Kyle Andrus has a passion for music and an appreciation for its many genres, and although he knows his way around a guitar, he was eager to try his hand at something new.
"It's a neat initiative, to be able to try an instrument before you buy it," says Kyle.
His curiosity led him to borrow a mandolin from the Library.
Tuning in with the mandolin
"I'd never really seen a mandolin before, but my experience with it has been great."
If you've ever heard the song, Maggie May, by Rod Stewart, opens a new window—the heartwarming riff you hear in the intro—that is the sound of a mandolin.
The mandolin is part of the string family, tuned with a set of 4, 5, or 6 doubled strings. You'll often hear it played in folk, country, and bluegrass music.
Kyle says he's always loved the sound of a mandolin.
He's been teaching himself to play the mandolin, based off his knowledge of guitar chords. The challenge, Kyle says, is not only the different chord shapes, but the tiny neck of the instrument.
Despite the challenge, he says it's been a rewarding experience and worth every bit of practice.
"It's fun," says Kyle. "It seems everyone has a guitar in their house, but instruments, like the mandolin, are not as common for people to have around."
As for purchasing a mandolin, he still isn't sure, but he's already targeted his next instrument on the lending list—the banjo.
"There'll always be books at the library, but it's incredible that you can just borrow an instrument and teach yourself," says Kyle. "Totally worth the wait."
The instrument collection
You can browse our collection of instruments, and choose your next musical experience.