The Electric Mandolin

Joel Glassman

Tiny Moore, Johnny Gimble, and Paul Glasse (all players with roots in Western Swing) may be the most well known musicians to feature electric mando on a regular basis, though there are many others who have used it. Tiny, Johnny and Paul have played electric instruments with 4 or 5 single strings, rather than double strings, and tend to go for "clean" guitar-like sounds-- un-distorted and un-processed. I was lucky to have studied with Moore and Glasse at music camps, and to have heard them in concert.

The idea of making an electric mandolin has been on my mind for years. I managed to make one without any instrument building experience. Its been finished for a while now, so here's a sort of "stream of consciousness ramble" on the instrument and some great players.


JUMP TO THE DISCOGRAPHY

To Buy or Build?
The solid body mandolin is definitely a "niche" instrument. You can't generally walk into a music store and find one new or used. Fender made two models (left) in the 50s/60s which now are hard to find and expensive.



Gibson's electric mandolin models include the EM200 solidbody (right). The two-point "florentine" body shape featured a single P90 pickup and was produced between 1954 and 71. They also sold the model 150 (center)-- an acoustic/electric until 1971 and two others in the 1940's. Roberts and Saga/Kentucky also built commercial instruments. Roberts produced the Tiny Moore and Jazz 5 models, and Kentucky sold a mandolin with a string-bender based on the mechanism used by Clarence White of the Byrds. Currently, you can buy a Blue Star instrument from Elderly.

Gibson's electric mandolin models include the EM200 solidbody (right). The two-point "florentine" body shape featured a single P90 pickup and was produced between 1954 and 71. They also sold the model 150 (center)-- an acoustic/electric until 1971 and two others in the 1940's. Roberts and Saga/Kentucky also built commercial instruments. Roberts produced the Tiny Moore and Jazz 5 models, and Kentucky sold a mandolin with a string-bender based on the mechanism used by Clarence White of the Byrds. Currently, you can buy a Blue Star instrument from Elderly.

Occasionally these and instruments by other builders show-up on the used market. Custom builders offering the instrument tend to charge at least $800, (which is perfectly reasonable but above my budget.) The easiest way to get the electric mandolin sound is to string a spare electric guitar in 5ths. Niles Hokkanen featured info on adapting mini-guitars in the Mandocrucian's Digest. (P.O. Box 3585 Winchester, VA 22604) He recommends a mini-guitar capo'd at the 2nd fret strung GDAEB with 048--036--022wound--014--010 strings. You can string an electric guitar with these gauges--capo to a G on the lowest string at about a 16-17" scale length.

The following article offers practical help on using basic materials to build an instrument. If you're pretty handy at using tools-(changing a sparkplug or building a bookshelf etc.) creating a high quality electric instrument is not that hard to do. I made one, (the Hampstercaster)



pictured above, but would be incapable of building an acoustic instrument. The project cost about $375 plus many hours of work: lots of research, talking to luthiers and repair people, and reading books on guitar making. See the end of this article for a list of resources. The Hampstercaster took 2 years to build, as a very low-priority project with rarely more than 1 hour per work session. The initial goals in building it were:

Having the Neck Built
A local guitar maker offered to make a neck for $150 which included an adapted Stewart McDonald pre-slotted ebony guitar fingerboard. Though it may seem like "over-kill", its best to define the neck measurements/features/wood/price/date of delivery in very specific terms, and give a copy to the builder. The neck was designed featuring a radiused fingerboard and an adjustable truss rod. It was built from laminated rock maple, and fretted with medium sized guitar frets. (Next time I might use a rosewood fingerboard and a rosewood or mahogany neck-- combinations with a reputation for "warm" tone.) The neck is 1 3/8" inches wide at the nut and 1 5/8" at the end, and has only 15 frets. Playing any higher on such a short-scaled instrument doesn't sound good through an amp. Total scale length from nut to bridge is 15 7/8". This is a slight stretch from a standard mandolin scale, but was easy to get used to. The strings are 3/8" apart at the bridge. Thy could have been placed as wide as a standard guitar's, which would have made some things easier. On an earlier project, I had a luthier build a neck which fit a mini-guitar's body.

Making the Bridge and Tailpiece
While the neck was being built I rummaged through used parts at electric guitar repair shops. Most adjustable guitar bridges are not very adaptable for width, and would not accommodate my string spacing. The bridge from a Gibson ES 335 (BB King) is solid brass, un-notched, and adjustable for string length. Although the strings do not fit exactly in the middle of each adjustable bridge-piece, it looks fine.



