LA SEXTA BASICA – Music from Venezuela with Mandolin

I have dicovered this video already some time ago, and I heard it again today. La Sexta Basica is a group composed of typical Venezuelan plucked instruments and a singer. They play a very interesting mix of traditional Venezuelan music with a modern sound.

These are very good examples of how to use plucked instruments in a group with a singer. Enjoy the videos!

Pueblos Tristes – La Sexta Basica-Musica Venezolana

“Pueblos tristes” original de Otilio Galindez interpretado por La Sexta Basica en Lunacreciente Studios.Caracas, Venezuela.
La Sexta Básica son:
Guitarra, voz y dirección: Pablo Escalona
Guitarra: José Manuel Cardona
Mandolina y Bandola llanera: Mariana Cardona
Mandolina y voz: Roselyn Rondón
Cuatro y voz: Lilian Córdova



Aqui esta el indio – La Sexta basica-bandola llanera -pajarillo

La Sexta basica, grupo de musica venezolana contemporanea.

Director, guitarra y voz: Pablo Escalona
Mandolina: Roselyn Rondon.
cuatro:Liliam Cordova
guitarra: Jose Manuel cardona
bandola llanera: Mariana Cardona
Contrabajo: Jesus Milano

El Diablo Suelto – Guitar Music of Venezuela CD (Amazon partnerlink)


The Bandola Llanera * Plucked Instruments from Venezuela *…

There are several instruments in Venezuela and Columbia named bandola, the bandola llanera is the most popular of those.

The bandola llanera has 4 strings – usually made from nylon like the strings of a classical guitar. It looks like a pearshaped guitar, at the first sight it looks quite strange and unusual. The instrument is played with a pick, and it sounds a little bit like a Spanish flamenco guitar. The players seem to try to play it loud, and usually do not try to produce a clean and sweet sound. But this is right for the kind of music played on the bandola llanera. This music goes back to the music of Sapin in the 16th and 17th century and has been further developed in Venezuela.

In the Atlas of Plucked Instruments – Venezuela you can find a description and pictures, a longer article in Spanish language is available here: La Bandola

The different instruments named bandola:


Atlas of stringed instuments: The 4 nylon strings are often tuned : a d’ a’ e”. describes two different tunings, a d’ a’ e” and also g d’ a’ e”, the second tuning is the same as the tuning of a mandolin or violin, the first hast just changed the lowes string from g to a

Wikipedia Stinged Instruments Tunings: A3 D4 F4 B3 ???? is this also used as a tuning???

Dolmetsch Online: (English, German f.) the Venezuelan bandola is similar to the cuatro, but is shorter, often pear-shaped, and more percussive or stronger-sounding due to the manner in which it is played, with a plastic pick. The bandola is strung differently in different regions of the country, but, in general, has four courses of strings

Saúl Vera

Saúl Vera is one of the important players of the bandola llanera, his ensemble has existed for more than 18 years now.


There you can find the following passage:

A beautiful instrument and living reminder of the 16th century, the
bandola llanera joins the cuatro as a defining element of Venezuelan
music. Since the Ensemble’s inception in 1986, Saul Vera has explored
various themes in his musical work with the bandola, allowing audiences to
enjoy the pleasures of his remarkable technique as well as gain an
understanding of the instrument’s cultural value.

An older video – Saúl Vera shows the bandola llanera and how it is played:

You can see that Saúl Vera is using an instrument with a special cutaway, to be able to better reach the higher frets.

Another video with a duo with two bandolas llaneras:

Saul Vera y Tomasito Orellana

Read more “The Bandola Llanera * Plucked Instruments from Venezuela * Saúl Vera / Ricardo Sandoval”


The new Grand Concert Mandolin by Labraid – Built…

Joe Brent and Brian Dean have developed a new mandolin, the Grand Concert.

The first videos played with this mandolin are available at youtube, and I think that there will be some discussion about this new type of a mandolin.

Brian Dean has made a video with pictures from the construction of this mandolin, with music played by Joe Brent on the mandolin.

Slow Motion played by Joe Brent

The form of this mandolin resembles a small guitar, it has a true back and a second protective back that allows the true back to be a real resonance back. Joe Brent wanted an instrument that sounds clear from the lowest string up to the 27th fret, and one that could be played in a standing position. He also wanted an instrument that allows him to play with an ensemble without amplification. And I think he has got what he wanted.

The first video shows Joe together with clarinet and double bass:

Astor Piazzolla: Bandoneon

Joseph Brent, mandolin
Ken Robinson, clarinet
Eddy Khaimovich, bass

This video shows, that the sound of this mandolin has no problem to compete with a clarinet – this is one of my favorite videos:

Joseph Brent plays ‘Race For The Prize’ by The Flaming Lips

Read more “The new Grand Concert Mandolin by Labraid – Built for Mandolinist Joe Brent”

Mandolin – My new blog in English about mandolin,…

This blog is intended as an English version of my blog

I am collecting usefull information about the mandolin, the guitar and other plucked instruments from all over the world with interesting youtube videos.

I have started the German blog some time ago as an addon for my homepage MandoIsland has grown for many years and is a source for information about the mandolin and its music, from classical and Brazilian choro to Jazz and Bluegrass.

During the years many links to interesting sites have been collected, and a lot of information ahs been compiled, mainly in German, but a big part has already been translated to English.

With youtube it is now very easy to find sources for all kind of music and artists. In my blog I am collecting interesting videos and additional information about topics like the Chinese plucked instruments, classical guitar videos, newcommer bands, the Kretan lute, the Venezuelan bandola llanera and cuatro …..

I will translate the most interesting posts from the last year to English step by step, so please come again and see whats new.

My Mandolin Videos Playlist

My Best Classical Mandolin Videos Playlist

Enjoy the mandolin!