Is Mandolin Easier Than Guitar?

Many people think that the Mandolins and Guitars are the same, but admittedly not. They both are indeed stringed instruments, but lots of differences between them still exist. 

If you are a newbie and are supposed to embark on the art of playing either Mandolin and Guitar, you have to get out of this misconception first. In addition, you need to comprehend the significant divergences between them. 

As there are lots of dissimilarities between these two instruments, people get confused about which should be learned first and which will be relatively easier. A group of people thinks Mandolin is easier to Learn, and other groups believe the opposite. In this write- up we’ll demonstrate the query. 

The Difference Between Mandolin & Guitar

Before knowing whether Mandolin is more accessible than guitar or not, you have to perceive the fundamental desperateness between these two popular instruments. Here, we have described some of their technical and physical dissimilarities for better comprehending.

Differences in Strings 

There are eight strings in a Mandolin, which have dichotomized to produce four sets of strings. In recent times, you’ll get some cheap Mandolins with 5 strings as well that are manufactured by several companies. The strings of Mandolins are open and playable. 

Now come to the Guitar. A regular Guitar holds 6 to 12 strings. That’s why players who are used to playing Guitar find it challenging to adjust the four strings of Mandolins. Why is it difficult? This question may come to your mind, right? Well, it is a bit hard to make chords using four strings rather than 6. 

In addition, strings that come with Mandolin are comparatively thinner than the Guitar strings. Even if the strings become doubled, the guitar strings’ thickness still can’t match. Moreover, Mandolin’s strings are less apart than the Guitar strings.

Differences in Size

Another vital dissimilarity between the Guitar and Mandolin is their size. A full-size guitar is larger than a standard Mandolin. The Mandolin is comparatively small and captivates players for multiple reasons. 

For instance, especially younger kids find the Mandolin comfortable to hold and use. On the other hand, it is much harder for a kid to have the Guitar in hand. 

Besides, a remarkable number of music experts think that it is easier to exert pressure on the light Mandolin strings than the guitar strings. On the other hand,  the mandolin contains a small thicker neck; thus, it has more chance to break down the guitar neck. 

Differences in Tuning

The tuning system of the Mandolin is mainly similar to violins, usually tuned in perfect fifths. The only difference between the violin and mandolin is, the mandolin holds 4 double strings, whereas the violin has 4 single strings. 

Whatever the doubled string of mandolin is tuned in the clone (Single) note, it is suitable for folk music, classic, bluegrass, and county genres. 

Now come to the Guitar tuning. We have already mentioned above, the guitar has 6 strings, and each of the individual strings is tuned to a separate note. Guitar’s notes are generally open and tuned into fourths from the lower notes to the higher notes.

Differences in Sound

Both Guitar and Mandolin produce different sounds. Generally, the loudest sound is produced by the mandolin. Even if you are listening to a live performance where the mandolin is part of the instrument set, you’ll be up to hear the sound of it dissecting the band sound. As the sound is loud, it is mainly used in solo performances. 

Now, a question may commence in your mind: What are the reasons behind its loud sound? Well, it happens due to the pressure on its strings that are much higher than the guitar. 

But, both of them can be played to get amazing sound because their frequency ranges are not the same and won’t disturb each other’s sounds. 

Differences in Playing Technique

There is a significant difference between the two in Playing Techniques. We know that the mandolin has movable chords that are similar to the guitar. For that reason, double frets per finger must be used while playing the mandolin. Where, for playing the guitar, it is only required a single fret per finger. 

Using the wrist and angle method is another technique that is usually followed by both mandolin and guitar players.  For instance, guitarists frequently extend over their instrument’s fretboard, where mandolinists reach across the hands and retract it along their fretboard’s length. 

On the grounds of that, you must angle your hand at the time of playing the mandolin. You don’t need to worry about the techniques because, over time, they will be perfect. 

Difference In Cost

The Guitar is more affordable than the Mandolin that makes it popular all over the world. In most Western countries, out of five families, you’ll find at least one with a guitar. In contrast, Mandolin is not as popular as guitars and is comparatively much more expensive. For example, the minimum price range for a good cheap mandolin is around $100, where you can purchase a cheap guitar for less than 60 dollars.

Is Mandolin Easier Than Guitar?

The size of the mandolins is smaller than the guitars that make some people believe it is easy to play. But truth be told, learning Mandolins is much more complicated than the guitars. Why is it difficult? The tuning of mandolins is similar to the violins that indicate you have to go through learning processes for the rest of your playing life.  

In opposition, the maximum number of performers comply that playing guitar is not much tougher though learning guitar is a long time process. Outside of that, mandolins have a relatively more minor neck than the guitars, which would be hard for a previous guitar player to adapt. 

In spite of everything, if you can adapt all the changes that we mentioned, you can learn the mandolins as well. Research shows that young players considerably prefer the mandolins rather than the guitar. 

In the end, if you are really determined to learn something new instruments then first re-evaluate your mindset. Because, if you are obsessive about learning a particular instrument with an exact goal in mind, no instrument will be difficult for you. 

Final Verdict

If you are truly supposed to learn an instrument and become a master of it, no instrument is simple to learn. You have to give more effort on every single instrument while learning, otherwise, you won’t get the sufficient output that you want.  

However, both mandolin and the guitar confer significant benefits, but they also hold some drawbacks. The guitar is a universal instrument to learn if you are not concerned about what genres you are going to play. On the other hand, if you intend to learn a unique stringed instrument, go through the mandolin.