I removed one of the bridge pieces to make it a 5-string and sawed a piece off the end to make it smaller. Careful sanding, polishing, and filling the extra holes with brass dowels cut from screws & sanded flush, made a serviceable bridge. Other possibilities are body-mounted posts spanned by a compensated brass bar, or a carved wood bridge. Having a machine shop make one is a very expensive proposition. There are people around with machine shops in their garages, but it seemed like too much of a project to get involved in. Designing a good tailpiece was a tough nut to crack, but solved in a curious way. In a kitchen and bath fixtures store, looking for drawer pulls, I noticed a plain cabinet handle made of heavy brass with a flanged design. Eureka! The owner gave me a used one. Cutting it required scoring the surface, hacksawing away metal, and carefully sanding up to the line. (Sandpaper face up on a table and moving the tailpiece across it did the trick.) This is definitely an inefficient way to go but can give a very precise cut. (Almost all cutting of wood and brass was done in a similar low-tech way.) I drilled holes in the bridge for the strings, and used a file to make room for the string loop and a wider drill to seat the ball ends. The tailpiece maintains the telecaster look-- a mandolin tailpiece on this instrument didn't look good.

Creating the Body
Woods have certain reputations for affecting tone in solid body instruments. How meaningful this is, I don't know. In a nutshell, you usually hear, "Maple: clean, bright, sparkle ; Mahogany: mellow, warm, vocal-like." Mahogany might have been more suitable for this project, but a cabinetmaker friend had a beautiful piece of birdseye maple scrap. I gave him an outline adapted from a photo-enlarged picture of a Telecaster. He sanded it, cut the shape and routed the edges for $50 total. I figured I could cut the neck slot and electronics areas and did, though it was not so easy. Learning to use a router is within the ability of a moderately "handy" person, but lots of practice is required on scrap. Electronics/pickups routing was done from the back (pickups also routed from the front) and required real concentration. Its hard to see pencil lines with maple shavings blowing everywhere, and a heavy fan placed nearby was helpful. I removed only a 1/4 inch depth of wood per pass and only cut as close as 1/8 inch to the outlines. Hand carving with chisels was necessary. Next time I'll use a drill press/long bit and drill from the output jack to the bridge pickup, and from the neck pocket to the bridge pickup. This would require a much smaller channel in the back, for electronics only. The tailpiece sits in a routed slot with its top flush to the instrument's top and its flange extended 1/4 inch above the top. The bridge sits on it with screws through both into the body. Drilling the hole for the output jack on the edge of the body was a problem. It should have been done before the electronics routing. The drill-bit, a 1/2" blade type, chattered and blew out a chunk of wood. (I then spoke the 7 words you are not allowed to use on radio or TV!) Fixing it required a lot of work sculpting a small block to inset and re-drill. The jack plate covers all but 1 glue line. Routing the neck slot was easily the most nerve-wracking part of the entire project. The body, and the rest of the block it was cut from, fit together like a puzzle. I clamped both down to a table, and the surface was now large enough to place the router plate on and hold it flat.

The neck joint is completely functional, but the cuts on some of the visible edges are obviously non-professional. A rounded bevel made it look much better. (One thing I would do differently is to angle the bridge pickup slot so it is closer to the bridge on the bass side and away from the bridge on the treble side. This would ensure "tighter" bass notes and more string vibration on the treble side.) A wedge/shim of about 1/16" in the neck slot angled the neck back and improved the instrument's action.

Finishing The Wood
The sanding was done to a 200 grade with a special foam block holding the paper. Additional smoothing was done with very fine steel wool. I chose a high quality transparent water-soluble dye for the body, gold color because the blond maple looked unappealing. Next time I may use wood with an interesting color and skip the dye. Maple weighs a lot, making the instrument nearly as heavy as a standard electric guitar. There many ways to apply clear finish but I didn't want to use a brush or pay >$100 to have someone do this step. I used a woodworker's polyurethane from a spray can for the finish. (Though nitrocellulose is the most traditional electric guitar finish, polyurethane is probably the industry standard today.) It looked as if the finish would be a disaster, but the urethane leveled beautifully. A long handle from a broken hockey stick screwed into the neck slot held the body for spraying 3 coats w/drying and sanding. Reflections from the surface viewed at an angle while spraying helped gauge the coating quality. The handle wedged nicely between 2 beams in the basement and the sprayed mando was suspended 2" from the ceiling with almost no dust landing on it. Additional sanding and re-spraying will eventually be done, but the finish will be deliberately kept thin, so as not to kill the sound.

