Mandolin Lessons in West Knoxville TN with Ryan Byrne

Featured image for Mandolin Lessons at Music Lessons West in Knoxville TN featuring artistic display of A-style mandolin with sunburst finish hanging against rustic wooden wall embellished with green leafed plants.

Here in East Tennessee, we often associate the mandolin with bluegrass music performed by the likes of Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, and their younger contemporaries such as Chris Thile and Sierra Hull. But the modern mandolin as we know it dates back to the 18th century, and was featured in compositions by Vivaldi, Mozart, and Stravinsky. However, the story of the mandolin reaches back even further, as the modern mandolin evolved from the 16th century mandora (aka mandola).

Historically, the mandolin has a pear shaped body, which is known today as an A-Style mandolin. But a more modern shape, known as an F-Style mandolin, is favored by many bluegrass musicians.

Photo of pear-shaped A-style mandolin with sunburst colored finish.
A-Style Mandolin
Photo of F-style mandolin with dark sunburst color finish.
F-Style Mandolin

A mandolin has four pairs, or “courses”, of strings. Each course of strings are plucked together as if they are one string and are referred to in the singular. For example, the first course of strings is referred to as the “first string”. The strings (courses) are tuned in fifths, with the pitches from low to high (4th string to 1st string) being g, d, a, and e.

References (History of Mandolin): https://www.britannica.com/art/mandolin