What is a Big Mandolin Called?


The mandolin is a versatile musical instrument that is commonly used in folk and bluegrass music. It has a unique sound that sets it apart from other stringed instruments, and is loved by musicians and music enthusiasts all over the world. But did you know that there are different types of mandolins, including a big mandolin? In this article, we’ll explore what a big mandolin is called and everything else you need to know about this fascinating instrument.

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What is a big mandolin called?

A big mandolin is called an octave mandolin. It is a larger version of the standard mandolin, and it has a deeper, richer sound. The octave mandolin is tuned an octave lower than the mandolin, which means it has a longer scale length and thicker strings. It is often used as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble, and is popular among musicians who play folk, Celtic, and classical music.

Octave mandolins come in different styles and shapes, and they are made by different manufacturers. Some of the most popular brands include Eastman, Collings, and Weber. They are usually made from high-quality woods such as spruce, maple, and mahogany, which gives them their distinctive tone and resonance.

History of the octave mandolin

The octave mandolin has a long and fascinating history. It was first introduced in the early 20th century as a larger version of the mandolin. It quickly became popular among musicians who were looking for a deeper, richer sound that could fill a room. It was also used in orchestras and other large ensembles, where its powerful sound could be heard above other instruments.

Over the years, the octave mandolin has evolved and changed. Different manufacturers have experimented with different designs and materials, and musicians have developed new techniques and styles of playing. Today, the octave mandolin is a vibrant and exciting instrument that is loved by musicians all over the world.

How to play the octave mandolin

Playing the octave mandolin is similar to playing the mandolin, but there are a few key differences. Because the octave mandolin has a longer scale length and thicker strings, it can be more challenging to play. However, with practice and dedication, anyone can learn to play this beautiful instrument.

To play the octave mandolin, you’ll need to learn the basic chords and finger positions. You’ll also need to develop a strong sense of rhythm and timing, as the octave mandolin is often used in fast-paced music. There are many online resources and instructional videos available to help you learn to play the octave mandolin, so be sure to take advantage of them.


In conclusion, a big mandolin is called an octave mandolin. It is a larger version of the standard mandolin, and it has a deeper, richer sound. The octave mandolin is an important instrument in folk, Celtic, and classical music, and it has a long and fascinating history. If you’re interested in playing the octave mandolin, be sure to practice regularly and seek out instructional resources to help you learn. With dedication and hard work, you’ll be able to master this beautiful instrument and create your own unique sound.

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