The Parts and Attaching Them
A humbucker pickup positioned next to the fingerboard will give a smooth and mellow sound because of its design, and the fact that it is sensing the string at a place where it is vibrating freely. This is more of a traditional jazz sound (especially if the amp sound is undistorted) a la Tiny Moore. A single coil pickup will have a brighter and "tighter" Ricky Skaggs mandocaster sound especially if placed near the bridge. Bolting the neck/bridge/tailpiece to a block of wood will allow you to move the pickups around while plugged into an amp. After hunting for a good humbucker pickup I was lucky to find a high quality Bartolini in a box of used parts. (The Lawrence L-500 is also highly recommended and inexpensive. It is a twin rail humbucker and can be found used for ~$25.) In the neck position it gives a nice fat jazz guitar sound. Humbuckers are a lot more forgiving than single coils if the strings are not exactly over the pole pieces. One with covered polepieces will look better. For the bridge I bought a new Seymour Duncan telecaster rail-type single coil pickup. It cost about $75 and gives a bright percussive sound, but the Bartolini sounds better and I rarely use it. The pickups are wired so that both are amplified in the middle switch position, unfortunately only the Bartolini is really heard. Its some sort of electrical mismatch, and each pickup works fine by itself. Careful measurements were necessary for bridge placement and centering on the body-- so, measure twice/drill once, as they say! Installing the pickups required some additional shaping. I installed and removed the electronics several times before they were seated right. (If the brass wire coils are exposed on any of the pickups you use, take care - its easy to damage them. Most of the screw holes were drilled by hand, but a friend drilled the holes through the body into the neck with a drill-press. He suggested the screws not grip the body, only the neck. A hand-made brass plate at the body holds the screws, and their tips do not hit the fingerboard. You can buy plate brass at good hardware stores or at artist's suppliers. All screws were from the hardware store, though some day the instrument may get prettier hardware. The neck/body join is very solid, though not perfectly snug.

Thoughts on Getting a Good Tone
There are unique problems in customizing the instrument's sound. I've tried to find ways to avoid the thin, washed-out tone of tight strings snapping back and forth. This is the sound to avoid on electric mandolins! Here are some suggestions for clean "fat" Jazz and Country Swing tones.

1) EQ for a midrange sound. This means setting the tone controls with less treble on the high strings and less bass on the lower strings. The C string is of a much wider diameter than the others and can get "boomy". A relatively flat EQ helps.

2) Play through amps used by Jazz guitarists. The humbucker pickup sounds good through a Polytone amp or Roland Jazz Chorus amp. Fender amps do not sound good with this instrument, and are generally not chosen for a Jazz sound by guitarists using humbuckers.

3) Pickup adjustment. I like to adjust the pickup with >3/8" clearance away from the strings. It gives a "woody" tone, and less of a sharp "attack".

4) Subtle use of sound modifying effects. A slight compression effect adds smooth sustain. I also like just a little overdrive and distortion otherwise you get a rather "vanilla" sound. A little reverb is nice too.

5) Strings. Nickel electric guitar strings are worth investigating for their sweet mellow tone. At the moment the string gauges of the top and bottom strings are .010 and .056. I've swapped the others several times and will need to measure them.

6) Pick technique. A Dunlop Big Stubby pick gives a nice round tone and no pick chatter. Picking technique is very different from acoustic instruments- less force should be used, and you'll get a better amplified tone.

