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Kids Electric To Mandolin

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I've been going over the logistics of converting a kid's electric guitar into a mandolin. I need some extra brains to help me think this through.

This is basically what I would start with -> Kids Electric Guitar

On my list I know I at least have to do the following. What else can you think of or is there something else I'm missing?

1. Add 2 more tuning keys.

2. Switch pickup to bass pickup ... a small one.

3. change bridge to accept 8 strings

4. Find an 8 slot nut.

Anyone ever done this or have some advice. I think I might could do it, but I'm looking for pitfalls and things I didn't see or expect. Maybe the frets aren't close enough. Am I crazy ... maybe you shouldn't answer that last one.

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have you found a guitar with a similar(very short) scale length? I'm just wondering if you are looking at like a 3/4 size guitar if you'd beable to find mandolin strings long enough to fit. I have a mandolin lurking around here sumwhere.. my fingers are to big to ever pickup playing it! also consider the width of the neck, so you dont end up with alot of fingerboard for a little strings. Good luck otherwise!

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Exactly my thought. Judging from the picture the scale is in the 22" region. A normal mandolin scale is 13.875". The strings on my electric thinline mandolin is 21". Remember that you also need to add to the length "beyond" the nut (between nut and tuner). A mandolin string also have a loop, not a ball end. But as you need to modify the bridge, you can always take that into consideration and make place for the balls and simply use some guitar strings.

My main concern would be the longer scale in another context. Don't expect to be able to tune this instrument with a 22" scale to the same pitch. You will probably break the strings. But hey: you can alway call it a bouzouki, a cittern, an octave mandola or a tenor mandola depending on suitable string tension.

Another problem (pointed out by crxeffect) might be string spread. If you are going to use a bass pickup (I'm guessing you mean half a P bass pickup, thats what I used on my electric mandolin, works great) you will probably need to use a much more narrow nut/bridge combo than what's on that guitar. Even if you work that out by adjusting the nut/bridge string spacing you will probably have a very wide neck and narrow strings. Might be a problem, might not be a problem. It is you that will be playing this instrument and you have to decide that part. You can always shave same wood (and frets) of the sides of the neck, but now there might be more work than it is worth.

All in all I think that it might be a really cool instrument if you decide to go with this idea. Adding an electric mandolin/bouzouki behind a electric guitar will bring a 12-string quality to recordings. or make it really stand out by adding overdrive, effects and so on. On our latest CD we had a solo on a electric ukulele I build (effectively a 4 string electric mandolin). It rocked.

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All I can add is my friend the electric mandolin player has a rail-type strat-sized humbucker pickup on his instrument. Sounds nice. His is angled a bit, but might be worth trying, as it could fit in the routes already on the instrument.

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