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Old 10-22-2023, 10:37 PM
Matthew Sarad Matthew Sarad is offline
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I may take you up in that in 2024.
I have to put new strings on for a wedding celebration in 2 weeks. I've been using D'Addario XT mediums.
I'll look for the Mangan strings tomorrow
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Old 10-30-2023, 05:10 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Location: The Isle of Albion
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In 1975, I moved out of London and a few short miles into Hertfordshire (which I considered the jungle!) and stumbled on a bluegrass jam in a pub near the launderette where I was washing my shirts. I went home to get my D35, while the shirts were in the dryer, and I was welcomed into the fray.
By the end of the evening I had been recruited into two working bluegrass bands.

However the ethos in those days was that you played whatever the band needed, and one needed a mandolin player, and the other a Dobro player!

My lovely Swedish girlfriend bought me an Ibanez 524 F5 mandolin (which was a pretty good start!)
I knew nothing apart from the fact that it was E,A,D, and G upside down.
Being a lefty playing righty, I just made guitar chords upside down, and played mainly minor pentatonic breaks.

I now have my 2005 Lebeda F5 premium which I've had since 2007, but it rarely sees daylight now.

I've been on "Sorefingers" bluegrass camps and been in "classes" fronted by Joe (K) Walsh, but they didn't help, as he only thought in tablature.

I was booked to spend a week there with Mike Compton, but was too ill to go and although they had a waiting list, they refused to refund me, so obviously I never went again.

Here's me rabbiting on about it :

and here's me posing with the Ashridge Ramblers some time between '75-'79.
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Silly Moustache,
Just an old Limey acoustic guitarist, Dobrolist, mandolier and singer.
I'm here to try to help and advise and I offer one to one lessons/meetings/mentoring via Zoom!
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Old 10-30-2023, 06:05 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Location: Washington State
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Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
However the ethos in those days was that you played whatever the band needed, and one needed a mandolin player, and the other a Dobro player!
Circling back to my comment on the first page of this thread! One of the many things I love about bluegrass that I don't see as much of in other genres - quite a few players are multi-instrumentalists. We typically change out based on the needs of the band or jam.

This is also partly why I'm against the "cheater" 12 string mandolins or guitjo/banjitars in bluegrass. Most people in the community just learn the different instruments vs making everything be in standard guitar tuning.

One of the reasons I started playing upright bass the beginning of this year was because the two weekly jams I play in both lacked a bass. It's now become my main instrument, but I always bring along a fiddle, mandolin or guitar in case another bass player shows up.

You can have a couple banjos, a few mandolins, several fiddles and way too many guitars in a bluegrass jam, but there can only be one bass.
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Old 10-30-2023, 11:08 AM
leew3 leew3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
Send it to me! I'll correctly position the bridge, string it up with some "fusion matched" Curt Mangan phosphor bronze mediums and play them in for 6 months, no fee. 😉
No pick me...though I'll use D'addario EJ74s but make the same no fee offer
"I go for a lotta things that's a little too strong" J.L. Hooker
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Old 10-30-2023, 08:36 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is online now
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Location: Chugiak, Alaska
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Regarding Mandobartís comment about multi-instrumentalism in bluegrass, I first started playing music in bluegrass and folk music related circles. I always admired the seemingly effortless way bluegrass musicians could switch off between different instruments, and I figured if they could do it, so could I. Started at rock bottom playing the simplest style of mountain dulcimer, got much better at it, then proceeded to attempt harmonica, mandolin, five string banjo and then - and only then - did I take on guitar. Prior to that I figured guitar was just too complex for me, and at the time, I was right.

Since then the harmonica has fallen by the wayside for me, but I still play all the rest. As Iíve mentioned before, I truly do believe that playing one instrument gives you insights into others.

Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 10-31-2023, 10:43 AM
catt catt is offline
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Posts: 324

In the folk world, it's pretty easy to get into multi-instrument playing as there are lots of fiddles about; which then gives you all the 5ths-tuned instruments. I have a classical guitar foundation, which provides all of the finger independence in the right hand, so it was natural then to pick up Scruggs-style banjo, pedal steel, etc. In my case it was LZ III that compelled me. So if you have guitar and fiddle/mandolin around, that about covers it for the foundation instruments in bluegrass.

I'm a bit cursed as I have to learn everything that compels me, so I've studied a bunch of obscure forms that no one around me plays. I got the multi bug early at age 10 with woodwinds, guitar and piano.

When we moved into a smaller house a few years ago, I was able to get rid of all my electric gear and drums, sold some accordions off, traded my upright for cello which I play primarily these days..

I made sense of it all kind of utilizing a broad heuristic - I'm just a drummer, drumming on things..

Last edited by catt; 10-31-2023 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 10-31-2023, 01:33 PM
tomh tomh is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 51

I have learned about myself that I get burned out/bored with any one thing. To that end I always wanted to play fiddle, so about a year ago I bought one, took some lessons, and play it when I feel like it, not a serious student of it, it's just fun to make fiddle sounds. I told my wife she should be happy I didn't take up bag pipes....

About 6 months ago I bought a mandolin, and fell in love with it. Still not as serious about it as guitar, but I play it a lot when I get burned out on guitar.

Playing mando has absolutely made me better at guitar and it is just a lot of fun.

One thing I like to do is figure out fiddle tunes back and forth between guitar, fiddle and mandolin. I keep myself entertained for sure!
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Old 10-31-2023, 08:58 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Join Date: May 2023
Location: Augusta, Maine, USA
Posts: 1,240

I picked up mando and squareneck reso a few years ago. Love 'em. Hard to switch to when you're used to guitar, but they add variety to the duo I'm in.

I mostly just learn the same riffs and scales I already know on guitar. Lazy, but I just wanna have fun.
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