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Guide to Electric Mandolins

Electric Mandolin : What is it?

Electric Mandolins

An electric mandolin is fashioned after the traditional acoustic mandolin. It is made with a pick-up for converting string vibrations into electrical audio signals. Played by strumming or plucking the strings with the fingers, they are popularly used in western swing, country, blues, and jazz music.

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Types of Electric Mandolins

Electric MandolinsElectric Mandolins

Kinds of Electric Mandolins include the following:

Four-string electric mandolin

  • A four-string electric mandolin is made up of four steel strings, a basswood body shaped in f-style, a rosewood fretboard, and a maple neck.
  • It usually has tone and volume control knobs, a lipstick pickup, and a radiused fretboard.

Five-string electric mandolin


  • A five-string electric mandolin is made up of five steel strings, a rosewood, cherry, or walnut fretboard, and a maple neck.
  • Its body is usually made of poplar.
  • It comes with an adjustable neck, a tunable bridge, and tone and volume controls.

Eight-string electric mandolin

  • An eight-string electric mandolin is made up of eight steel strings, a basswood body shaped in f-style, a rosewood fretboard, and a maple neck.
  • It usually has tone and volume control knobs, chrome hardware, and a bolt-on neck.

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Choosing Electric Mandolins (Buying tips)

Materials used: If you want to get a warm sound, choose a solid electric mandolin made of mahogany. Look for one made of maple to get a bright sound.

Bolt-on neck: Choose an electric mandolin with a bolt-on neck that allows you to adjust or replace it.

Wide fretboard: If you have large hands, choose an electric mandolin with a wide fretboard for easier handling.

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