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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Are we allowed to talk about banjos

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 18th, 2017 05:24 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I had an Old Time Music guy, who's band was hosting the three day event, tell me I had a great claw hammer style, he asked me why I used it for playing rhythm guitar. I explained the reason and he recomended I give the banjo a try.

Riiight, well now I'm thinking it would add another layer to the three piece group I'm part of.

I don't know much about them, they seem like a fairly simple instrument, I'm considering building a fretless banjo using one of my 12" gourds, and I'm kind of shopping around the used market for a decent instrument. I really don't know. My web search is indicating that I would do well if I just picked up a used Deering Goodtime, they seem to hold their value better than most.

I'm open to suggestions.

Peegoo
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I walk

between the raindrops
Jun 18th, 2017 08:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've had a Gold Tone (Titusville, FL) CB-100 open back five string for a few years.

It is a blast to play, and it is very well made. Not too expensive. I'm a frailer because my fangers just won't do the Scruggs thing.

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Jun 18th, 2017 09:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Are we allowed to talk about banjos?"

Yes. Most certainly. Just so long as you don't try to tune them. 'Cause as everyone knows.......

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 19th, 2017 08:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, it takes a village "o)

I'll check it out Geno. Never been much of a wood snob when it comes to acoustics, though I do prefer Mahogany Guitars. I can't imagine Maple vs Mahogany would make a whole lot of difference on the sound of a banjo, but given a choice I would still prefer mahogany for it's stability. Most pots are laminated, from what I can see.


Peegoo
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between the raindrops
Jun 21st, 2017 03:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Virtually all wood pots are laminated.

Some of the older pots on so-called "budget" banjos, e.g., Vega, Kay, etc., are Bakelite. And these are known for good tone too!

A word of caution: I have two 1920's Slingerland (yes, the drum company) tenor banjos I wanted to fully restore to their original beauty and tone, so I tried calfskin on the heads.

Calfskin is a losing proposition, because even a minor change in humidity throws everything out of whack. Stick with modern Mylar (or similar material) heads. Remo Weather King is a good one. Glossy is brighter. Frosted is a tad mellower.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 21st, 2017 03:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, I've been there, the gourd ukulele banjo I made years ago has bad sag. They have one that looks like traditional rawhide too, I think they call it vintage something or other.

Not so external link

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 26th, 2017 10:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

OK, I came across a decent deal on a local Craig's list offering. This is a mahogany Epiphone MB 200, with a hard case, maybe 2 hours of use total, the guy is over in Tallahassee but his family is here in Lake City, so he'll deliver it (98 miles)

There seems to be a few things different from regular guitars in setting these up. Head tension, isolation of the skin and tone ring from the neck, the bridge makes a huge difference according to sources I've come across, one of the bridge adjustments is a pull off at the 15th fret and adjusting the bridge to a point where the harmonic ring is the same tember and volume as the fretted string, interesting, I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't hear it myself. I had no idea so much actually goes into these things.

And when you've done all this it's still just a banjo "o)

Just the maple pot from StewMac is almost twice this price.

This has a resonator, but weighs in under 7 lbs and closer to 6 lbs. I'll play it for awhile then maybe modify it to an open back.

I't going to bring a whole new dimention to "Free Bird" "o)

Peegoo
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Jun 27th, 2017 12:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Anything is possible.

Years ago I was in Sloppy Joe's in Key West and the solo banjo guy asked the audience for a request. We all yelled "Free Bird!" and he launched into it.

He *killed* it too. Very entertaining.



hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 27th, 2017 02:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've been fooling around with Free Bird as a goof, after listening to the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd just didn't cut it for me, though they wrote a couple good tunes. This one really got played too much. It may not ever make it back into common set lists but it didn't suck.

The closest thing to Southern Rock that smoked my butt was the Dixie Dregs.

I've heard some interesting spins on "Sweet Child" it's fun to re-condition worn out tunes.

Last time I was at Sloppy Joe's, Laker was with me, the Carter Brothers were playing.

spacedawg
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Delco, PA

"I'll take a simple C to G
Jul 11th, 2017 10:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hush, I have the same banjo,(Epi). As far as I can tell, it's a well made instrument. Hardware may be a weak link though.
I played it for about a year and it's been a love,hate thing. I would really love to rip a roll on that thing, but I hate to have to practice that much to get there.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jul 13th, 2017 02:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's practice for sure. The styles of strumming and finger picking are much different than what I'm used to. I'm still at it though. I've got a basic grasp of clawhammer but don't have a clue how it's worked into the song, yet.

I took the resonator off, it's four thumb screws. I've recieved the new strings but haven't put them on yet.

My guitar payer has me fixing the bridge on his nephews ukulele. That's just about wrapped up.

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Jul 19th, 2017 03:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a Dean 6-string banjo that I need to start using again.

Chris Greene
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Idaho, USA

I'm Uncle Sam, that's who I am
Jul 22nd, 2017 01:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I love clawhammer banjer and that old mountain music. I found it's very difficult to emulate that style of playing being a guitar strummer. My muscle memory gets in the way.

Clarence Ashley played resonator banjers but I love his version of Little Sadie.

External link

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jul 26th, 2017 05:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's a different beast. I'll keep at it. Next sat. the Song Farmers will be at the park in the evening, the host is the mandolin player in my group, it's a circle thing but I can talk with a couple of banjo players, I'll bring mine as well as the 00015S.

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Are we allowed to talk about banjos




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