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Love styles like country and bluegrass and are you charmed by the sparkling sound of the mandolin? Bax Music is a great place to pick your first or your fifth mandolin.
The Best Mandolin for the Best Price
While traditional mandolins pack masses of volume in spite of their acoustic build, these days, you can also get a model that you can plug directly into an acoustic amplifier. You'll find both versions as well as left-handed acoustic and electric violins in our online shop. Want to learn more about the mandolin? Check out our blog: The Mandolin: The Basics.
The Various Mandolin Body Styles
You may have noticed that not all mandolins are shaped the same way. There are the popular archtop models which have either a gracious F-style body or a tighter A-style body. Just like the top, the back is usually arched, although flat-back mandolins do exist. Bowl-back mandolins hark back to the lute-like instruments that the mandolin stems from. Nowadays, you can even get a mandolin equipped strings that sound and feel a little like a modern guitar.
The Sound of the Mandolin
Mandolins have a relatively short neck which is why they're tuned to a higher pitch and sound brighter than a guitar. Not only that, virtually all mandolins have string courses, meaning each string is doubled for a richer sound. The tremolo playing technique where you quickly pick the pairs of strings gives the mandolin its classic sound.
A standard (soprano) mandolin is tuned to the same pitch as a violin, so G - D - A - E, while the tenor mandola is tuned in the same way as a viola, so C - D - G - E. The tenor mandolin is sometimes referred to as an octave-mandolin because it's tuned one octave lower than the soprano version. If you want to go even lower, go for a mandocello with a C - D - G - E tuning, or a mandobass - the lowest-pitched 'mandolin' there is, which is tuned just like double basses and bass guitars. Bouzoukis, by the way, are basically tenor mandolins in an alternative tuning (e.g. Greek or Irish folk-style). Simply looking for a pack of fresh strings? Go to our range of Mandolin Strings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mandolins
How much does a mandolin cost?
Woke up with the urge to take a punt at the mandolin? You can call one your own for less than one hundred quid. That said, if you're already set on starting a career as a violinist, you'll probably want to spend at least a few hundred pounds on a dependable side-kick. For more advanced as well as professional players, there are high-end violins that cost over £1,000.
What's the best mandolin?
That depends on your definition of 'best'. If you're looking to get the most bang for of your buck, you don't need to spend more than a hundred. If you want a higher level of comfort, sound, build quality and playability though, you're looking at a price of several hundreds or more. Mandolins furnished with a solid top generally offer a richer sound and are often relatively expensive within their respective price range.
How many strings does a mandolin have?
Almost all mandolins are equipped with eight strings, so four pairs of pitch-matched strings.