Mandolins (Pat)

FlatIron Mandolin

Rum & Onions 2004
(I'm in the front row,
third from right)

This is a 1921 Gibson A4 model mandolin, one of two that I play (the other is a FlatIron).  I removed the pick guard and everything that might vibrate or dampen the sound.  It is very light (i.e., does not have a truss rod).

I had to replace the tuning pegs, and it turns out that these older Gibsons have the pegs turning backwards from what they do today.  So in order to avoid drilling any holes or damaging the original wood in any way, I had to put the tuning pegs on so that they tuned backwards from what players normally expect (this droves some people crazy!).  Eventually, I got a luthier to put modern pegs on it (and drill the holes for me). 

I've still got the original pegs but have never found anyone who knew how to machine them so that they won't slip, so they are not practical for day to day usage.

The internet has a lot of information about mandos, including the wonderful Mandolin Cafe site.   Some of my favorite melodies are traditional tunes, which are in the public domain.  I especially enjoy the music of Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). 




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