|1||Kentucky KM-270||22||2.75 pounds||1|| Check|
Kentucky KM-270 Artist A-Model Mandolin Vintage
Vintage example of the popular A-style instruments has a delicate and very expressive tone with a reverb component that smoothes and homogenizes the tremolo effect. The sonority is sweet. In comparison with that of instruments with a more modern design, it reveals itself guttural, in particular if the strings are plucked away from the bridge, while the definition is always excellent over the whole extension; the supercuts are brilliant and clear and are definitely strong when played near the bridge.
The projection is not its strong point while the dynamic is excellent, provided you do not force it to draw more sound than it is capable. The signal/noise ratio on the bass strings varies considerably depending on the force and the angle of impact of the plectrum; in particular it improves as the performer moves towards the fretboard, while on the high ones it remains practically constant. The mandolin remains an instrument with a “small” but extremely expressive voice, capable of becoming languid and it gives everything possible with a rigid but not too often elongated plectrum.
Features of then Kentucky KM-270 Artist A-Model Mandolin Vintage
- The model has a body design in the style of the 1920s;
- The body is made of the sitka spruce, the back and sides are of the maple;
- High-gloss sunburst lacquer finish;
- One-piece maple neck;
- Rosewood fingerboard with mother-of-pearl markers;
- 22 highly-polished nickel silver frets;
- High-quality tuning machines.
The mandolin is a purely solo instrument. It is also possible to use it “harmonically” to produce musical chords. To obtain the tremolo technique, it is essential that the plectrum be held firmly between the fingers, while the musician’s wrist must always remain loose and free to oscillate or there will be no chance of harmony.
The plectrum is also an important accessory for the execution. Its shape and the material of which it is composed influence and determine the sonority of the instrument.
Mandolin with an oval hole
As in all stringed instruments, the sound table has a sound hole from which the amplified sound from the speaker propagates outside. Shape and position of the hole, which opens at the top of the sound table at the end of the fingerboard and is almost always surrounded by decorative threads, change little in most traditional mandolins in which the hole can be indifferently round or oval. Mandolins with oval sound holes offer a characteristic sound that played a big role in the formation of music of the first half of the 20th century.
More or less at the center of the sound table is the bridge, a thin oblong wooden structure of pyramidal profile through which the vibrations of the strings in tension, positioned by slight grooves that determine spacing, height and diapason, press on it transmitting the vibrations at the soundboard that has the task of amplifying them. Essential for the sound is the base of the bridge which must be shaped to match perfectly with the sound table in order to offer the maximum contact surface.
How to choose a plectrum
The plectrum is held between the thumb and the forefinger for 1/3 of its length and with the simple movement of the wrist you have to strike once the string pair from top to bottom and from bottom to top. Performing this alternating movement very quickly on the same note gives the tremolo or trillato, an effect that makes the sound of this instrument unique.
In the music market there are millions of plectrums, each one different from the other, but they have the same objective. Therefore, if you want to acquire the correct prong is necessary to experiment with the weight of each of them, among all you will find one that suits and accommodate you. It is advisable to use those that are light and medium, but it is not a primordial rule.
How to hold the Mandolin
Mandolin in American culture
The mandolin entered American culture through the waves of European immigration in the early nineteenth century, in a period of great interest in everything that was exotic and foreign. By the 1850s, the mandolin was in vogue and shared popularity with sitar, ukuleles and other novelties that entertained the American middle class.
With an increase in Italian immigration in the 1880s, the Neapolitan mandolin spread even further throughout the United States. By the turn of the century many orchestras were already in mandolins and these began to form schools. In this period the mandolin was the most popular instrument in American culture.