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What Banjo Do You Play?

GUEST,Songbob 30 May 10 - 11:34 PM
Stringsinger 30 May 10 - 12:43 PM
GUEST 30 May 10 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Curious Non Player 11 Apr 10 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,shoot24fps 22 Apr 09 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Tim Paschall 16 Feb 09 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,lynnt 26 Jan 09 - 02:32 PM
Stringsinger 26 Jan 09 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Joven 26 Jan 09 - 12:34 PM
VRB 25 Jan 09 - 07:17 PM
bubblyrat 12 Jan 09 - 05:07 PM
VRB 12 Jan 09 - 01:27 PM
banjoman 03 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM
Patrick_Costello 03 Jan 09 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,banjokid95 02 Jan 09 - 11:16 PM
Musket 02 Nov 08 - 06:17 PM
Greg B 02 Nov 08 - 06:04 PM
Charley Noble 01 Nov 08 - 10:57 PM
GUEST,Jack R 01 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,DulciPicker 29 Oct 08 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Flazmo 29 Oct 08 - 12:28 PM
masha 28 Oct 08 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,Casey (CW) 28 Oct 08 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,goodnight gracie 11 Aug 08 - 01:39 PM
Zen 11 Aug 08 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,fretless 11 Aug 08 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,goodnight gracie 11 Aug 08 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,fretless 11 Aug 08 - 12:48 PM
Amos 11 Aug 08 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,goodnight grace 11 Aug 08 - 12:20 PM
Zen 11 Aug 08 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,goodnight gracie 11 Aug 08 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,Jon 16 Jun 08 - 06:52 AM
Banjiman 16 Jun 08 - 06:43 AM
Mooh 15 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Marion 15 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM
oombanjo 01 Jun 08 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Gulliver in the sun 01 Jun 08 - 08:25 AM
kendall 01 Jun 08 - 07:57 AM
Charley Noble 31 May 08 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,Jim 31 May 08 - 04:24 PM
Stringsinger 30 May 08 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 29 May 08 - 08:09 PM
kendall 29 May 08 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,Noddy 29 May 08 - 06:32 PM
GUEST 29 May 08 - 05:18 PM
glueman 29 May 08 - 04:18 PM
DonMeixner 29 May 08 - 04:10 PM
MikeT 29 May 08 - 04:07 PM
MissouriMud 29 May 08 - 03:41 PM
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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 30 May 10 - 11:34 PM

I don't know about a "Silver Princess" banjo, but S. S. Stewart made a lovely little "American Princess," a 10" shell with a nice neck. I had one for years, and it played really nicely with nylon strings (not so good with steel). If yours is a Stewart model, or one of his competitors, it may be worth fixing up. If it's an off-brand Japanese banjo of the 1970s or so, well, it's still a banjo, and can be fun to play and learn on.

Get more detail and let's see what cha got!

Bob Clayton

PS - I sell a good banjo instruction book for $10, if you'd like to learn traditional styles.

songuitar@verizon.net if interested.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 May 10 - 12:43 PM

Pete Seeger is one of my favorite players because he brings to the banjo a musical harmonic sophistication probably acquired from his earlier days as a tenor banjo player doing popular songs of the twenties and thirties. The main thing about his banjo playing is that it's the greatest for generic singing of folk songs. You can run counter-lines, bass runs and fills with it that complements almost every song in gCGBD or gGDBD or retuning to gDBbD for g minor tuning. Also, the "Little Birdie" tuning works well for some pieces: gCGAD.

I have two long neck banjos that I'm not really happy with. Gibson RB175 and a PS style knockoff from Taka. Someday, I hope to have a Vega Tuba-fone pot with a great long neck or even standard size neck for that Seeger ring.

I have this B and D #1 tenor nineteen fret which when I play standard dixieland tenor either CGDA or GCGE (dropped tenor) just doesn't cut it. When I bring the fourth string up, it sounds great as a five-string style open back (I took the resonator off) which leads me to believe I need a great five-string neck of the Fawley quality.

I've come around to going back to what I started with, the Pete Seeger style of picking.
I love the other styles too, but I like to sing.

BTW, Pete had a terrific range in his singing. It was by no means limited. It was different than the "high lonesome" Bill Monroe style but he called himself a "split tenor" with the Weavers which did different parts, some baritone, some tenor and some with falsetto in a pseudo-soprano style.

