Griffin Mandolele Works

What is a mandolele?

In the 1980s, Bill Griffin was already an established mandolinist in the bluegrass and folk music genres.  He wanted to expand his playing into different musical territories, but found that the traditional mandolin did not accurately convey the sound he was after.  Being a skilled luthier, Griffin crafted his own instrument in 1986 - a nylon-stringed mandolin with single strings, influenced by the sweet or nahenahe tones of the ukulele.

The mandolele uses the same tuning and scale as the F5 mandolin.  Its gentler tone affords playability in a variety of genres.

See and hear Bill Griffin playing the mandolele:

Griffin's mandolele solo on Kate Wolf's "Rising of the Moon" (starts at 2:33)
Bill with LT Smooth on "Danny Boy" and "Can't Help Falling in Love"
Bill with Patrick Landeza on "How Would You Feel?" and "E Pūpūkani`oe"
Bill with Keale on "Motherland," "Hawai`i 78," and "Nani O Ka`ala"

About Bill Griffin

Bill Griffin is widely known as a musician in both bluegrass and Hawaiian music genres.  A luthier and veteran mandolinist, he is also the inventor of the mandolele, which is a nylon-stringed mandolin that he first crafted in 1986.  Born in Glendale, California, Griffin's first exposure to music came through his father, who was a pianist in a Dixieland jazz band.  Griffin began playing ukulele at age five, guitar soon thereafter, and mandolin at age nineteen.  He also plays piano and bass.  More

If you have specific questions, or are interested in purchasing a mandolele, please submit our contact form.




Contact information:

Email:  bill@mandolele.com

Phone:  916-259-3657




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