Playing Electric Mandolin
The Hampstercaster is really just a tiny electric guitar in a funny tuning, and is a great way to explore the sounds electric guitarists have invented. Consider the facility it takes to play Bluegrass/fiddle tunes/Classical music etc. This not a bad background for some original playing in the "language" of the electric guitar. The mandolin offers a wider interval of notes within one hand position compared to a guitar, and this can be incorporated into a playing style. (There are stories of electric guitarists frustrated in trying to learn Gimble or Moore solos.) It can scream the blues when no one else is home and recover Allman Bros. licks last heard in high school. Or you can play what Frank Zappa described as "teen-age finger gymnastics and pathetic lick-spewage". Most of all, I think one needs to know the music being played and its phrasing. Technique and especially playing rhythm is different from an acoustic instrument. (Niles has some things to say about this.) Guitarists have developed 2 or 3 string comping built around the 3rd and 7th chord tones which is worth investigating. Octaves sound beautiful. (1st finger on the A string B note, 2nd finger on the G string B note. Move that shape around a la Wes Montgomery.) Taking guitar lessons and translating the chord sounds onto e-mando is a very good idea. You might want to avoid the E string for chording, and using the "Big Mon" chop chord doesn't work very well. Some educational resources include Niles Hokkanen's method for Electric Mandolin with Richard Thompson, a wide variety of guitar methods in many styles, and "play-along" Aebersold materials featuring only rhythm sections, especially Blues in all Keys. (There is a lot to be learned from the rhythmic phrasing used by the pianists in this series.) Guitar Player magazine features many transcriptions and lessons adaptable to the electric mandolin. Sal Salvadore authored a method (published by Aebersold) with jazz guitar rhythm transcriptions notated in the treble clef which could be very useful. It comes with a tape/CD.

Its possible to make an 8 string solid body mandolin, but I generally don't like the sound of them. It certainly is not a good way to mimic an acoustic quality. A piezo/mic combination on an acoustic instrument is a much better solution. (Using a bridge with imbedded piezo pick-ups on a solid 5-string might be interesting though.) Rickenbacker is currently selling an 8 string solidbody - maybe a good way to get that Byrds jangle on the mandolin. People using electric mandolins as midi instruments have commented that the short scale tracks better than a guitar. Double strings would definitely hinder midi tracking.

To Conclude…
There you have it: fun and frustrating and maybe one of the best toys ever. I'm still an "acoustic" musician, but being able to play "electric guitar sounds" on a gig can be useful too. Jamie Masefield of the Jazz Mandolin Project played a fingerstyle version of "Georgia" on the H-caster using a moving bass line a la Joe Pass. I briefly considered quitting music and giving him the instrument ;^) Feel like building one of these puppies? Contact me for therapeutic counseling!

Joel Glassman mojo@tiac.net

Electric Mandolin Resources
1) The Guitar Builders FAQ homepage http://members.aol.com/wyza/gtrbuild.htm

2)"Make Your Own Electric Guitar" Melvyn Hiscock's book on electric guitar building is probably the best on the subject. Available from Stewart McDonald --get a copy of their catalog too.

3)Musical Instrument Makers forum. http://www.mimf.com/

4) The rec.music.makers.builders group on the Usenet

5) Harmony Central at http://www.harmony-central.com has information on electric guitars, amps, etc. and a forum.

6) The Guitar Reranch site has info and supplies for finishing. http://home.flash.net/~guitars/

7) The Electric Mandolin Resource Page http://www.emando.com/index2.htm is a great collection of information on builders and players.

(also: Mandolin World News published an electric mandolin issue with pictures of custom instruments, though it was quite a while ago. Back copies are probably available from Musix.)


ELECTRIC MANDOLIN PLAYERS AND RECORDINGS
A discography follows which groups players stylistically. The primary focus here is on improvisers. In keeping with the spirit of "stream of consciousness", guitarists and other mandolin players who have styles in common are also included. (No ranking is implied in the way they are listed.) For acoustic players David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Andy Statman, Sam Bush and many other excellent musicians in Bluegrass, Classical, Celtic etc. check out listings at Mandozine, Mandolin Cafe, Mando Mark's Mondo Mando Page and other resources.Thanks to folks from Comando [the mandolin-topic listserv: COMANDO@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU] for suggesting additions to this list.

Tiny Moore
Tiny Moore's main instrument was the electric mandolin and he is unique among well-known musicians in that regard. (He was also a fine fiddler and acoustic mandolinist too.) Luckily Tiny is well documented on Bob Will's Tiffany Transcriptions, which are a great opportunity to hear a smaller Wills group stretch out a little. He was also known for his arranging abilities and twin harmony playing with guitarist Eldon Shamblin and others. I got a first-hand look at Tiny as an arranger, as he sang different harmony parts to 50 fiddlers at a music camp. Tiny died a few years ago, and his recordings are not easy to find. Try to hear BACK TO BACK if you can.

Also: Bob Wills, TIFFANY TRANSCRIPTIONS, Vol. 1-10 Bob Wills, The RARE PRESTO TRANSCRIPTIONS Bob Wills, Cowboy Songs Records. Don't miss the original Bob Wills version of "Fat Boy Rag": outstanding playing by Tiny with Junior Barnard on guitar.

