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I'd never even held a mandolin before today. Its weird playing upside down but I'm already strumming a few songs. Man, do my fingers ever get cramped up in a hurry. I must be holding it wrong. Going to check out some youtube lessons to make sure I don't create any bad habits.

Its an Epiphone Venetian made in Kalamazoo in 1964.
2017-12-03 15.17.14.jpg
 

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I don’t see it as upside down bcs the range still goes from low strings to high the same as anything.

Mandolin is a lot of fun and it doesn’t take long to get simple chords working with a bit of picking in between.

It takes awhile to get tone happening but comes eventually.

Bought mine at L&M last summer, got home about noon and by 2:00 I’d learned some chords, figured out some breaks and written five or six verses and recorded a song which I called “Y’all Gotta Shoot Yer Own Dog.” It’s about a guy who gets in a fight, shoots someone, the cops chase him for a few days, he knows there ain’t gonna be no trial and he ends up in a box goin back home on the next train south ... the usual stuff ... lol

A new instrument sends you off in a new direction - but hopefully not on the next train south.
 

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Nice ,
This little Fender landed in my lap as a freebee this past Feb.

Like you,I had never even held one before either.
A quick search and I was playing two fingered G,C and D chords,so I was set for at least 500 tunes.
The wife actually likes my caterwauling version of Long Black Veil.

Mooh pointed me to the Mandolin Café site...lots of good info there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice ,
This little Fender landed in my lap as a freebee this past Feb.

Like you,I had never even held one before either.
A quick search and I was playing two fingered G,C and D chords,so I was set for at least 500 tunes.
The wife actually likes my caterwauling version of Long Black Veil.

Mooh pointed me to the Mandolin Café site...lots of good info there.
Long Black Veil was one I attempted right away as well. I sometimes play it at open mic’s so I only had to learn the mandolin chords.
 

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I had only ever tried one for a minute or less at a time before I bought one.
But Mandos are fun

Enjoy!

(And as to the cramping--I had it too--search out some Mandolin tips online and/or check out this book--Mandolin for Dummies Try angling your fingers more to the frets, not perpendicular like you normally would for guitar--that helps)
 

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I played one my friend's Dad had, or tried to...............about 50 years ago. Maybe it's time to try one again. Enjoy yours.
 

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I spent a couple of hours learning some two and three finger chords then a couple of songs I already know on guitar. Went to an acoustic jam last night and struggled my way through Saint James Infirmary and Pocket Full of Bourbon. Great fun, and it's the first time that people at that jam have told me how good I sounded. I'm blaming the mandolin for that. It really does have a nice tone and it's very loud, easily as loud as any of my guitars. I think the higher pitch of the mandolin may go better with my out of tune voice. It seems easier to sing in key.
 

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I just have to repeat this. I find it way easier to sing in key with the mandolin. Don't know if this will be true for others but it is a revelation for me. I've always struggled singing in key with an acoustic unless I use a capo up around the 4th to 8th fret. Not every guitar sounds good up there. Open chord keys that I really struggle singing in tune on the guitar like C or G seem like a breeze with the mandolin. With the acoustic I was always in F or Eb to be able to sing in key.
 

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I just have to repeat this. I find it way easier to sing in key with the mandolin. Don't know if this will be true for others but it is a revelation for me. I've always struggled singing in key with an acoustic unless I use a capo up around the 4th to 8th fret. Not every guitar sounds good up there. Open chord keys that I really struggle singing in tune on the guitar like C or G seem like a breeze with the mandolin. With the acoustic I was always in F or Eb to be able to sing in key.
So, Kerry, are you saying there may be hope for my singing after all?:)

Glad to hear you're enjoying the new instrument.
 
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Many years ago I had the immense good fortune to meet Simon Mayor, attend several of his concert and festival appearances (including a filming destined for TV), participate in a few workshops, and hang out. One summer morning while chilling at a folk festival hours before the gates opened, we shared a mandolin across a picnic table...I learned more about the instrument in that hour than I had on my own for years. Besides being a monster player, he's one of the kindest and funniest guys I've ever met. I saw him and Tony McManus rip it up on guitar and mandolin one time, both were switch-hitting on each other's instruments.

Anyway, if you're interested, here's his website with lots of recordings and instructional books,

Mandolin Website | Simon Mayor's Mandolin Website
 
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