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It kind of makes me wonder if someone makes a mando with the violin scale length.
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I think some of the European bowl back mandolins are closer to violin scale, and the piccolo mandolin looks close but I think it is tuned up a fourth.
This thing has a smaller scale but I think it has 10 strings m.youtube.com/watch?v=wFMejgk9QyY
One issue with scale is with violin you have to put your figure on the note but with fretted instruments you put your finger behind the note and the fret is the note, I don’t know if that is an issue.
As for Tony Rice I have only ever seen him with a guitar, but maybe when he masters that he will try mando?