The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  1. #1

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    About a year and a half ago, I bought an Eastman MDA315 Mandola. What a wonderful sonority, and fifths tuning has been fun to learn! I thought of adding a Mandolin, but they feel too small. So, I just got an Eastman MDO305 Octave Mandolin with a K&K Mandolin Twin Internal pickup installed. Acoustically, It's not quite as full sounding as the Mandola - the body's strangely not as deep, and it could benefit from slightly heavier strings (e.g., light gauge Mandola strings) - but those deficiencies as well as the shortish scale work to its advantage (i.e., easy playability and less susceptibility to feedback) when played thru my Henriksen Bud 6; it sounds glorious! I'd been thinking of getting the K&K pickup system installed in the Mandola, but I can just capo the Octave Mandolin at the 5th fret to simulate that sound when amplified. So, I'm having great fun with these 'alternative' instruments. Could there be a Mandocello in my future?!
    NOMD (New Octave Mandolin Day)!-my-mdo305-jpg


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    Could there be a Mandocello in my future?!
    My avatar.

  4. #3

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  5. #4

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    I never heard of an octave mandolin. How is it tuned? I too was contemplating a mondola because of the wider fret spacing, but maybe the octave mandolin is the ticket.

  6. #5

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    This may help:

    The mandolin family includes the mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin, mando-cello, and the rarely seen mando-bass

    The mandolin family is related to the violin family, with basically the same assortment of various-sized instruments intended to be played together to form a single harmonious sound.

    Mandolins come in many varieties, but in all cases they’re the soprano voice of the mandolin family. The strings are tuned to the notes G, D, A and E (the same as a violin), and mandolins have pairs of strings for each note.

    The mandola is a sister to the viola from the violin family. It has a rich voice and is tuned to the notes C, G, D and A, placing it in the alto range of the ensemble.

    The octave mandolin (or the octave mandola as it’s sometimes called) is tuned to G, D, A and E, one full octave lower than the mandolin, placing it somewhere between the mandola and the mando-cello.

    The mando-cello, much like its cousin the violin-cello, can provide rich low notes to fill out the bottom register of the family. The mando-cello is tuned to C, G, D and A like the mandola, but one complete octave lower.

    The role of the mando-bass is like other bass instruments, although most people today use a string bass or even an electric bass guitar for this role. The mando-bass has only four strings and is tuned to E, A, D and G (like a stand-up or electric bass).
    NOMD (New Octave Mandolin Day)!-mandofam-jpg
    Last edited by Tom Karol; 12-09-2022 at 01:28 PM.