Mandolins are folk instruments that are tuned the same as violins (GDAE), but have 8 strings, with each pair of adjacent strings tuned in unison. Many of these are available as acoustic or acoustic-electric models. F-style mandolins feature a scrolled body shape, while A-style mandolins are rounded. F-style sound holes are the most popular (like those on a violin), but oval shaped one are also common. If you're looking for a great entry-level mandolin, try the Oscar Schmidt OM Mandolin.
Variations of the mandolin have been used around the world to tell stories through folk music. What story will your's tell?