Buy a mandolin
Decide what type of mandolin you want to buy. There are flat jaws, bowl jaws, eight strings, five strings, F-style, A-style and so on. Many bluegrass mandolinists play the instrument F-style, while many orchestra musicians choose between A-style or F-style. If you are a beginner to the mandolin, you may want to start with a flat, tear-shaped instrument that is affordable and comfortable to play.
Choose where you want to buy your mandolin. Mandolins are sold in most music stores and are sometimes found in farmers’ stores. If you want to buy your mandolin from a store, go to a music store that specializes in acoustic string instruments as it will have a wider selection of mandolins. If you want a high quality custom mandolin, you should contact a private luthier to make one for you.
Check the physical Check that the joints, bindings and glue seams are nice and tight. Check if the neck is straight or curved (a curved neck makes the mandolin difficult to play.) Make sure that the mandolin does not have any cracks and that the sound card (the upper edge of the mandolin) is not curved or crushed.
Find out what type of wood the mandolin is cut from. Most mandolin soundboards are made of spruce, but some varieties use laminated tops. Some mandolinists believe that a mandolin made of spruce sounds better than one with a laminated top. But customers on a budget may want to consider the laminated mandolins, as they tend to be cheaper.
Play the instrument. After controlling the mandrel, play the instrument to assess its playability. If the mandolin is difficult to play, keep looking until you find one that suits you.
Tips and warnings
A member of the lye family, manolin was developed in Italy during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Originally, the mandolin was plunged with a fingertip and came with 12 strings. Nowadays, most mandolins are picked with one pick and have 8 strings.
In America, mandolin is often found in bluegrass music, but it has also trickled into mainstream country and rock. Popular bands, such as REM, White Stripes and Nickel Creek, have included the mandolin in their music.
Mandolins are available for purchase at most music stores. High quality mandolins can also be purchased from a private luthier but at a higher cost.