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Calebcat
11-28-2010, 11:58 AM
Christmas is coming up, and I decided to ask for a new ukulele, but I'm reconsidering that thought. I really love the sound of uke and I've been playing for near a year. But, I've really been enjoying the sound of the mandolin. I'm having trouble deciding which ukulele I would want. Dare I ask what a great entrance mandolin would be, as I know nothing of the instrument. And could you compare ukulele to mandolin?

haolejohn
11-28-2010, 12:03 PM
Christmas is coming up, and I decided to ask for a new ukulele, but I'm reconsidering that thought. I really love the sound of uke and I've been playing for near a year. But, I've really been enjoying the sound of the mandolin. I'm having trouble deciding which ukulele I would want. Dare I ask what a great entrance mandolin would be, as I know nothing of the instrument. And could you compare ukulele to mandolin?

mandolins are cool but your thread title makes it sound like a choice between uke or mandolin. I think mandolins are tuned like fiddles. Not sure, I've know a G C and D on mandolin and would love to play one but right now it is uke only for me.

Calebcat
11-28-2010, 12:05 PM
mandolins are cool but your thread title makes it sound like a choice between uke or mandolin. I think mandolins are tuned like fiddles. Not sure, I've know a G C and D on mandolin and would love to play one but right now it is uke only for me.
Well, I meant it by a choice. I don't think I understand how it could be confused with something irrelevant to the title.

haolejohn
11-28-2010, 12:13 PM
Well, I meant it by a choice. I don't think I understand how it could be confused with something irrelevant to the title.

Ok I am confused. Are you asking us if we'd rather have a uke or a mandolin? But then ikn the 1st post you ask us to compare uke to mandolin. It isn't really important. I think most of us will tell you uke b/c this is a uke forum. But there are many on here who play the mandolin as well. Do you play a lot of folk music? bluegrass? Mandolins are cool and I would love to learn to play beyond my basic G C and D but I just prefer uke. It is more eccentric than mandolin IMO:)

Calebcat
11-28-2010, 12:20 PM
It was more of like should I ask for a new uke or mandolin. And since I knew nothing about mandolin, I was curious for a compare/contrast sort of thing.

Lori
11-28-2010, 01:24 PM
Maybe you should consider a 6 string or 8 string ukulele. You could build on your current knowledge, yet get some of that full rich sound that is similar to what a mandolin can offer.

–Lori

haolejohn
11-28-2010, 01:27 PM
It was more of like should I ask for a new uke or mandolin. And since I knew nothing about mandolin, I was curious for a compare/contrast sort of thing.

have you played with a mandolin? I thik it has 8 strings and it is a little rougher onthe hands. I also think that the mandolin is more of a picking instrument. Both are fun though. I also think that the ukulelel is a little more affordable.

itsme
11-28-2010, 01:31 PM
Well, since you are asking this on an uke forum, be prepared for some uke bias. :p

I've played mandolin before and still own four.

Yes, they are tuned like a violin, GDAE (low to high). They have steel strings that are doubled. You have to build up some serious calluses before you'll be comfortable playing for any length of time. If you struggle with sore fingertips on uke, perhaps mando is not for you.

They are roughly comparable in size to a tenor uke. You are going to have to spend more to get a decently playable beginner model compared to uke. Setup is very important, if the nut's too high, you'll probably never be able to barre the first fret.

See if you can try one out at a local music store before you decide to take the plunge.

You might want to have a look around over at Mandolin Cafe.

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/

Dane
11-28-2010, 02:44 PM
Mandolin fretboards are considerably thinner than ukulele fretboards. The strings are paired so it makes for strange, difficult, (and for me painful) fretting. And really you must use picks. Mandolin might be close in size to ukulele, but it's a whole different instrument. It's similar in size to a concert ukulele.

Doug W
11-28-2010, 03:51 PM
You do have an acceptable ukulele right now - right? As a guitar, mandolin, uke player I would say go for the mandolin.

Don't know what your budget is, Kentucky makes some decent mandolins starting in the $240 range.

Calebcat
11-28-2010, 04:00 PM
I wanted to go for something that would be a little more challenging than that of a ukulele, I've tried to play guitar and it's just not as enjoyable as ukulele. But, since I've never even touched a mandolin, I might as well just go with a new uke. As you can tell from my signature, I still have quite a collection to obtain. As usual, thanks for the help guys.

Lori
11-28-2010, 04:20 PM
The ukulele can be as challenging as you like it. Try some different styles ( clawhammer, classical, etc) and tunings (low G, slack key). The ukulele has a lot to offer. Whenever I tried a mandolin, I felt the string tension was too high for me, and the metal strings harsh on my fingertips. I had a 12 sting guitar as a teen, and it now belongs to my brother. I managed classical guitar and 5 string banjo OK though. I have tested 6 string and 8 string ukuleles. I have found my limits, I think. For me 8 string ukuleles were too hard to play for very long. 6 string was fine.

–Lori

Dane
11-28-2010, 06:59 PM
The uke can be extremely challenging, if you take it that far. Any instrument is going to be difficult at first, then you will get the hang of it and say to yourself "I want to play something more challenging" but you never took it past the "intermediate" range.

If anything I say the mandolin is much more like a guitar than an ukulele, so if you don't like guitar I do not suggest mandolin. Mandolins are very interesting, and I am under the belief that you truly must play some mandolins a few times before getting one, because they are very different, and even if you like the sound, it doesn't mean you will like how it feels. Seems hit or miss to me. I love the sound, don't like the feel of them.

I Ukulista
11-29-2010, 12:33 PM
I've got an antique mandolin and I never play it. I bought a nice German mandolin but I sold it. I picked up a really cheap mandolin and converted it into a Cavaquinho that I tuned to D,G,B,E but I never play it. I play my ukulele all the time!
I suggest you buy a good mandolin with a resale value in mind.
If you get stuck with it you can always slice salad through it.
On the other hand you might love it.

Coconut Willie
11-30-2010, 09:40 AM
Maybe you should consider a 6 string or 8 string ukulele. You could build on your current knowledge, yet get some of that full rich sound that is similar to what a mandolin can offer.

–Lori

I agree with Lori.....get a 6 or 8 string uke!

musicman44
01-03-2011, 05:57 PM
It was more of like should I ask for a new uke or mandolin. And since I knew nothing about mandolin, I was curious for a compare/contrast sort of thing.

As the holidays are over, maybe this response is a little too late. :)

I'm been playing mandolin for almost 5 years and been playing uke for just about two weeks, and there's a big difference in coming from a steel string to flurocarbon string instrument. The mandolin, like any other instrument, takes a lot of getting used to. I had been playing guitar for a long time, but it took a lot of discipline to get technique and picking patterns down, and it's always a constant refining exercise. Coming to the uke is different for me in that since I'd been practicing so much on picking and licks and strumming on the mandolin, the uke for me is kind of a relaxing strumming instrument.

My wife compares a mandolin to the ukelele as "one is high-strung and the other is mellow." I bet you can guess which is which here... ;) I love the mandolin, and I love the uke, but each for different reasons. I myself am very meticulous about musical perfection on the mandolin, so the uke is a wonderful escape and relaxation instrument for me. It all depends on what you want to play as well. I prefer bluegrass on the mandolin, so traditionally its very specific and disciplined. That doesn't mean that you can't play some of your favorite uke songs on a mandolin. It's up to you. With every instrument we play there is one rule that I think should always apply. If you're having fun, then nothing else really matters. The minute you lose that, there's a problem. Hope this has been helpful.