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Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin

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Charcloth 04 Dec 99 - 11:45 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 05 Dec 99 - 12:17 AM
JESTER! 05 Dec 99 - 12:29 AM
John of the Hill 05 Dec 99 - 03:04 PM
Charcloth 05 Dec 99 - 07:03 PM
Jon Freeman 05 Dec 99 - 08:16 PM
John of the Hill 05 Dec 99 - 08:33 PM
David Salamon 05 Dec 99 - 08:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Dec 99 - 08:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Dec 99 - 11:16 PM
grubby 06 Dec 99 - 09:02 PM
charcloth 06 Dec 99 - 10:03 PM
Lady McMoo 07 Dec 99 - 08:24 AM
Davey 07 Dec 99 - 08:59 AM
charcloth 07 Dec 99 - 10:03 PM
John of the Hill 07 Dec 99 - 11:05 PM
Wesley S 08 Dec 99 - 04:01 PM
08 Dec 99 - 04:16 PM
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Subject: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: Charcloth
Date: 04 Dec 99 - 11:45 PM

presently I own and perform with a Trinity college Irish bouzouki. I have been considering getting an octave mandolin as well but was wondering if there is enough difference between the two in sound and such to justify the cash out. I would appreciate comments from others on this. Thanks


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 12:17 AM

My own usual uninformed opinion (I own a mondolin which I don't play--never have: it's ugly as sin and I really feel stupid about having bought it; I keep it hidden under the couch): isn't the octave mandolin lower by several frets--making it maybe a third or minor third lower? That would be a consideration--but--and here I am an expert--don't buy it without playing it along with someone elsw with whom you usually play, or perhaps a salesman at the store, so you can decide if it is different enough to be worth buying. Also, have someone else play it so you can judge the tone from in front of the instrument.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: JESTER!
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 12:29 AM

I've got a recent model Weber octave mando I'm pleased with. The sound isn't as full as something with a larger body might provide, but it's very playable, records well, and the materials and workmanship are top rate. The folks who make them are wonderful as well. The current price for the this model (a Sage 1) is aprox. $900 from Elderly and MAndolin Brothers, both of who have online presences. Best Wishes!


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: John of the Hill
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 03:04 PM

Charcloth, I suggest that you wait awhile before springing for an octave mandolin. Check out Han's Irish Bouzouki Homepage, do a websearch on citterns, and try sampling some music excerpts from sites such as the Green Linnet homepage. You will find there is a wide range of instruments that get called by a variety of names often interchangeably. Snoop around a little and I think you will find there are many considerations to keep you occupied before you buy your next CBOM i.e. Cittern Bouzouki Octave Mandolin. John


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: Charcloth
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 07:03 PM

as I stated earlier I already own a bouzouki--- that is it's bass strings are paired in octaves like a 12 string guitar. The octave mandolins I have seen are paired in unison and tend to have shorter necks I was hoping to hear from those who might have both to see if there was any significant difference between the sound of the two. Like a 12 string guitar & a 6 or as with an open back banjo & a bluegrass banjo. Since I am likely to order it by mail it makes hands on compairisons difficult


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 08:16 PM

Charcloth, you are getting into an area that has mystified me for years. It seems to me that the only real diference between "Irish style" bouzouki and the octave mandola is in the scale lengh (bouzouki being slightly longer and possibly having a couple more frets). Where you have mentioned the tuning differences, I can see no reason why either should not use ocatve or unison on string pairs...

My own feeling (and I'm likely to get shot down in flames for this) is that they are basically the same instrument and it is finding either/ or that you like that the sound and feel of that is the most important thing.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: John of the Hill
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 08:33 PM

Jon, I think a big part of the confusion arises from the fact that this is a group of instruments that range as widely as from a travel guitar to a jumbo 12 string, but with no agreed upon terminology. For example what is usuallly called an octave mandolin in the States is usually called an octave mandola in Europe. I am ordering what I consider to be a long scaled cittern, but the builder defines as a 10-string bouzouki. Makes it great fun! John


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: David Salamon
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 08:37 PM

A number of comments in reply (no order intended):

1. If you stick to GDAE tuning you can find a lot of written music and some software to use.

2. you can use either 'octave higher' or pairs on the base strings - your choice.

3. The longer the scale length the more stretch required. Personally I can't reach what I want to with any of the 25 inch or greater necks.

4. Citterns have 5 courses and mandolin family instr. have 4. Not a rule but a starting definition.

5. Now a personal comment. I like the 22 and 3/8 length. Why? I have a tenor banjo tuned GDAE (an irish idea, I think). Just got Blue star to make an electic 4 string roughly the same length. There are a number of 'octave mandolins' or irish bouzouki or mandola this length. Alternate you can get the 20 and 1/2? for all three. I like being able to go from one to the other easily. After I bought the ovation mandocello (25 and 1/2 scale length) I figure out most of this stuff. I still like and play it because it is a stong, powerfull battle ax. I tune it GDAE and it is a workout.

