“It was a five minute song with no chorus and a mandolin as a lead instrument.”

This is how R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe summed up “Losing My Religion,” one of the band’s biggest hits. Often thought of today as an instrument to be lumped in with dobros and banjos and only used for Country music and Bluegrass, mandolins have a long, storied history and today are commonly found in music far outside the realm of the aforementioned genres.

With origins dating back to the beginning of the last millennium, mandolins come in a wide variety of shapes and varieties. Most common today is the teardrop shape with two F-holes, though other models are also produced in different shapes with different sound hole styles. Almost all current mandolins have eight strings, grouped into four pairings of two strings similar to the groupings on a 12-string guitar.

Swamp offers quality Artist brand mandolins with bodies made with laminated Sapele wood and fingerboards and bridges made from solid Rosewood. These Artist mandolins offer a high quality sound and playability suitable for a seasoned performer as well as a beginner exploring what these versatile instruments have to offer. This all equates to incredible value.