Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Any advice, please, on where’s the best shop in Dublin - or anywhere in Ireland - to buy a bouzouki (or octave mandolin) for a beginner?
Thanks

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Hey molaoch, if your up in Belfast you should call into:
‘Marcus Musical Instruments Ltd’
http://www.marcusmusicbelfast.com/

They’re at:
125 Royal Avenue,
Belfast,
BT1 1FF
028 9032 2871

& ask for Donal!

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

i can second that, i just bought i flyde octave mandolin from marus, donal’s good to deal with.

there’s also plenty on ebay, you could get a bargain.

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Fylde is a good starter instrument and will hold it’s value when you want to trade up.

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

It all depends what you want to pay, is the beginner a total beginner or transferring from another instrument, in which case they will already have some sensitivity to how the instrument behaves and sounds - will they immediately be aware of the ‘zouks’ deficiencies if you buy too cheap, or will it be a useful tool as they learn to get their ear in and the fingers moving right, and maybe bash the thing about a bit as they carry it about, till they are ready to move up to a better instrument ?
Personally, I wouldn’t buy a europaen Ozark ‘zouk for any but an absolute beginner with no track record of music. On the other hand, the Pacific-rim ‘zouks are quite well-made, with a good quality control - Ozark, Trinity College, Vintage, Johnson; there’s a lot of badge engineering but they all seem to come off the same production line, and although I would recommend a Red-Henry-pattern ( see previous comments on this forum ) bridge to replace what’s fitted, they do have good action and tone.
Equally, if you could find a second-hand Fylde or similar, then that should hold it’s value if not mistreated, if that’s important to you.
Your budget is probably the biggest criterium - what do you feel is a reasonable price for a starter instrument ?

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Thanks to all who replied. In reply to Guernsey Pete: he is a competent guitar player but doesn’t want to spend a lot on an instrument (bouzouki) he’s not sure he’ll stick with. As to reasonable cost for a starter instrument, I have no idea, but given that reasonable guitars can be got for a few hundred euro, I’m sure he’d only want to spend about the same on a bouzouki. Is that a ridiculous expectation?
Thanks again.

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

"Guernsey Pete: he is a competent guitar player …" Ha Ha - only competent, eh Pete? Never worry old son, just you keep practicing! 😛

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Ptarmigan
I think you’ve misread what I was referring to. If you can laugh at my syntax, may I snigger at your incompetent spelling? 🙂
Best wishes.

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Aye, only funnin’ mal, but I’m going into hiding now - let me know when Pete stops looking for me!

Incompetent spelling? Should it be spelt ‘ewe’, or were you referring to:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/practicing

By the way, I play an Oakwood Octave Mandola - ‘Classic’ myself:
http://www.oakwoodinstruments.co.uk/four/mandolas/mola.htm

I should play it more often but, being a fiddle player first, I just don’t seem to get the time.

I had my hands on a Davy Stuart Guitar bodied Mandola just last week & that is certainly one meaty instrument.
It has a rich & fuller sound than your average Mandola or Bouzouki, but there is less of the tinkly, jangly sound you might expect from that family of instruments.

I reckon the best advice would be to, if possible, try as many as you can, before you buy.

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Ptarmigan,
Thanks for the advice. My nephew would love to try a range of instruments before buying, but the problem is that he lives in the middle of Ireland and none of the shops have any range of bouzoukis at all. We rang some shops in Dublin and only one of them had any bouzoukis in stock.
I think the spelling issue is simply an example of different American/British usage.
Thanks again for your help.
Best wishes

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

For those of us with no stary ambitions, being described as a competent guitar-player is a compliment. LOL
No offense, Ptarmy.
Where are you at, Molaoch ? It’s not as if Eire is THAT big, I seem to remember Mick Maloney or someone singing a song about ? Mulingar ? or somewhere else in the Midlands, complaining that it was one of his signposts, if he’d played a one-off gig in the West, he knew when he drove through there he’d still have two hours to Dublin. I reckon take an weekend excursion to Dublin, but I’m surprised to hear there was only one shop that had ‘zouks in stock. And definitely, in your case, a pacific-rim instrument would be a minimum. Or try Ebay -I seem to remember you can list what you’re searching for - try Ebay Eire on its own, you might come up trumps with something near enough to you to look at it first.

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Question for Ptarmy - what bridge did the Davy Stuart mandola have on it ? Was it a fixed bridge with the strings pinned, or a floating bridge with a tailpice ? The difference this makes to the tone is quite significant.

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

I was walking past Marcus Music the other day and I noticed that they have a Fylde touchstone bouzouki in stock. A fine instrument indeed. Well worth investigating…

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

they also have a jimmy moon bouzouki in as well, i have one of his mandolins, and i can recommend them.

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Thanks Guernsey Pete,
I’m only about fifty miles from Dublin so I will definitely have a look around there.
Thanks again.

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

"fixed … or a floating bridge.." - Sorry Pete, I don’t remember, the player was actually sitting with the back of his instrument facing me ( if you see what I mean! ) but I’ll certainly have a closer look, next time I see him.

Which would you recommend Pete?

Re: Buying a bouzouki for a beginner

Think that might be a Moon cittern that there Molloy, but I could be wrong. I have a Moon Octave Mando. Am very pleased with it. Jimmy Moon himslef was very good to deal with.