6. I agree with whoever said 'play it before you buy it.' I have also bought many before buying and now need to get rid of those that don't fit me.

7. Be prepared to play with string sizes in order to accommodate your direction.

8. Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 08:50 PM

Yes, GDAE is = standard for tenor banjo in Ireland. Standard for bouzouki tends to be ADAD or GDAD. So far as bouzoukis or mandolas are concerned, if they're tuned GDAE they tend to be called mandolas, and if it GDAD or ADAD its likely to be referred to as a bouzouki. But not always.

Whether you use octave tuning or unison tuning on the bass strings is purely up to you. (Presumably some instruments work better with one or the other.)

If you've got the loot, and you don't like tuning, get the two and tune them differently, because the sound and the way of playing tends to be different.

And remember, any time you are going through customs, you never say the case holds "a bouzouki", it's a funny sort of guitar.


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Dec 99 - 11:16 PM

Strictly speaking, a mandola is tuned CGDA like a viola, and the octave mandolin (I've always insisted on calling them baritone mandolins, since "octave mandola" -the common term in Europe- really ought to mean a mandocello, but I am inclined to be pedantic) an octave below mandolin, though open tunings are common -I use ADAD or occasionally GDGD. The sound is "chunkier", to my mind, than bouzouki, but that'd be mostly down to the stringing. And yes, you can get odd reactions in Customs. I once went through Marseilles airport, and the customs man asked me what I had in the canvas bag. I told him it was a round-backed bouzouki. Did he want to see it? "No", he said. "Just don't hi-jack the plane!"

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: grubby
Date: 06 Dec 99 - 09:02 PM

Charcloth, I have both and I use the short scale for picking tunes and the full scale bouzouki for rhythm accomp. in ADAD, CGCG,GDAD.where you can capo up. Having said that, and I stand to be corrected here, place a capo on your full scale bouzouki at the scale length of the octave mandolin you are interested in and listen to the sound. It should at least give you an indication of the expected sound you could expect to obtain from a shorter scale instrument.

Regards Grubby


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: charcloth
Date: 06 Dec 99 - 10:03 PM

Thanks grubby. I was thinking that the shorter scale would be better for lead and the longer for rhythm. Do you miss the octave pairs when you do lead or do you find that the unison notes give it more drive?


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 07 Dec 99 - 08:24 AM

I've tried just about every instrument and combination of tunings in this family of instruments. I've now settled to (what shall I call it?) a fairly short scale octave mandolin (octave mandola generally in England). I use GDAE tuning with strings in unison for both melody and chord work but that's because it suits me, both in the sound I like and the type of stuff I play. For many songs I prefer this for accompaniment to using my guitar. However, all of this, like instruments themselves, is very subjective and I know others who prefer the octave string sound and the "chunkier" open tunings.

I would always suggest that, if you can, you should try out several instruments before buying rather than buying "blind" (or should that be "deaf"?). This may avoid severe disappointment.

Best of luck with your purchase!

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: Davey
Date: 07 Dec 99 - 08:59 AM

Hi charcloth.. You mentioned that you will likely be purchasing by mail, which implies that you don't have good access to a well stocked music store. If you are within convenient travelling distance from a major music store, then I would *Highly* recommend you take a trip to the store to try out several instruments, for many reasons mentioned by several people.

I also have a Trinity College bouzouki, which I like for it's slightly jangly rhythm potential and it's punchy lead notes. I also have a regular mandolin and a mandocello. I have toyed with the idea of getting an octave mandolin both for the greater ease of chording, and for it's very different sound. (This wouls be an addition to and not a replacement for the bouzouki).. I just can't justify the expense right now.

Trying an instrument before you buy is probably the best way to minimize future frustration and possible disappointment.


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: charcloth
Date: 07 Dec 99 - 10:03 PM

Thanks folks. I will probably make the 6 hour trip to Elderly Instruments to make my purchase. ButI wanted to make sure the trip would be worthwhile and that adding an octave mand. was not a crazy idea.


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: John of the Hill
Date: 07 Dec 99 - 11:05 PM

Charcloth, After you get your octave mandolin, it will be time to start thinking about the larger bodied members of the mandolin family, and look for a cittern or mandocello. Then you can bounce back down to a mandola, and then...Good luck, John


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Subject: RE: Help: bouzouki/octave mandolin
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 04:01 PM

Have you had a chance to play a mandola yet? It might work well for what you have in mind. I played a couple over the weekend and I loved them. The string intervals are the same but it's different enough that it might be a good combination with your bouzouki. It might be better for lead work. Good Luck - try as many as you can.


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Subject: chords too irish songs
From:
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 04:16 PM


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