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  #1  
Old 08-17-2012, 11:42 PM
Georgiapicker Georgiapicker is offline
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Default Violin and Mandolin?

I know both of these instruments are way different as far as fretting, type of music they're used for, and how the strings are vibrated, but does violin help in learning mandolin? I know violin is more of a "feel" instrument, as in you feel where to put your fingers from muscle memory. Does this help any with knowing where to put your fingers on a mandolin? I was just wondering if anyone had thoughts on this since these two instruments are both tuned to GDAE and are approx. the same size.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:36 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Actually, a lot of players do actually go from mandolin to fiddle, or from fiddle to mandolin. Knowing one of those instruments well definitely helps in learning the other.

In another thread in this "Other Stringed Instruments" subforum I made the point that mandolin often serves as a "gateway instrument" when fiddlers decide to learn guitar or guitarists decide they want to learn fiddle - mandolin is just familiar enough for both fiddlers and guitarists that after they learn some mandolin they can then go on and take the next step.

Mandolin helps the fiddlers get used to using a pick and playing on a fretted fingerboard, while the mandolin's short scale and fifth interval tuning helps get guitarists accustomed to those elements of the fiddle.

Hope that makes sense.


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Old 08-18-2012, 06:12 AM
Vognell Vognell is offline
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Absolutely. I practice violin fingerings on the mandolin quite often. It's not a "100%" transferrable thing (no frets...need to be more precise on the violin), but it's still pretty easy to transfer repertoire on one instrument to the other.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:25 AM
Aaron Smith Aaron Smith is offline
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I also agree that they're sister instruments. To be honest, not much of the playing technique or muscle memory is transferrable. However, the mental understanding of the instrument is very similar. I often use the mandolin to sight-read new music, because the notes are much easier to identify on the fretted instrument, especially when you get out of the first position. Once I have the tune in my head, then I take it to the violin. I find it easier to play the violin intuitively and expressively, and easier to play the mandolin technically (if that makes any sense at all).
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:34 AM
cellocolin cellocolin is offline
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Much of the left hand technique is transferrable between violin and mandolin, but the right hand is a whole different story. Bow technique is very, very different from picking - many would argue that it is the hardest thing about the violin (or related instrument). It can be difficult just to get a decent tone at all in the beginning, much less control each note's volume, tone and duration. Once you get it, though, the bow is a wonderful thing!

You may find that you take to it easily. I wouldn't be surprised at all if learning to play with a bow also enhanced your picking technique.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:26 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Smith View Post
I I often use the mandolin to sight-read new music, because the notes are much easier to identify on the fretted instrument, especially when you get out of the first position. Once I have the tune in my head, then I take it to the violin. I find it easier to play the violin intuitively and expressively, and easier to play the mandolin technically (if that makes any sense at all).
I play a number of unrelated stringed instruments, and don't consider mandolin to be my number one instrument. But I, too, find it the most useful for first sight-reading through new music.

For me to use the term "sight-reading" when it comes to comprehending standard musical notation is a vast overstatement - in my case it's more like "sight-deciphering." I am by no means a fluent musical sight-reader. (Written notes look like birds on a barbed wire fence to me...)

But I'm better at it on mandolin than on any other instrument I play, so that's what I use when the need arises.


whm
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:01 PM
BartonLorry BartonLorry is offline
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I found violin most easier than mandolin. What is the technique used in transferring music from violin to mandolin?
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:11 PM
lespaul_79 lespaul_79 is offline
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I find mandolin is easier than violin. It has frets, you dont hold it up to yer chin, and there's no bow.

I'll play fiddle one day, but mando is closer to guitar than violin is.

Mando is super easy also just b/c there's no B string like on the guitar. The B string screws everything up. For exaple, on the mando (in 5ths) where u do a riff based on a root, u can do the same riff anywhere on the neck.. based on the root.

Not sure if that makes sense, but I'd say mando is the easiest instrument to play.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:20 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lespaul_79 View Post
INot sure if that makes sense, but I'd say mando is the easiest instrument to play.
That might be so, but it's most definitely not the easiest instrument to TUNE!!


whm
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:15 PM
buddhuu buddhuu is offline
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Playing mandolin was most definitely a huge help when I started learning fiddle. The scale length being very similar meant that the scales I knew from mando pretty much fell right under my fingers straight away on the fiddle.

Personally I find that anything I learn on mandolin translates almost immediately onto fiddle. For some reason it doesn't work quite as well the other way. No idea why the process seems asymmetrical. :/
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