I have been reading here the questions and answers regarding, de-tuning, or loosening the strings on a guitar every day at the end of each practice session. From the many answers it is clear to me that there is no need for this practice unless the instrument is stored for a long time. However, I wonder if this also applies to a mandolin, as I have a new bowl back mandolin, built in Italy, and I know that the tension on the neck is about 80 Kg, which seems enormous to me on an instrument which looks so delicate. I practice 2 hours a day and re-tuning and de-tuning every day would be quite annoying.

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    Can't see why any instrument would be produced, knowing it needed slackening off after every play. All of my guitars (acoustic/electric/classical) and basses are kept, mostly hanging, in tune, to be taken down and played straightaway. They have been like that for over 20 years. Maybe mandolins are different, but I doubt it. A fellow player uses one, and that's always (nearly!) in tune.
    – Tim
    May 28 at 8:01
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    To add on @Tim , I would say applying and releasing the tension regularly can actually damage the instrument as the constraints on the wood will always change, wearing it over time. If kept always under tension, nothing moves which is probably for the wood (and not to mention that instruments are actually designed to be under tension… Imagine a piano for which it would not be the case…).
    – Tom
    May 28 at 9:13
  • It would be good if you could provide links to the QAs you refer to - some answers might need some down-votes ;))
    – Tetsujin
    May 28 at 10:42
  • Thanks so much guys for your prompt reply to my question, i did think that was the case but just wanted to ask around, people who knows better than myself. most grateful, thank you.
    – Rocco
    May 28 at 11:04
  • I have an A-style mandolin and keep it in tune. I don't know from bowl-backs, though. If you were shipping, it, or putting it into longer-term storage, I'd consider detuning, but be aware that the bridge might be held on by tension alone May 28 at 14:51

I've never untuned the strings of my bowl-back mandolin after playing. Admittedly though, I own it only for a little less than a year and I use ultra light strings (but the gauge should usually not matter for a modern instrument).

Another point to consider: If you think that the mandolin is an especially small and delicate stringed instrument, do not forget the violin. A quick Google search showed that violinists usually do not untune their strings after playing. If it is safe for the violin to keep the strings in tune when not played it should also be safe for the mandolin.

  • Just suggest to a historically informed violinist to relax their gut strings after playing. That'd be fun, when before playing you'll need to spend an hour again getting the strings even roughly in tune... May 29 at 18:58

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