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View Full Version : Tune a mandolin like a uke? + other questions



CountryMouse
04-25-2010, 08:20 PM
I'm thinking of getting new strings for my old mandolin--what brand should I buy? I don't remember what brand the ones are that are on there *now*. I just know they are decades OLD.

And I'm thinking of tuning it G (low) C E A, as I don't remember chord shapes at ALL for mandolin, plus I don't want to try to relearn and get myself confused when I play ukulele. I never did know many chords on the mandolin, nor did I do much more than strum slowly. I should've had an ukulele then, but the mandolin was free. :)

Has anyone else done this? Any recommendations and/or ideas? Thanks!

CountryMouse

heyjude
04-26-2010, 12:52 AM
Since you're not doing a lot of mandolin playing I will recommend using light gauge strings. I would stay with mandolin tuning GDAE, who knows you might take up the fiddle someday and it uses the same tuning. Here's a nice chart of two-finger chords you might find useful.
http://www.mandolincafe.com/two.html
As a two mandolins, eleven ukuleles owner I feel your pain.:)

Jude

cornfedgroove
04-26-2010, 03:58 AM
To use steel strings and go from GDAE to GCEA would likely cause a problem on the two high strings...tuning down from AE to EA will probably make them too loose, and tuning up will bust them. Thats my guess

WhenDogsSing
04-26-2010, 04:40 AM
I can rework it for you in GCEA Ms. Mouse...Send me an EMail and we can work out when...:)

Paul December
04-26-2010, 05:13 AM
Cool idea if it is possible...
...anything that makes you play it more often!

I've seen posts of people who re-strung solid body mandolins as ukes.

SnakeOiler
04-26-2010, 08:28 AM
I have an old Manjo that I strung like an 8 string Uke using fishing line. I get really cool sounds out of it. The super thin neck is a little hard to finger Uke chords tho'

clayton56
04-26-2010, 09:13 AM
you can do it but you should use guitar strings. The gauges of the mandolin strings are made to be right for the wider range between the strings. The guitar strings are the same relationship as uke.

I did this, as a test. However the scale length was so short I had to tune it higher than C to get the tension right. I think it was playing up in Eb or so. Sounded cool but not that useful.

itsme
04-26-2010, 02:01 PM
you can do it but you should use guitar strings. The gauges of the mandolin strings are made to be right for the wider range between the strings. The guitar strings are the same relationship as uke.

I did this, as a test. However the scale length was so short I had to tune it higher than C to get the tension right. I think it was playing up in Eb or so. Sounded cool but not that useful.
Interesting. How did you attach them? All of my mandos use a loop-end string.

CountryMouse
04-26-2010, 05:00 PM
I can rework it for you in GCEA Ms. Mouse...Send me an EMail and we can work out when...:)

Thanks! :) I'll email you about further stuff. I haven't made up my mind what I want to do with it, other than play it again. :)

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
04-26-2010, 05:12 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your input! I found the old wrapper for the strings that are on it--Gibson medium gauge. I haven't made up my mind totally yet about which way to have it tuned yet. Lots to think about. :)

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
04-26-2010, 05:17 PM
I have an old Manjo that I strung like an 8 string Uke using fishing line. I get really cool sounds out of it. The super thin neck is a little hard to finger Uke chords tho'

How did you attach the strings? Mine takes the loop ends.

CountryMouse

clayton56
04-26-2010, 08:19 PM
the little collett comes out and it leaves a loop

guitharsis
04-26-2010, 11:54 PM
Since you're not doing a lot of mandolin playing I will recommend using light gauge strings. I would stay with mandolin tuning GDAE, who knows you might take up the fiddle someday and it uses the same tuning. Here's a nice chart of two-finger chords you might find useful.
http://www.mandolincafe.com/two.html
As a two mandolins, eleven ukuleles owner I feel your pain.:)

Jude

I agree.

I was looking at my mandolin music yesterday and want to start playing again. I commissioned a mandolin from Andy Poe over two years ago and am looking forward to receiving it.
Have been so wrapped up with ukulele the past year haven't even touched a mando!
2 luthier-made mandos, 4 vintage mandos, 5 ukuleles :)