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Mandolin Strings

Complete sets are listed in the sections below. Individual mandolin strings can be found in the Single Strings section.
Adamas Mandolin Strings
Black Diamond Mandolin Strings
C.F. Martin Mandolin Strings
Curt Mangan Mandolin Strings
D'Addario Mandolin Strings
Dean Markley Mandolin Strings
DR Strings Mandolin Strings
Elixir Mandolin Strings
Ernie Ball Mandolin Strings
Fender Mandolin Strings
GHS Mandolin Strings
Gibson Mandolin Strings
Guild Mandolin
John Pearse® Mandolin Strings
La Bella Mandolin Strings
Newtone Mandolin Strings
Pyramid Mandolin Strings
RotoSound Mandolin Strings
Savarez Mandolin Strings
S I T Strings Mandolin Strings
Thomastik-Infeld Mandolin Strings
Mandolin strings come in several varieties. We carry phosphor bronze, 80/20 bronze, stainless steel, silk & steel and silk & bronze wound sets. Mandolin strings are tuned like violin strings: G, D, A & E. Typical gauges for mandolin strings are .010 - .038 or .011 - .040.

A mandolin is essentially a very small lute, usually with four courses of two strings each. Various eight and ten string lutes similar to the modern mandolin have been played in Europe since the renaissance. Early mandolins had a back carved out of one fairly large piece of wood. This bowl or half-pear shaped back was then joined to the flat top of the instrument, which had minimal cross bracing due to its small size. This was either joined to a neck, or the entire back and neck were carved out of one large piece of wood and then fitted to the top. The neck was then fitted with somewhere from 10 to 17 frets. Instruments similar to these were played for hundreds of years in Southern and Eastern Europe. A variation on these early, carved back mandolins became popular in Naples in the 1700s. These Neapolitan Mandolins had backs made from several strips of wood joined together at the edges to make a pear or almond shaped body. These mandolins came to the United States during the great wave of immigration from Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the middle and late 1800’s. These instruments are sometimes referred to as “potato bug” mandolins because of their small size and delicate construction.

The mandolin quickly became popular as an instrument for amateur players in the United States. They were readily available across the United States, being sold in the Sear, Roebuck & Co catalogue as well as the Montgomery Ward catalogue. The sudden rise in the popularity of the mandolin may either be due to, or a product of their availability, but in any case, amateur mandolin orchestras and ensembles sprouted across the country. These were sometimes organized and directed by people who functioned as both a teacher and seller of musical instruments. At the same time, mandolins were rising in popularity among players of American folk music.

In the late 1800s Orville H. Gibson invented a completely new style of mandolin. This new mandolin had an arched, carved back and top, somewhat similar to the way a violin is constructed. This new mandolin was much louder than previous “potato bug” style instruments. This led to the modern Gibson F-5 style mandolin, a style that has been copied by other companies many times. Gibson’s invention led directly to the creation of the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Company, which evolved into the Gibson Guitar Company of today. The new Gibson Mandolins became very popular in the early 20th century before declining before declining somewhat in popularity before the Second World War. Their popularity was revived largely by Bill Monroe and his use of a Gibson F-5 with his band The Bluegrass Boys.

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