Decisions, decisions. 4/8 string decisions…
Sporadically posted here in 2017. I recently sold a Fender FM62SCE mandolin with the intention of "upgrading" or "sidegrading" or whatever you’d like to call it.
I haven’t been gigging the mandolin in a long while so had no deadline as such to find a replacement.
Most of my playing would be accompanying guitarists in a band or 2 piece scenario, so I’d have a few tunes, but mainly chords and melodies.
Main criteria for a replacement was a wider neck, so I’ve thrown everything into the mix, from mandolins to bouzoukis. Recent strumming on a tenor guitar has only added to my decision making process…
While the tenor guitars feel good to me, they sound pretty much like, well, a guitar, so worried they might get lost in a mix or a session. I’m a guitarist anyway, so not sure if a tenor would be a waste of a purchase.
It would be fun to learn some tunes on one, but maybe I could just retune a guitar and do the same thing…
I just can’t get used to bouzoukis. I’ve played cheap ones, and more expensive ones, and I just can’t get used to the first four or five frets. Coming from a mandolin, it just feels weird so I’ve had to rule them out!
Mandolins and Octave Mandos have been more hit and miss. I’ve seen some cheap ones that felt good, and the Tanglewood TSM Master mando felt good, even though 0 fret looked a bit odd. So, this is in the running.
The Siveen mandos I played had great projection.
So, by chance, the tenor guitar is in the mix. Lovely feel and chords and tunes were easy to play, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone play one in a session? (I tried a cheap enough Blue Ridge tenor)
Maybe the Pono Octaves might be along similar lines, but no chance of finding any in Ireland at the moment.
One thing I can say is that almost all instruments I tried out felt different and sounded slightly different so trying off the shelf is a must.