Mandolins are a popular instrument with a long, rich history, which are played in innumerable styles across the globe. The fans of this instrument are dedicated and passionate, and so it’s no surprise that the mandolin has been growing in popularity as of late, especially on the ‘net. If you are new to the world of mandolins, you may wonder – where does an admirer turn to find comprehensive information about this versatile and unique instrument online?
In this article, we want to share with you what we think are the 3 very best mandolin websites on the internet today, providing just about everything you could ask for as a mandolin player and more. Let’s check ’em out!
Website Features At A Glance
- Community (Member Login)
- Forum (Very Extensive)
- Classifieds (Mandolins for sale)
- Learning (Tabs, Videos, Find a Teacher)
- User-Submitted Videos
Mando Hangout has been around for almost 10 years now, and its purpose has been, since the beginning, to be the most comprehensive mandolin resource on the internet. Considering how extensive the topic of mandolins is, this is no small feat. That said, Mando Hangout has evolved over the years to be basically exactly what it set out to be. Complete with a login system to make you part of the online mandolin community, there are many mandolin resources here at your fingertips, whether you are logged in as a member, or just casually surfing the web.
If you are new to Mando Hangout, just know that it’s going to take you a good while to explore the website, because there is so much to see and do there. In terms of content, there is a ton of stuff to explore, from an extensive forum where people come to chat about everything mandolin-related, to a marketplace where you can browse the classifieds section, to a video catalog section where you can learn practically anything about the mandolin from the pros.
As you look at the home page, there are 5 choices for what you can delve into on the left sidebar (Forum, Marketplace, Learn, Media, and More + the search bar), and each of these options has several sub-categories that are just a bounty of knowledge and media, from a video section where players post a wide variety of video, including live performance, instructional video, covers, originals, and more. And then there’s a feature we really enjoy, which is the jukebox, allowing you to search different types of mandolin music by genre. The “More” section has a lot going on as well, including a blog, reviews, a calendar that features nationwide events, and links to even more mandolin-related content! These guys even sell Mando Hangout merch!
All in all, this is one mandolin online community you’ll want to explore if you are a player, or someone who is new to the instrument.
Website Features At A Glance
- Classifieds (Mandolins, Guitar, Banjos, Lessons, etc.)
- Forum (Sorted by topic, lots of threads)
- News (anything related to mandolins, across the country)
- Mandolin Builders (who makes the, plus “eye candy” section)
- Lessons (Tabs, songs, lessons, history, and more…)
Another great all around mandolin resource on the internet is the Mandolin Café, which has been around since, well, the dawn of the internet back in 1997!
Again, what constitutes a good mandolin resource website is exactly what is offered by the Mandolin Café, including mandolins for sale, an extensive information forum, latest mandolin news, names of mandolin builders and pictures of different mandolins (they call it “eye candy”), historical information, nationwide events shown on their calendar, chords and tabs, classes, and on and on.
Like Mando Hangout, Mandolin Café has a member login, so that you can access even more resources relating to mandolins. This site also has a handy search bar so you can find what you’re looking for quicker.
There are a few things that set this site apart, such as the fact that it talks about other instruments such as guitars and banjos, but that’s only really in the classifieds section, where you’ll find instrument sales posted. Otherwise, it’s mandolins 24/7.
Also, you can see who is online, and what they’re up to on the site, which is a nice touch. This shows who uses the site, and also what people tend to do on the website. Visit the Mandolin Café and you’ll find people browsing the site just like yourself.
One of our favourite sections of this website is the “social groups” listed under “Learn/Listen”. Here you can find all sorts of mandolin aficionados from around the country, who are involved in various mandolin-related groups, from those who admire specific types of mandolins, to those who enjoy specific styles of mandolin playing, to jammers, and all sorts of other folks. It’s a great place to visit to get a sense of the wide world of mandolins and the players who enjoy them.
We really could go on and on about the Mandolin Café, but we figure that if you’re reading this, we shouldn’t spoil it all for you by nitpicking everything. Make haste and see what’s going on over there now if you haven’t been there before!
Website Features At A Glance:
- Learn Mandolin (tabs, tunes, and techniques)
- Apps (All kinds for mandolin)
- Articles (Informative posts)
- Social Media (Mandozine links to Facebook, Soundcloud, and more)
- Pictures (some from events, some humorous)
- Mandolin Radio
Another tried and true website for mandolin players is actually also the oldest one on the net that we’ve seen, and that is Mandozine, dating back to 1996.
It was a great resource for players then, and it remains the same today, featuring a strong educational element where people are invited to practice different mandolin tunes, with write-ups about the songs by in house teachers who work for the site, but provide valuable information for free.
In addition to the tunes, you get the techniques as well, including picking techniques, reading scales, performing double stops (two-note harmonies), and more.
The media section of the site has several cool features, but one of our favourites has to be the home recordings section, which features users submitting their own personal tracks done on mandolin, showcasing the name of the song, the artist, and the instrument it was performed on.
Mandozine radio is another excellent feature of this website, allowing you to tune in on either desktop or mobile, featuring a number of artists and playlists that you’ll surely love if you’re a fan of mandolin-based music. You can even submit your own tunes!
Overall, this is a great website with its own flair that you don’t want to miss out on if you’re a beginner or experienced player.
We hope you enjoy these websites focused on the mandolin, and please let us know what you think of them!