Cumbus napoliten wooden flat back Mandolin

My Piccolo Cümbüş Mandolin

turkish mandolin
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Cumbus small mandolin
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cumbus mando ukulele
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Cumbus oud Ukulele

The more famous Banjo Instrument

Tuned G~D~A~E with heavy steel Mandolin strings







Cümbüş Napoliten Piccolo Mandolin

Well as I was out inviting the Banjo to Ukulele Corner the purveyor of "stuff" at the pawn shop told me he also had a little "Lute thing" in that was going "very cheap" Now very cheap are always words to perk up my interest so I said I would have a look. He got it out of the window and I was quite taken; what he had was not a lute thing but a Cümbüş wooden flat backed Mandolin Looking at the label it said it was their "Napoliten" model but it included a reference to the website so it wasn't that old. Now I didn't know Cümbüş made wooden instruments but I knew their Banjo range and that they were Turkey's foremost instrument manufacturer so I was very interested especially at the what was "very cheap" price. It was in bad need of new strings and had led a hard life previous to ending up in the shop so I said I would think about it having just invited the Banjo and left the shop. I did think about it too... I though "I pay less than that for buns in the week; it's an interesting looking chordophone from a maker I have always said I was interested in the wares off and I had always said to myself I would start a Mandolin collection one day", (obfuscating to myself again as I already have 4, 5 if you count the Bandolim - how can I say start? - thats a bigger collection than most people, whatever) I thought about it for all of 20m down the road before I turned around and went back. He even knocked another pound off the price so it got an invitation to Ukulele Corner too and "Officially" started the Mandolin Collection

Its here now and when I looked it up on the Internet I found it was actually a Piccolo Mandolin with a scale length of 326mm (a standard Mandolin should have a scale length of at least 350mm) This makes me even happier to have invited it, I do like diminutive chordophone even though the are harder to play and there are not many Piccolo Mandolins on the market either. Now it currently has fairly heavy strings on and so is tuned to a standard G~D~A~E tuning but the string need replacing so I will go for a lighter set and give it the high C~G~D~A tuning like a Mandola but an octave higher. After all I can't play the Mandolin so it's not going to throw me on the chord shapes (Well I can play "Sweet Home Alabama" but I'm fairly sure I can manage that transposed too). It is a bit chipped but there is no structural problems and it's not like I haven't got plenty of "experienced" Ukuleles at the corner to keep it company and it is laminate spruce but there are plenty of laminate Ukuleles too. it was never meant to be a High Class instrument but it is Class and given the maker and the size it was always going to be on my want list as soon as I knew of its existence
One curiosity to note about it though is the model name. I guess "Napoliten" is Turkish for Neapolitan (?) and whilst there is such a thing as a Mandolin in the Neapolitan style this isn't one. The Neapolitan Mandolin would be full size and have the traditional Bowl Back made from a number of separate staves whereas this clearly has a flat back made from, by the look of it a single piece of wood.