The problem was that he may have blown out his cords singing at top volume a lot of the time.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 10 - 06:26 AM

I WANT TO BUY A BANJO SPECIFICALLY TO PLAY IRISH TUNES[G-D-A-E-]IWAS LOOKING AT THE KELLS OZARK MODEL 2144T, HAS ANYONE HAVE A COMMENT ON THIS BANJO---OR IS THERE SOMETHING BETTER OUT THERE FOR THE SAME MONEY [AVERAGE 750 POUNDS STERLING ]-------------CHEERS   --BILLY.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Curious Non Player
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 10:00 AM

I was given a Silver Princess 5 string banjo 40 years ago and it has become a family "treasure". On the wall!

Does anyone know of anything about this model? I have searched everywhere for more information and haven't been able to find much.

Many thanks for anything you might know about it,

Zantha

Silver Princess


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,shoot24fps
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 02:08 PM

I dont play. But my grandma picked a little. She gave me her banjo. It is a Vega FW-5, she had it since 1960. It sounds great. Anyone know this model.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Tim Paschall
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 04:49 PM

Studio--- 1972 Fender Concert Tone 5-string (All American)

Gig----1938 Paramount Style E 5-sting.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,lynnt
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 02:32 PM

My sweetie Richard has just begun to throw himself into French & Indian War reenactment, so in support of that has bought himself a cute 4-string gourd banjo made by a retired gentleman out in the Seattle area. Richard already plays blues guitar, and is teaching himself to play this. It's got a surprisingly nice tone for such a primitive instrument, and the maker did a nice job on the maple neck and ebony tuning pegs; hope we don't need to change out the head anytime soon since it's held on with brass tacks. Now if we could only keep the cord that attaches the base of the wooden string-anchor from snapping whenever the temperature changes more than 5 degrees!

Lynn


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 01:54 PM

Reposted from the other thread:

Subject: RE: Banjoists, what style
From: Stringsinger - PM
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 01:46 PM

I like the versatility of the banjo. I have a Ome pot with a 17 fret B and D neck which I use for re-entrant "high C" tuning (taking the fourth string an octave higher). It works on this particular banjo. (CGDA) I use a clear plastic disc (mylar?) for a resonator because I like to stand while I'm playing. That saves your back because it's lighter. My wife plays a Stew-Mac scalloped tonering and pot (ala Whyte Ladye) with a Vega 17 fret neck. The two banjo work well together, her with the lower chords and me with the higher lead parts.

I put the same resonator on my RB175 so I don't have to use finger picks. It's a Pete Seeger model by Gibson with a narrow neck which is not too cool for the Seeger style which needs a wider neck and the best pot is the Tuba-fone for that "ring".

I have a 1922 19 fret B and D tenor which drives me nuts because the neck is too wide at the frets. I prefer a 17 fret. It has a conventional resonator, pot and neck all matching.
I have tried Chicago tuning (first four strings of a guitar DGBE), dropped tenor (GDAE)
conventional tenor (CGDA) and dropped conventional tenor as they do in New Orleans (BbFCG). Nothing sounds the way I like it. When I frail the sucker, it sounds old-timey which means maybe I should swap a five-string clawhammer neck on it to replace the tenor. It's an original and I hate to mess with it and destroy it's value. If I didn't have to jerry-rig the neck on it by invasive surgery and could just swap the necks and keep the
value by storing the original tenor neck, that would be a solution but I don't have any support for this from my repair person friends.

The deal about banjos is that you are always tinkering. Always trying to get it to sound "right".

I like all styles of the banjo but I'm lukewarm about Scruggs style which still sounds mechanical to me. I know it's just a preference.

I like the old Gibson "trapdoors" that have a traditional sound. Some early six-string banjo players used it (you can't hardly find one anymore) and that Buell Kazee used it. (I love his accompaniments).

So that "Half-Barbaric Twang" is a great dream or a nightmare depending on which side of the music bed you get out of.

Frank


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Joven
Date: 26 Jan 09 - 12:34 PM

Til now I have played ODE and OME banjos. I found a Gold Tone HOAB (13" open back) and after a little work setting up I am sold! What a great banjo. I wonder why is it that GOLD TONE discontinued it. Any thoughts?

Any other banjo players using a HOAB?

