Mudcat Café message #1263314 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73025   Message #1263314
Posted By: Grab
03-Sep-04 - 07:52 AM
Thread Name: mandola, octave mandolin or what
Subject: RE: mandola, octave mandolin or what
LF, violas are usually tuned CGDA. See this link.

A mandola (AKA octave mandolin) has a neck length about the same as a classical guitar (except thinner), but has a teardrop-shaped body like a mandolin. Sounds like Luigi's instrument.

FWIW, I've just acquired a cheap tenor mandolin. As mooman says, this is somewhere between the two - basically it looks like a slightly oversized mandolin. This thing is usually tuned CGDA, like a viola. However I've found that if I put mandola strings on it, the longer scale and heavier strings balance out, and I can then tune it to GDAE like a standard mandolin. Because of the larger body and heavier strings, this absolutely *sings* where a normal mandolin just tinkles and pings! I've always disliked normal mandolins for their thin and reedy tone, but mine has bags of sustain and tone now - I love it! If you've got a tenor mandolin, I thoroughly recommend this experiment. (If you've not got one, 60 from Gremlin music plus a tenner for strings. :-)

Graham.