Stringed Things: BANDOLIN (15-string "mandolin"-like instrument from Ecuador)




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Published on Jan 5, 2017

BANDOLIN: A 15-string (five triple courses) hybrid of guitar, mandolin and lute, from Ecuador, usually tuned E5-E4-E5, A5-A4-A5, D5-D5-D5, F#5-F#5-F#5, B5-B5-B5 (or E5-E4-E5, A5-A4-A5, D5-D5-D5, G#5-G#5-G#5, B5-B5-B5). Mine is tuned E5-E4-E5, A5-A4-A5, D5-D5-D5, G5-G5-G5, B5-B5-B5. It's typically used for chordal accompaniment, or sustained tremolo (like a mandolin).

Super fun! I never knew this instrument existed, till I found one at Goodwill! My favorite thing about it: The bottom two "choruses" are (each) two unison strings + another, one an octave lower, sort of like a 12-string. This one's pretty beat up, and has its original strings (only 13 of the 15 survive), plus a tuner button is missing, and it has a crack in it. But it RULES, even without "restoration"! (I do have new strings for it, but have yet to put them on.)

Song: "The Hidden Door"
© Dale Turner 2017


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