Post by woodtoner on Apr 15, 2022 21:07:26 GMT
Today I had the pleasure of playing what I think is a mandola for the first time (as well as a tenor guitar for the first time..I'm hooked). I've been wanting to play one for a while and I finally got the chance on a lovely Paul Hathway* all mahogany one.
Well at least I think it was one as it hadn't been played for a while so there was a little confusion as to what it is actually classed as.
It belonged to the owners late partner and she restrung it only to have the new strings break. She bought a different set and between 3 of us we struggled to find the right pitch for it. There was also a little confusion as to what tuning it should be in.
I'm hoping someone here can confirm what it technically is as a search on the interweb was just as baffling to me and somehow led me down a rabbit hole full of banjo basses...
It has a 52cm scale length - so does that make it a mandola, an octave mandola or an octave mandolin?
What would be the ideal strings/gauge for it?
What would be the best tuning for it? (the owner is a viola player with mando capabilities) Ideally we would be able to use the same chord shapes as mando on it.
We did get it close to what we thought was right but we played a song that I do on mando occasionally and i nearly blew the top of my head off as it was in a key higher than what the chord would be on a standard mando (g). It just didn't seem quite right.
any help would be appreciated.
*interestingly & strangely I've been admiring Hathway mando's online for a while and considered getting one. It turns out that a bass player I recently started playing with has a Hathway mando that I love and The viola player I played with today who will be playing with us has a Hathway mandolathingamajig. weird. Also between us we have 3 double basses! I want to do a cover of Spinal Tap's "Big Bottom" with them maybe with my Banjo playing buddy on his washtub bass too...