Some other solos - fun to hear but not as essential as the others: Asleep At The Wheel: Wheelin' and Dealin' - Blues for Dixie: 8 bars only. Darol Anger's Fiddlistics - Moose The Mooche. Merle Haggard recordings, including "Best Damn Fiddler in the World". Grisman/Grapelli Live: solos on Satin Doll only.

Charles Anderson published a book called the "Tiny Moore Mandolin Method" and a cassette w/examples was available. Both are now out of print. (Hard to find but worth hunting for.) Tiny was very influenced by guitarist Charlie Christian who is heard on numerous re-issues of a small number of recordings with Benny Goodman and others. Jazz guitarists who followed Christian and developed their own styles include Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, Jimmy Raney, Howard Roberts and others. Guitarist Jimmy Rivers, also influenced by Christian, plays Jazz with a Western Swing flavor on BRISBANE BOP (Joaquin 2501) with one of Tiny's band-mates Vance Terry on steel guitar. A unique sound and fine playing from live sessions at a California club ca. 1961.

Johnny Gimble
Johnny Gimble is best known as a Wills sideman and prolific Nashville studio musician. He has also appeared on Prairie Home Companion and on Austin City Limits. (See Stacy Phillips' Western Swing Fiddle [Mel Bay] for fiddle solo transcriptions.) Mandolin World News did a nice interview with him, including a long transcription on Sweet Georgia Brown. Johnny has been a leading-edge soloist as a Western Swing and Country musician since the late 1940s!. His violin solos, (often with a Jazz flavor) have been influential and widely heard. His electric mandolin is a Gibson A-50 strung with 4 strings but tuned as a mandola (CGDA). Gimble almost always includes electric mandolin on his own recordings, but usually on just 1 or 2 tracks. Good examples of his mandolin playing as a sideman are on Texas Playboys reunion recordings like "TODAY", Buddy Spicher's ME AND MY HEROS (acoustic mandolin), or features with Asleep at the Wheel.

Gimble plays a killer solo on an early version on Bobby Garrett's "Rose City Chimes". His playing on this recording has a lot in common with country swing guitarists of the 1950s such as Hank Garland, Jimmy Bryant, Leon Rhodes and others. An anthology of Country/Jazz player Jimmy Bryant's recordings with Speedy West is on Razor and Tie records. Bryant also solos at length on "GUITAR LEGENDS: the Suntide Desert Jam" (C5 Records- an import from the United Kingdom) with Les Paul and Jody Reynolds. According to Paul Glasse, Gimble has mentioned George Barnes as an influence (especially noticeable in Barnes' higher register playing). Barnes made some nice records with Ruby Braff, Carl Kress and others on the Concord and Stash labels. Fiddler Randy Elmore plays an electric mandolin on some of Tom Morrell's "How the West Was Swung" records in a Gimble influenced style. If you're into Western Swing revival music, you'll like this series. For Randy's own materials: Randy Elmore Box 169 Joshua, TX 76058.

Paul Glasse
ONE MORE NIGHT (a re-issue of Paul's 2 solo CDs) features a burning version of Charlie Christian's "Seven Come Eleven" plus Talk That Talk, and Joeography. He has recorded with Tom Morrell and gigged with Lyle Lovett and many others. Paul plays what could be called a "mainstream Jazz" style with elements of Swing, Bebop etc. mostly recording on an acoustic mandolin. He is a fine improviser and many of his compositions are memorable new melodies based on Jazz "standard" tunes. Some explore Bossa, Funk and other styles. Paul's background includes Western Swing, Kansas City Jazz, Bluegrass, and other styles.

Two contemporary guitarists with mainstream swing styles and sound adaptable to the electric mandolin are: Ed Bickert: THIRD FLOOR RICHARD (Concord Records) and Howard Alden on THIRTEEN STRINGS (Concord Records). Mundell Lowe is a fine mainstream player too. Check Guitar Player magazine for more information on jazz guitar greats like Wes Montgomery,Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, Django Reinhardt etc.

Jamie Masefield (w/the Jazz Mandolin Project)
Masefield is an intense player, with an original and advanced approach to the instrument. Like Glasse, his focus is on the compositions and improvisation . Some stylistic directions are contemporary Jazz and free-form Rock (as played by groups like Phish) but the music really can't be categorized. There is also an aspect of modern "classical" music. The ensemble interplay is excellent. The Jazz Mandolin Project features instrumental music, tours frequently, and has a website with a forum.