Thanks

Ivan


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: VRB
Date: 25 Jan 09 - 07:17 PM

I play a Rogue open back and am working on an old open back with a star on the head stock. I've reworked the frett board and am putting a skin head on it and gut strings. I'm hoping to make a appilachian mountain banjo out of curly maple and a skin head with gut strings.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 05:07 PM

I play mostly traditional tunes from Ireland (Esp.Carolan) England (especially the Hardy Manuscript),and Holland (sorry, The Netherlands !) and other European countries, on the guitar, and have now decided to go for a "Cort" six-string banjo,which I can tune to double-dropped D guitar -tuning and play the same tunes "A La Banjo" without having to re-learn proper banjo tuning !! Philistine ?? You bet, but it sure sounds good !!


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: VRB
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:27 PM

I have a Rogue open back banjo and on I working on to restore is about 100yrs old has a star on the head stock and a star in the tailpiece. I've been told it was a stella. I don't know but it had a great tone even with the skin toren. I'm replacing the skin with a new skin and having the frett board reworked and fretted.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: banjoman
Date: 03 Jan 09 - 07:35 AM

I have just had a present of a Gold Tone Plunky Banjo to add to my growing collection ( now about 30 banjos of all sizes & shapes) It must be the smallest 5 stringer ever, smaller than my Picolo Banjo, but has a really great piercing tone. Tuned in an open C Chord its a great little instrument and a real novelty
Keep Pickin'

Pete


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Patrick_Costello
Date: 03 Jan 09 - 06:02 AM

A few changes since my last post. My curent banjo is now the Somerset S-1 prototype - one of the little advantages of star up a banjo companyt.
-Patrick
http://somersetbanjo.com/.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,banjokid95
Date: 02 Jan 09 - 11:16 PM

The banjo I play is a Gold Star GF-100 with a Gold Tone BG-250F neck. I'm planning to convert it to an open-back soon.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Musket
Date: 02 Nov 08 - 06:17 PM

What banjo do I play?

A slightly out of tune one normally...

I bought a cheap one of no distinguishing name because it had a resonator hence more volume for noisy pubs when I was knocking about with a skiffle / music hall set of mates. Five string tuned to G.

I actually learned on a Windsor that I picked up cheap over 30 years ago, and it was lovely. Pre war with a new skin and machine heads, but it was stolen out of the van one night when I decided not to play it...

these days I rarely play anything. Must get off my backside and get out again.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Greg B
Date: 02 Nov 08 - 06:04 PM

Spent the afternoon at the notorious Mandolin Brothers in Staten
Island a while back. Sat in the banjo room, played every five
string they had, new and used. Including some instruments that
were worth more than a luxury automobile. Well, maybe not worth
more, but priced more.

Really wanted to like some of the more expensive instruments. And
I did like some of them. I love inlays, so I really wanted to like
the Recording King Artist Supreme. But didn't really. Found it
clunky, kinda.

Really didn't want to like the Vega "Little Wonder" in its current
incarnation. But kept coming back to it. Simple. No tone ring. What
an action! This guy who's been frailing since he was seven was
hooked. Notes "bent" as quick as thought. Just nothing not to like.

An instrument that one could live with long-term. And not too
awfully dear.

One of these days, I'm gonna bring one home.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Nov 08 - 10:57 PM

Grace and others-

If you're looking for a good antique banjo for old-time tunes you might check out eBay for S. S. Stewart banjos, the American Princess Model 2. They are a delight to play and do have a narrow neck. There is more information about this banjo on the Stewart website known as "Mugwumps": click here for website

If you or any others have serious interest in Stewart banjos feel free to contact me via this thread or by PM.

I recently sold one of my Stewarts to an old friend and it's nice to know it's gone to a good home.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Jack R
Date: 01 Nov 08 - 05:29 PM

I play a 1923 Bacon Blue Ribbon with the original skin head. inside the backing is the name of the original owner and the date he first bought it. I use it mostly for irish music and have played this one since the late 1970's.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,DulciPicker
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 12:37 PM

I have a Liberty Buckdancer, made in 1983 by Bob Flesher and his partner in the Liberty banjo company. It's a beautiful open back with an extremely clear, clean sound. I'd prefere a liteel more bottom end, but it's both loud and sweet, so I won't complain.
I also have a gourd banjo made by Clarke Buehling, an unnamed, homemade, banjo uke, a Dean el-cheapo 6-string "banjitar" , and a Gold Star banjola. This is a bit odd, since these mebranophones are the instruments that I play the least.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Flazmo
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 12:28 PM

Unfortunately, I suffer from BAD (Banjo Acquisition Disease). My main banjo is my Deering longneck Black Diamond, which I love. I grew up listening to Dave Guard and John Stewart. I also have a Deering Maple Blossom for bluegrass and a Deering Goodtime special for travel. For rhythm work I have a Gold Tone Plectrum (4-string).

