So you want to learn to play an instrument and you are wondering whether you should pick up a mandolin? Well, the mandolin is a fabulous choice for starting out your musical journey. 

You might be wondering,” Is mandolin a good first instrument?” or “Is mandolin easy to learn?”, in this article, we are going to describe the mandolin’s advantages and disadvantages and we are going to explain why you should pick the mandolin as your first instrument.

Luckily, the mandolin is a straightforward and easy instrument to learn. It’s lightweight and smaller so you can rehearse anywhere you would like. It has fewer strings than numerous instruments, similar to the guitar, which makes reading tablature a lot simpler. 

The mandolin is an exceptional instrument so people will be curious regarding what instrument you are playing. If you like standing out from rest of the people, the mandolin will give you great pleasure.

Now, we are going to dive deeper into why mandolin is an excellent first instrument.

What makes Mandolin Different Than Other Instruments?

Yes, though it belongs to the family of stringed instruments and it looks similar to the guitar, the mandolin is still a unique instrument.

Like the violin, the mandolin is a part of the stringed family and it has eight strings tuned in perfect fifths (G, D, A, E).  Generally, the chord shapes that you might have learned on guitar won’t be of any assistance when you go to get a mandolin since it is tuned in perfect fifths.

While this is not totally valid for all chord structures, it’s most likely simpler if you imagine about the mandolin chords as the bottom four strings of a guitar flipped around. 

There are a few unique variants of a mandolin, as there are with a guitar. You can discover and hear the sound of the mandolin when you listen to the classical genre, jazz, bluegrass and also in some Celtic and Irish tunes.

The sound of the mandolin is entirely different than the sound of a guitar, which is extraordinary in case you don’t fancy the sound that a guitar produces. 

The sound that mandolins produce effectively cut directly through the sound of a band, which makes it an incredible instrument if you are keen on doing a ton of solo work. In the event that you have any experience playing the guitar, you will find that your picking hand will have a simple time acclimating to the transition. 

This makes it simpler for you because you can now focus all of your attention on your other hand, which will help you earn new note positions and chord shapes. Regardless, if you have no playing experience at all, the mandolin is still the easiest option when it comes to stringed instruments.

We have briefly described to you the uniqueness of the mandolin, now we are going to delve in to the reasons why you should get a mandolin if you are just starting out.

is mandolin a good first instrument

4 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Mandolin

  • Easy to Learn: The mandolin is a simple and easy instrument. Since it has fewer strings than the other stringed instruments like the violin and the guitar, reading tablature is certainly much simpler. The scale structure will be pleasantly spread out and easy on the fingerboard (Depending on the key of the song you play) which will make it less difficult to comprehend with practice. For the most part, stringed instruments with frets like the guitar, banjo, and mandolin are easier to learn than the ones that don’t have frets, for example, the violin family.
  • Versatility: As it can fit flawlessly in pretty much any style of music that you can envision, the mandolin is an incredibly versatile instrument. Regardless of whether you like playing bluegrass, new age, eastern European, classical jazz, Caribbean, or country, the mandolin family of instruments can be used effortlessly. The mandolin is an excellent choice regardless of what your personal taste in music is.
  • Simple to handle: This might be somewhat self-evident, however, mandolins are compact and portable, which implies that you can move with them here to there without straining yourself. The mandolin is lightweight and minimized so you can rehearse it anywhere.
  • Rhythm & Melody: The mandolin plays rhythm as well as melody, which means that there is no restriction regarding what you can learn. You can have the option to join any jam sessions to play rhythms in case you opt to focus on learning a few basic chords. Learning melody may take some time and your willingness to practice it.

Final Words

Learning an instrument can be tough if you don’t know the instrument well enough or if you don’t have a good teacher. But in case, you are well prepared to learn a stringed instrument, the mandolin is one of the best options you could think of. Before you feel confused and ask yourself, “Should I get the mandolin or not?” or “Is mandolin a good first instrument?” then you should know that learning to play mandolin is an easy thing to do however, you need proper concentration and a lot of practice to master this instrument. 

You may face some issues while learning mandolin such as having a sore thumb but in the long term, it is definitely worth learning this magnificent instrument.