New Guitar Body Octave Mandolin

Greg Engle/ December 7, 2017/ Uncategorized

I just received a new guitar body octave mandolin (GBOM) crafted by luthier Mike Black of Mike Black Mandolins  It’s a beautiful instrument to play and look at, and I can’t put it down.  In a past post, I featured two other instruments — my original Trinity College Irish bouzouki and the guitar body Irish bouzouki that luthier Paddy Burgin in New Zealand made for me.  I still have the former, but I sold the latter.  Its flat top gave it a sound more like a guitar than something in the mandolin family, which was not what I was looking for, although the instrument was beautiful.  The Black GBOM has that distinctive mando family sound, with a richness that far exceeds the commercially produced Trinity College bouzouki.  Also, because octave mandolins have a shorter scale length (21-3/4″ in this case) than bouzoukis (the Trinity College scale length is 26″), it is significantly easier to play — the frets are closer together and the string tension is considerably less.

All around a fantastic instruments!

Note: By all means comment on this post, but I routinely get a million comments (slight exaggeration), solicitations really, from website developers pushers wanting me to buy there services.  If you’re really interested in commenting about this instrument or other music-related things on my website, you might want to send me a message via the Comments page.

Share this Post

About Greg Engle

Austin singer-songwriter Greg Engle, a career diplomat, has led a life of constant travel. He’s witnessed attempted coups, had lunch with Nelson Mandela, and seen two African dictators fall. Four songs on his debut album (2010), "Take It Personally," provide colorful accounts of his many years in Africa. He is a founding member of the East Coast-based Duke Street Liberation Army Band, which released its debut album, "Arsenal of Love," in 2014. Engle won first prize in the 2011 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Competition. His songs have played on radio programs around the U.S. Engle and veteran Austin musician and producer Stephen Doster have performed and conducted songwriting workshops in Swaziland (2012) and Lesotho (2015) as part of the U.S. State Department's Arts Envoy program.