I have been fascinated with the hybrid banjos out there, so I have a Gold Tone banjolin, a Gold Tone 12-string and a Gold Tone Bass banjo. (I am also a bass player.)

I may be incurable because I "need" and electric banjo and maybe one of those cello banjos.

I have to say that I've been pleased with all of these purchases and I'm doing a bunch of recordings, at my wife's suggestion, where the only instruments are banjos and some percussion. With the 4- and 12-stringers for rhythm, the banjolin and 5-strings for picking and the bass banjo the sound is interesting.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: masha
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 10:29 PM

A Coles' Eclipse. Well, actually TWO Coles' Eclipses. I got the first one over 30 years ago. It used to belong to David Molk.

We are an 8 banjo household at the moment... a little excessive, I know.

My first banjo was a freebie Kay. It was given to me in Chicago in 1978 on the condition that, when I was ready for a better banjo, I had to give it to someone else who was just starting out. I did, but I don't remember to whom. It would be fun to know if it's still making the rounds of the Chicago old-time community.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Casey (CW)
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 09:49 PM

Its a Deering Maple Blossom. The Maple Blossom is an excellent banjo with a crisp, clear tone.Its a bit expensive for a beginners instrument, but I sure look good.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,goodnight gracie
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 01:39 PM

Thanks Zen.. I was just researching them. The light weight and narrow neck appeals to me.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Zen
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 01:19 PM

Sorry about the confusion Grace... I was responding to the thread title rather than your post.

But you might look at the Deering Goodtime 5-string as it happens if you are new to the banjo. Well-made for not too much money.... especially if fitted with a fibreskyn head instead of the shiny white plastic one. Gold Tones are certainly good value too.

Zen


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 01:06 PM

If you're in Takoma, you may be able to find a gold tone to try out at the House of Musical Traditons; and if you don't mind crossing the river, you may also find someone playing one at the biweekly Capitol Area Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association jams in Lyon Park in Arlington (although the bluegrass players dominate that one).


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,goodnight gracie
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:59 PM

I am new to the banjo. Been a folkie for years --- surrounded by great musicians -- including my husband a guitar player and songster Bob Clayton. I need frets.
Live near HMT in Takoma Park. Lots of good advice from Bob -- my mentor. Just interested in hearing what people think of gold tones.

Thanks,

Gracie


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:48 PM

Grace, it would help if you set some parameters -- are you new to OT banjo, and to banjo playing in general? Do you play other instruments? Would you consider a fretless banjo? Do you live near enough to a good music store to be able to try out some different instruments? Do you live near enought to someplace where people get together to play to see a range of banjos in action? Mudcat is a great source of advice; you will probably get more suggestions than you can use. But the more data folks have to help you, the more useful the help is likely to be.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Amos
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:42 PM

Note: I sent an answer to Marion (Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play? From: GUEST,Marion - PM Date: 15 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM) as no-one seems to have done so.


A


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,goodnight grace
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:20 PM

Thanks Zen,

I'm looking for an open back banjo for playing old timey music.

Grace


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Zen
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:07 PM

Deering Goodtime 17-fret short scale tenor tweaked with aftermarket fiberskyn head, Vega-style armrest and custom-made maple plate resonator

Zen


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,goodnight gracie
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 12:00 PM

I'm in the market for a open-back 5 string banjo. Reasonably priced.
I'd like something no to heavy -- I'm petite with small hands. I've been looking at gold tone. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Grace


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:52 AM

A Kildare (a Sully model made by John Hullah) 17 fret "masterclone" tenor.

I've been playing more (Vintage, cheap east European) mandolin in sessions for the last year or more but I'll come back to the banjo more some time.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Banjiman
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:43 AM

OK....I'll admit to my banjos!

