sounds good enough for me..
    Watch for something on the used market.Ya should be able to find something good for $200 or less..
     
  12. mauer62

    mauer62 Tele-Holic

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    I was looking at a Washburn mandolin on Ebay for $150 new the other day and was wondering the same as to how good can they be. I also want to learn the mandolin although I play mostly hard rock but I do like bluegrass.
     
  13. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    be careful with heavier strings on cheap mandolins. they won't have truss rods, usually just an aluminum bar under the fretboard. you can warp a cheap neck pretty easily - i use 10s on mine to be safe. a good, cheap instrument should also have a zero fret to compensate someways for a cheap nut.
    and if you go to try a few mandolins out, bring a clip-on tuner and make sure the instrument intonates properly. don't be afraid to walk away if you sense it's a bit of a dog.
    happy hunting :)
     
  14. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    The old adage of "you get what you pay for" comes into play with the Rogue.

    You "will" get what you pay for.

    For less than $200 you can probably find a decent used instrument.
     
  15. screefer

    screefer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    It's a baby Telecaster! Lots of fun if you get a good one and like the Tele vibe....Eastwood.
    Google Wendell Ferguson Mando....
    Good luck!
     

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  16. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    ^^That's cool^^

    Price?
     
  17. wayloncash

    wayloncash Tele-Afflicted

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    The guy on CL has telefono, or whatever it may be called.
    I am more interested in this though and only 175 I think, I just have no info and he hasn't replied yet. 00P0P_jaoFzHfXSbV_600x450.jpg
     
  18. hotpot

    hotpot Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought the Harley Benton MA 500 telecaster mandolin because I fancied trying one out & a few songs I played in a 'virtual band' called for one:)

    I cant say I'm experienced in them but this is a very nice instrument & very well made, It sounds good to my ears anyway:D I did a quick demo of it when I bought it.


    [​IMG]



     
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  19. screefer

    screefer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I paid $349 Cdn. a year and a half ago. Had to return the first one but the second one worked. Not the greatest build quality but plays nice AND it's a baby tele!
     
  20. Zuzax

    Zuzax Tele-Afflicted

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    It made sense for me to start cheap since I kind of have the attention span of a gnat, and would rather sink dozens of dollars in to something I'm experimenting with instead of hundreds. The Mando was a fun little diversion, but I never really warmed to it enough to play on a daily (or even monthly) basis.
     
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