A-style and F-style mandolins are classic stringed instruments that are typically crafted from wood. The most common type is the A-style. Although most frequently heard in country and bluegrass music, these instruments are also appropriate for classical, and they have seen creative use in rock and roll.

Is it like a guitar?

The mandolin is categorized as a type of lute. Although it has eight strings, each pair is redundant to play more like a four-stringed instrument. The redundant open notes make it louder than an acoustic guitar. The arrangement of its notes is often equivalent to a mirroring of the open note arrangement on a bass guitar. The louder and more percussive sound makes it a good rhythm instrument, rather than being used for the main melody in a tune.

Many players find it easier to learn and play than a guitar, and as such it may be an easier way to play along with some of your favourite songs. In particular, A-style mandolins are the less complex models, and therefore the sale of an A-style to a very new player might be desirable.

Maintenance is a bit more complex than it is with a guitar, but the basics are the same. Mandolins are higher in pitch, and therefore strings are thinner than those of a guitar. Between this and the tendency of mandolins to endure energetic or more aggressive handling, you may need to replace the strings more frequently with a mandolin than you would with a guitar.

Because mandolins are considered easy to play, it may be a better opportunity to acquaint yourself with your playing style if you are a new musician or new to string instruments. Mandolins are lightweight, making them easy for most musicians, both beginners and veterans alike, to carry and to play. Though they are simple and compact, the mandolin has a loud and unique sound which makes it well-suited for lively and energetic forms of music.

What are some high-end mandolin brands?

For a more experienced player looking to trade in for a newer or more eye-catching instrument, Loar and Kentucky are two major brands which offer multiple models. Both Kentucky and Loar design both A-style and F-style instruments. Kentucky brand has a wide assortment of each style of instrument with a vast range of features for each, ensuring that you can find the right look and features to fit your stage style.