My wife got me a mandolin for Christmas! I did not see that coming. She is awesome.

It's a Savannah SF-100. I had been thinking for a while about buying myself a ukulele or mandolin. I've played both quite a bit (see I'm Learning the Mandolin from two years ago) but never owned one. I always tell potential guitar students who are worried about their small hands to grab a 3/4-size guitar or a ukulele. Now I can recommend a mandolin too!

Perfect timing on this gift; I recently started learning bluegrass guitar. I saw The Pitchfork Revolution play at an event last month, and a few days later I had a student call and ask if I teach bluegrass. So I said, "You know what, yes. I do now." And I immediately started learning from Russ Barenberg's Teach Yourself Bluegrass Guitar, and I was really digging it. Now that I've got a mando too, I can really get into the music. Who wants to buy me a banjo?

Once I get some new strings from Webstrings and a little setup work done, I think it will sound quite pretty. It already feels pretty great for one's first mandolin. And I'll be studying every video I can find from Nickel Creek's phenomenon, Chris Thile: