New player (guitarist)

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New player (guitarist)

Postby domforr » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:38 am

Hi all,

I'm an experienced guitarist who has recently started playing mandolin (Paul Hathway M1) and I just had a couple of questions.

I've had some very good advice from the Mandolin Cafe regarding changing technique from guitar to mandolin, which has helped a lot. What I would like now is to find some tunes/tab resources in a GDAD tuning so I can get a bit more familiar with the playing style.

Are there any books/videos that you can recommend?

I was also possibly looking for a good mandolin luthier to get the Hathway set-up. I bought it 2nd hand from America (crazy but it was cheaper that way) so it could probably do with a look over by someone trustworthy. I'm based in Enfield North London and the only guys I've really used before are LA guitars - who are good but not cheap.

Many thanks,

Dominic
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Re: New player (guitarist)

Postby John Kelly » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:02 am

Hello again, domforr. We chatted over on the cafe website earlier!

I am curious as to why you are picking the GDAD tuning rather than the "standard" GDAE? There are countless resources out there for tunes in standard tuning, but probably many fewer for GDAD, a tuning I tend to think of as more for the Irish bouzouki, but I stand to be corrected.

Re a good set-up: you can expect to pay a fair whack for this, especially if you manage to get a good specialist who knows mandolins as well as guitars. Most repair shops will be very well versed in guitar repairs, set-ups, etc, but many will be less so with mandolins. have you contacted Tosh of this parish yet? He runs a group in London and will probably be able to advise you much better than I can from the wilds of Scotland.
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Re: New player (guitarist)

Postby domforr » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:25 am

Hi John,

Nice to hear from you again:)

I chose GDAD mainly because it seemed more familiar to me as I have an Irish Bouzouki tuned in ADAD and guitars tuned in DADGAD. I kind of like the celtic drone sound as well.

I'll try and get hold of Tosh and see what he says re: set-ups.

Thanks,

Dom
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Re: New player (guitarist)

Postby Daniel » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:49 pm

I can recommend Jamie Swannell of Cambridge, if you get up this way at all.
jamieswannell@gmail.com
He's a very skilled builder, repairman, and teacher.
I've only ever used Jamie and AJ Lucas of Lincoln. So I cannot make a price comparison.

With regard to GDAD...
As you're familiar with the the tuning, then you can simply port over the tunes that you know from the other instruments. But John's right. The VAST majority of tabbed material will be in GDAE. I'm willing to bet its easier to find tab for mandola (CGDA) that GDAD.

You would benefit from getting used to that tuning and learning material in it. Left hand techniques may be affected, and it will be easier to pick things up by ear, as most mandolin players use GDAE.

best,
Daniel
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Re: New player (guitarist)

Postby domforr » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:06 pm

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the tips. Don't think I'll get that far afield. I may actually contact Paul Hathway directly and try and get it through to him.

I'll try the GDAE tuning, although from what I've read the GDAD tuning is well suited to English/Irish folk music rather than Bluegrass style?

Best,

Dominic
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Re: New player (guitarist)

Postby John Kelly » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:17 pm

I play mainly Scottish music with some Irish jigs and reels and a lot of bagpipe tunes on my GDAE tuning, Dominc, and it has not been a problem - but then I have never tried GDAD except on a bouzouki to play chords. I also dabble in fiddle playing so I think this also influences my thinking.

Interestingly we had a very fine young traditional fiddler playing at our session last Thursday and on the tunes she was not familiar with I was watching her focus and it was very largely on my left hand, as she was just picking up the fingering from what I was playing. Fiddle notation is quite often marked with the fingering by the teacher, and the 1,2 and 3 correspond to the 2nd, 4th and 5th frets of our mandolin fingering in open position. The scale notes give the fiddler the wide and narrow spacing corresponding to the whole tone and half tone intervals. The GDAE configuration also allows shifting across the strings without having to change the patterns you are playing, all the string courses being a fifth apart.
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Re: New player (guitarist)

Postby domforr » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:26 pm

Thanks John. I'll give it a try. I think it's mainly just a comfort zone thing with keeping things as familiar as possible, but in the long run that may not be the best option and may be a bit limiting.
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Re: New player (guitarist)

Postby Onechordtrick » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:16 pm

As you're in North London I'd suggest that you get in touch with Paul Hathway as he's relatively local to you
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