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Smokin' Mandolins

Cigar Box Mandolins

Members: 98
Latest Activity: Aug 1

Discussion Forum

Playing chords with the melody

Started by Paul Cooper. Last reply by Paul Cooper Sep 3, 2013. 20 Replies

I am new to cigar box nation,  I learned to play the violin so I can pick out a few tunes, but I've never learned to play chords,  Is it possible to play the melody with chords so as the tunes are…Continue

Tags: chords, with, melody, the, Playing

Cigar Box Mandolin help

Started by Dakota McGivern Sep 4, 2012. 0 Replies

i am new to the cigar box world and i was hoping to get some tips on Cigar Box Mandolins! Continue

Bolt on VS Through Necks for Mandolins

Started by Tristan Chambers. Last reply by Mark Werner Sep 8, 2011. 2 Replies

Hello mando-makers, I'm consider making a bolt on neck but it seems to me that the tension of so many strings would put the box under a lot of stress. I'm wondering what your experiences have been…Continue

Mandolin Nut Course Spacing

Started by Steven Miller Jan 4, 2010. 0 Replies

If the two strings in a course are too far apart, your finger will jam between them when playing, completely messing up the tone and intonation. I recently learned this by trial and error when…Continue

Tags: Action, Course, Double, Nut, Mandolin

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Comment by Uncle John on January 8, 2013 at 7:25am

Standard mando strings (GDAE) tuned GDGD- actually less pressure.

Comment by Marmelade on January 8, 2013 at 2:12am

How do you do to choose your strings ? Are they from a mandolin set ?

Comment by Chuck Cobillas on January 7, 2013 at 9:56pm
Thanks Uncle John, I'll give that a try sometime!
Comment by Uncle John on January 7, 2013 at 9:11pm

Thanks Croc.  May try that some time.   Was one of these the way Shane's mando was tuned for the Jumper vid?  It sounded like the GDgd.

Comment by CrocBite on January 7, 2013 at 9:05pm

Uncle John - Sounds great!

I love that tuning, someone introduced me to it some time ago.  It's wonderfully reminiscent of a mountain dulcimer (my first love).  

Some of my builds sound great in AEae too.

Comment by Uncle John on January 7, 2013 at 8:54pm

I agree with CrocBite- mandos have been challenging for me.   Here is a vid on a tuning that is new to me and fun and easy to play.

Comment by CrocBite on January 7, 2013 at 2:02pm

Devil Man, best of luck in your mandolin build!  I find them to be the most challenging and rewarding cigar box instrument to create. 

Even with through-style necks, there is a lot of tension on that soundboard!  I could never get any internal bracing to sound good to me, so I started bracing my cigar box mandolin soundboards externally with a steel cover plate.  I figure if armored plates work for crocs, they'll work for CrocBites, and so far they do.  They do color the tone though, in a way that I like.  

here's one in action :

Comment by Brian Walak on January 7, 2013 at 1:37pm
I've made few 8 string cigar box mandolins and was not able to find much in the way of plans. Basically got the scale from stew Mac calculator and went from there. I did find with 8 strings a through body is much easier!!
Comment by Chuck Cobillas on January 7, 2013 at 11:43am
Devil Man,
I usually use StewMac's online fret calculator for all my builds:
http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator
Just fill in the info and it does all the calculations.
Good Luck!
Comment by Hillbilly Luthiers on January 7, 2013 at 11:06am

Guys i have made many guitars but i would like to try my hand at a 4 sting mandolin. Can some one point me to the specs for mandolins. i can't seem to find any info on them and there aren't any "free plans" here on CB Nation that i can see... Please help

 

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