Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Bryan Sutton - Who knew?

I’ve seen him a few times. He may be the best all-around guitarist I’ve ever seen.

But, who knew he played the mandolin? I saw him today (Sutton/Holt/Coleman) and he flat smoked a tune on the mandolin.

Different class.

There is a lot of that. Many top players can play multiple things. Here is violin gurus O’Conner and Leftwich playing mando… It makes you wonder if mando peeps should just play fiddle. he starts playing about 1:00

That’s interesting. I had heard Andy play mando before. He’s pretty incredible.
There is typically a slight difference between the scale length on a violin and a mandolin. I have heard that for really good players, they have problems with intonation on violin after playing mandolin for a while. For players that aren’t that good on fiddle to begin with, their intonation probably isn’t accurate enough to notice. It kind of makes me wonder if someone makes a mando with the violin scale length.

Does anyone know of Tony Rice ever playing an instument other than a guitar? I believe he started out on mandolin or maybe something else as a kid and he and one of his brothers (possibly Larry) switched. They were both kinda frustrated if I have the story right, but after they made the switch it must have stuck for each of them. I’ve only ever seen or heard him play guitar once he was established.


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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

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?