The mandolin as we know today developed from a family of lute-like instruments known as mandores. At first, there were various kinds of mandolins, with some having as many as 8 sets of double strings. The most common and popular type of mandolin, the type that is used for classical music, Italian and bluegrass genres is the Neapolitan mandolin.
The Neapolitan mandolin has grown in popularity particularly as a classical instrument over the years. But as an instrument for country music, the mandolin is indispensable, which explains why it is such a popular choice with both novice and advanced musicians. As such, if you are thinking of taking it up as an instrument, you will be happy to know that you will be in the company of many great mandolin players.
Why you should play the mandolin
So, you finally want to learn how to play the Mandolin. As a beginner, a mandolin is an excellent option for anyone that is just getting started on their musical journey. You will be happy to know that the mandolin is one of the easiest instruments out there to learn how to play. A mandolin may be a tiny instrument, but you should not let its size fool you because it is also quite powerful. Here are some more great reasons why you should take up the mandolin as your instrument of choice:
10 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Play the Mandolin
1. It is relatively easy
The mandolin is an easy instrument to learn. Because it has fewer strings compared to many other stringed instruments such as the guitar and violin, reading tablature is definitely a lot easier. Depending on the key of the song you are playing, the scale structure will be nicely laid out and easy on the fingerboard which will make it less challenging to master with practice. Generally, stringed instruments with frets such as the guitar, banjo, and mandolin tend to be easier to learn compared to those without such as the violin family.
2. Has a great design
Of all the fretted instruments, the mandolin also has the best design. To start playing a basic scale, a beginner only needs to use 3 fingers; learners start by plucking the bottom string. This technique is not as difficult to master unlike in guitar for example, where standard guitar tuning prevents beginners from playing simple scales that are in order like in the mandolin.
3. Express your creativity and relieve stress levels
Playing the mandolin can help you express your creativity. Having a hard day? A session on your mandolin can make your blues go away. Playing the mandolin has tremendous therapeutic capabilities that can make it easier for you to cope by engaging in a fun activity that allows you to flex your creative musical muscles.
4. Impress friends and colleagues
Being a mandolin player can be an added bonus for your social life. As not very many people choose the mandolin, it is a great attention stealing asset and a conversation starter. If you take out your mandolin at an event not only will you attract fans and listeners, but you will also be able to impress anyone that needs impressing.
5. Learning other instruments made easy
Once you learn how to play the mandolin, learning how to play other instruments, especially stringed ones, will be comparatively straightforward. Anyone that has experience with the violin, for example, can pick up the mandolin and play it well.
The primary starting point of learning how to play the mandolin is figuring out how all the chords and notes work, which requires some form of music theory. There is a wealth of materials out there that can impart knowledge on musical patterns, scales and modes; but the wonderful thing about it all is that all these components also apply to other instruments.
6. It is a brilliant source of income
If you take playing the mandolin seriously, it can be a great way of earning a living. Whether you choose to become a seasonal mandolin player or a performing one, you will be able to earn money and have fun while doing it. When your skills become advanced, you can start to handle an array of genres, which will open more opportunities for you in the music industry.
7. Improve your concentration and memory
When you play the mandolin, there are certain parts of your brain that become stimulated, therefore affecting your muscle and cognitive function and memory. With continued practice, you actually stand a chance of improving your concentration levels and memory. Furthermore, playing the mandolin is a quality and productive way to relax and unwind in today’s busy contemporary world.
The mandolin is a very versatile instrument because it can fit seamlessly in just about any style of music that you can imagine. Whether you prefer playing bluegrass, eastern European, new age, classical jazz, Caribbean, country or bluegrass, the mandolin family of instruments can be utilized with ease. Regardless of what your personal taste in music is, the mandolin is a wonderful choice.
9. Plays rhythm and melody
The mandolin plays both rhythm and melody, which means that there is no limit as to what you can learn. If you opt to focus on learning a dozen basic chords, you can be able to join any jam session to play rhythms. Learning melody might take a little more time and willingness to practice- it is often a lifelong pursuit for professional musicians.
10. Easy to handle
This may be a little obvious, but mandolins are small and portable, which means that you can move with them from place to place without worrying about straining yourself. The mandolin is lightweight and compact so you can practice it anywhere.
The mandolin is a phenomenal choice of instrument for anyone that want to improve their memory, boost their creativity levels, as well as anyone looking for a fun way to make money. Like any instrument, the mandolin will present its own sets of challenges and might require lots of practice if playing instruments does not come naturally to you. In any case, the mandolin is a rewarding instrument that will engage you while having plenty of fun in the process.