Andy Statman and other Jazz Players
Andy is another great Jazz player on acoustic mandolin. His FLATBUSH WALTZ is a good place to start, and Richard Greene's- BLUE RONDO (Sierra), and groups with Buell Neidlinger: SWINGRASS (Antilles) and Buellgrass-BIG DAY AT OJAI are also excellent, though probably hard to find at this point. Jazz mandolin player Mike Lampert lives and plays in the Los Angeles area. Electric mandolinist John Gonder solos on BACK-UP AND PUSH (available from Musix). His tone on this record is very nice. I'm told he is active in the San Francisco area. Guitarist John Abercrombie plays an electric mandolin but tunes the instrument as a guitar. Robert Fripp of King Crimson (and many other projects) sometimes tunes his guitar in 5ths like a mandolin: The California Guitar Trio CDs (3 of Fripp's students) are a good example of how it sounds. Also: the Robert Fripp String Quintet ('The Bridge Between'), and any of his 'Soundscapes' CDs. Great contemporary Jazz is played on guitar by Pat Martino, John Schofield, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and many others.

Ricky Skaggs
HIGHWAYS AND HEARTACHES has extended soloing on "One Way Rider". Ricky's playing here is close to the style of Country music guitarist Albert Lee and other Nashville based soloists. Albert Lee has some fine instructional materials out plus solo albums (especially SPEECHLESS) and was featured with Emmylou Harris on LUXURY LINER. Roy Nichols on Merle Haggard recordings and Brent Mason are other fine players to look for. The late Danny Gatton's recordings and the Hellecasters (especially RETURN OF THE HELLECASTERS) feature virtuoso soloing on guitar with Country, Rock and other influences in the mix.

Jethro Burns
The late Jethro Burns was great mandolin player who's best improvising was done on an acoustic instrument:

Jethro occasionally used an electric instrument, and recorded with it on the following: Jethro Burns "LIVE" GIANTS OF SWING (Flying Fish) with Joe Venuti, Eldon Shamblin and others Homer and Jethro LIVE AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY (Jethro has some good study materials published by Mel Bay.) Don Stiernberg, who performed and recorded with Jethro, played Jazz standards on a Roberts instrument on FLYING HIGH (Rosetta) out of print (Another recording MANDOLIN RESTAURANT may also be out of print).

Johnny Young and Other Blues Players
Early Blues and jugband mandolin players included Charlie McCoy of the Harlem Hamfats, Ed Chatmon of the Mississippi Sheiks and Yank Rachel. Johnny Young continued the tradition in more modern settings and has used an electric instrument. He is featured on the following recordings: JOHNNY YOUNG AND HIS FRIENDS (Testament) JOHNNY YOUNG - CHICAGO BLUES (Arhoolie 325) incl. 4 mandolin-piano duets with Otis Spann. Bill Monroe's great blues acoustic mandolin playing also has to be acknowledged here.

There have been many great Blues guitarists through the years including BB King, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Eric Clapton, Albert Collins etc. Collins capo'd his guitar up in "mandolin scale territory". Ronnie Earl BLUES GUITAR VIRTUOSO LIVE IN EUROPE is a good place to start. Lots of soloing and no vocals. Check out Robben Ford 's DISCOVERING THE BLUES. Contemporary blues guitarists sometimes use acoustic mandolin as a rhythm instrument. I don't know of any electric mando soloists though. The niche is yours if you choose to fill it (and are brave enough to play an itty bitty electric instrument at a Blues jam session!)

Electric Mandolin featured in Rock and other styles of music:

Other players known to play e-mandos include Sam Bush, John McGann Peter Ostroushko, Barry Mitterhoff, Buzz Busby, Grady Martin, Joe Maphis, someone on an early version of Roy Orbison's Ooby Dooby and someone I just met who plays funk on his mandolin!

Thanks for reading, my apologies to anyone left off this list. If you have any comments/corrections I'd love to hear them. Send email to me at mojo@tiac.net .

Last up: A tribute to Tiny Moore I recorded called "Tiny's Bounce" is on the CoMando Sessions volume 1 compilation.

Thanks, Joel Glassman

Copyright 1999 Joel Glassman.