As a mandolin enthusiast, I have often wondered what mandolin Sierra Hull plays? Sierra Hull is a prodigy in the musical world, so I wanted to take an in-depth look at the instrument she plays. In this article, I will explore the type of mandolin that has been favored by Sierra Hull and how she has used it to create some of the most beautiful music. I will also explore the various techniques she uses to produce incredible sounds and her approach to playing the mandolin. By the end of the article, you should have a better understanding of Sierra Hull’s mandolin playing.
Who Is Sierra Hull?
- Sierra Hull is a Grammy-nominated American mandolinist, singer and songwriter.
- She has toured with renowned bluegrass and folk artists like Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, and Rhonda Vincent.
- She has released six full-length albums in her career, including her most recent album, “25 Trips.”
- Sierra Hull has won numerous awards, including the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Mandolin Player of the Year Award in 2011.
- In addition to her solo work, she is a member of the progressive bluegrass trio, “Troublesome Hollow.”
Sierra Hull plays a Collings MT O Mandolin. She is known for her intricate fingerpicking style and innovative approach to mandolin playing. Her playing is often characterized by her open tuning and use of drones and double stops.
What Is a Mandolin?
A mandolin is a stringed instrument in the lute family, typically plucked with a plectrum or pick. It has a small, teardrop-shaped body with a raised waist and a flat, usually round back. The string length, or scale, is usually between 13 and 17 inches. The mandolin’s neck is usually flat and has eight strings in four courses, tuned in unison, with the highest two courses in unison and the lowest two courses in octaves.
The mandolin is most often played in folk and country music. It is also used in jazz, classical, and bluegrass music, as well as in many other genres of music. The mandolin is a relatively new instrument and was developed in the late 19th century.
|F-Style||F-style mandolins have a “pointed” or “flower pot” scroll in the upper-bout, giving it an “F” shape. These are typically found in bluegrass and old-time music.|
|A-Style||A-style mandolins have a “rounded” scroll in the upper-bout, giving it an “A” shape. These are typically used in classical and jazz music.|
|Mandola||The mandola is tuned one fifth lower than the mandolin, and it has a larger body. It is also used in folk, bluegrass, and classical music.|
|Octave Mandolin||The octave mandolin is tuned one octave lower than the mandolin, and it has a larger body. It is used in folk, bluegrass, and classical music.|
Sierra Hull plays a custom Olson F-style mandolin made by luthier Eric Olson. The F-style mandolin is the most popular style of mandolin for bluegrass and old-time music. It has a “pointed” or “flower pot” scroll in the upper-bout, giving it an “F” shape.
Overview Of The Mandolins Sierra Hull Has Played
Sierra Hull is an American bluegrass singer and mandolinist. Throughout her career, she has played various mandolins from different brands. Here is an overview of the mandolins that Sierra Hull has played: In 2020, she played a Gibson A-Style mandolin. From 2019-2020 she played a Collings A-Style mandolin. From 2012-2019 she played an Eastman F-Style mandolin, and from 2005-2012 she played a Gibson F-Style mandolin.
|Finish||Satin Nitrocellulose Lacquer|
Sierra Hull plays the Collings MF5 flat-top mandolin. It is crafted with an Adirondack spruce top, maple back and sides, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge, nickel Gotoh tuners, tortoise pickguard, ivoroid/herringbone binding, and a satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
Flatiron F5 Mandolin
- Flatiron F5 Mandolin is a high-end instrument made by Flatiron, an American mandolin manufacturing company.
- Sierra Hull plays a Flatiron F5 Mandolin, which is crafted from hand-selected tone woods and features a two-piece maple back, ebony fingerboard, and gold-plated Grover tuners.
- The Flatiron F5 Mandolin has a bright, robust sound with plenty of volume and projection, as well as great sustain.
- The F5 Mandolin also comes equipped with a pickup, allowing the player to amplify their sound.
- The F5 is a great choice for bluegrass, folk, and jazz styles of music.
Gibson A-Style Mandolin
|Back and Sides||Maple|
The Gibson A-Style Mandolin is a classic mandolin used by bluegrass and other country music players. It is made by Gibson, a world-renowned guitar and mandolin manufacturer. The A-Style Mandolin features a solid spruce top, maple back and sides, rosewood fingerboard, and a rosewood bridge. The hardware is nickel-plated, giving it a classic look. Sierra Hull is a renowned bluegrass and country music artist who plays the Gibson A-Style Mandolin. She is a multi-instrumentalist and is known for her use of classic mandolin sounds.
Weber Gallatin A-Model Mandolin
- Designed by master luthier Bruce Weber.
- Built with a solid spruce top and maple back and sides.
- The body is hand carved and graduated.
- Features gold plated hardware and an ebony fretboard with traditional dot inlays.
- Has a distinct one-piece flamed maple neck.
- Highly regarded for its deep and even tone.
- Played by renowned mandolinist Sierra Hull.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Sierra Hull’s Preferred Mandolin?
Sierra Hull plays a Collings MT mandolin, which she has been playing for many years. Hull swears by this model for its versatility and tone, and often uses it for both acoustic and electric performances. Hull has been featured in many publications, including Acoustic Guitar Magazine, endorsing the Collings MT as her go-to mandolin.
What features does Sierra Hull’s mandolin have?
Sierra Hull’s mandolin is a Collings MT2 model. It features a solid spruce top, solid maple back and sides, a mahogany neck, ebony fretboard, and a custom-made wood pickguard. It also has an adjustable truss rod, radiused fretboard and a settled in neck joint. The tone is bright and clear with good projection.
What techniques does Sierra Hull use to play the mandolin?
Sierra Hull uses a variety of techniques to play the mandolin, including crosspicking, strumming, tremolo, and flatpicking. She also frequently employs a combination of right and left-hand techniques, such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides, to create intricate melodies. Hull also has a unique approach to accompaniment and improvisation, often incorporating elements of bluegrass, jazz, and classical music.
How does Sierra Hull’s Mandolin Differ from Other Mandolins?
Sierra Hull plays a Collings MT mandolin, which is a high-end model built with premium quality tonewoods. The Collings MT has a traditional F-style shape and is designed with an arched top and back for enhanced resonance and volume. It also features a longer scale length for improved sustain and a hand-set, adjustable truss rod for better intonation. The mandolin has a custom-made tailpiece and Grover tuners for easy tuning and performance. Its unique sound and quality construction make this mandolin a favorite of professional musicians.
What Makes Sierra Hull’s Mandolin Unique?
Sierra Hull’s signature mandolin is a Collings MT with a sunburst finish. It is made from the finest materials available, including a hand-carved spruce top and flamed maple back and sides. The neck is made from a single piece of mahogany, with an ebony fingerboard. The top, back and sides also feature a dark tortoise binding. Additionally, the mandolin has a custom-built pickup system, designed and installed by Collings. This combination of quality materials and custom features makes Sierra Hull’s mandolin truly unique.
Sierra Hull has been playing a variety of mandolin instruments since she began performing in 2003. She is known for her ability to play a wide range of styles, from traditional bluegrass to modern pop. Hull has used her skills and knowledge to become a successful professional musician in both the bluegrass and pop scenes. She has also become an endorser of various mandolin makers, and has released a signature mandolin with Eastman Guitars. Whether you are a fan of Sierra Hull or just a curious musician, it is worth exploring the type of mandolin she plays and the incredible skill she brings to it.