Mandolin no longer a support act

By Josh Gidney

FOR Geoff Seymour of Catalina, the mandolin used to be a support act, but now it has top billing.

“I started out playing the ukulele when I was about 14 at school, but the other kids played guitars, so I switched to them,” he said.

Gibson Mandolin

Anita Ritenour – Flickr: Gibson Mandolin

“I started playing the mandolin because it helped me with my guitar playing, but it soon became my main instrument.”

The versatility of the mandolin has always had great appeal for Geoff.

“It is easier to play melodies than on the guitar,” he said.

“There is a larger range of notes you can play without having to move your hands too far.

“It’s like a ukulele but more versatile.

“It’s like a cross between the violin and the guitar; the tuning is the same as a violin.

“It plays chords, which you can’t on a violin, and you can play quick notes on it like a drum.”

Among the mandolin-friendly brands of music he prefers to play are bluegrass, country, and traditional Irish and Australian music.

Geoff currently has three mandolins, including the first one he ever bought, from a since-closed music store in Canberra.

He was a member of a group of mandolin players in Batemans Bay that met and played together for about 13 years until 2003.

“Until the others moved away!” he said.

He has played at Corrigans Beach on Australia Day and at Old Mogo Town, and plays with the Eurobodalla’s Ukulele Seaside Orchestra.

“I like to bring a bit of variety,” he said.

Geoff said he played “at least a couple of times a week”, which his wife Elaine corrected to “most days.”

He is in the process of putting together a mandolin group, so if you or anyone you know might be interested, call him on 4472 4790.

Source: Bay Post

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