I have a Gold Tone WL200 (open back) which is good for picked stuff but a little harsh (but bearable) for clawhammer/ frailing which is mostly what I play. So I bought myself a Gold Tone BC350 Signature which is superb, very mellow but still loud enough to need muting when playing without a P.A.

Good build quality and reliability on both.

I also have a an old German open back with a real vellum head which is nice and quiet for late night practicing, a small banjeurine thing and an Ozark Banjola.

Paul


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Mooh
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM

The aforementioned Gold Tone Irish Tenor (IT-250, 4 string) made me so happy that last week I bought a Gold Tone 5 string (BG-250). Except that it doesn't have the nice cloud fretboard inlays like the IT, instead it has the rather usual diamond shaped markers, it seems to be of identical quality. The resonator back easily detaches (though the mounting tabs then stick out, ready to rip the flesh from my leg) for transformation to an open back. It's quite toneful either way, but I think the back will stay on for now.

Like the IT, the BG did not come with a hard case, so I have one on order. If it's of equal quality to the IT case, it'll be fine.

Now to REALLY listen to Bela Fleck! I can dream, can't I?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM

My apologies...I'm looking for guidance. I don't play but have inherited a Honda Banjo (used condition with case -- the case hinges need work). Where do I turn to get this thing evaluated so I may have an idea of its worth as I wish to sell it soon?

Thank you kindly for letting me pop into your discussion.

Marion
kc8nvx@chartermi.net


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: oombanjo
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 09:36 AM

I now have my Jason Romero . Im like a pig in muck


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Gulliver in the sun
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 08:25 AM

An old (well, circa 1960) Framus tenor banjo tuned Irish style. I bought it from a friend about 15 years ago but have been playing it only over the last two years. It has a natural skin head which gives it a mellow tone and a very low bridge, made by the previous owner, which gives it good action and makes it easier to play. I'd like to get a short-scale banjo, but as ever, when I've got the time to play, I've no money, and when I have the money, I've no time to play.

Don


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Jun 08 - 07:57 AM

Yes, Don, we will be at Old Songs.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 08 - 09:46 PM

I still rely on my S. S. Stewart Orchestra Model 2 for its mellow tone and clean fingerboard. I do have a back-up Orchestra, with a repro neck that I use when I'm home or overseas; it plays fine but I wouldn't grieve so much if it got ripped off. I've also got a prettier Orchestra Model 3 but it needs remedial work; someone installed a thicker rim so that the head is below sea level, so to speak, and either the rim needs to be ground down (or round) or I need to find another one the proper height.

My copper clad Thoroughbred Special is still available for sale but only to a good home (PM if interested).

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 31 May 08 - 04:24 PM

I play an old catalogue banjo with no name and a Star on the peg head.
I also play a banjo thet I made in 1978 with a mahogony neck and a Macrame hoop for a tone ring.
I have a fretless that I made that looks a lot like Frank Profitt's banjo.
I have an S.S, Stewart banjorine that started life as a tango banjo. It has a scale length very similar to a regular banjo capoed at 5 and I usually have it tuned to open C (cGCEG).
Besides some cookie tin banjos and banjo ukes, that's about it.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 May 08 - 07:07 PM

There is a maker in North Georgia and the banjo is something like "The Golden Eagle" but I don't think it is Richelieu. It is one of the best I've ever heard. Anyone know anything about it? It has a resonator.

The old Gibson trap-door that Buell Kazee played was unique for old-time ballad singing.

Ome makes a great pot.

The problem for me with a long-neck (RB-175) is that it's hard to play much old-time Round Peak or Kentucky style because of the width of the frets. I think a Reiter or one of the old Cole's or Eclipse or White Ladye's do this best. I have heard some amazing banjo sounds on YouTube and wonder what some of them are playing.

As for git-jos, I think that Johnny St. Cyr probably played a Gibson trap-door which really gave it "body" for his classic "Heebie Jeebies" with Lil Hardin. I haven't heard many git-jos that really sound that good. I wish a maker could do a repro of the old Gibson trap-doors since they had a quality that you don't hear in banjos today.

I'm amazed at the different tonal qualities of banjos. Personally, I like one that you can sing with.

I have a nineteen fret B and D # 1 and I wish that it were seventeen frets instead.
It's interesting how when playing trad jazz or Irish that the extra frets make a difference.
They make my hand ache more and slow me down. I don't want to mess with my B and D because it is 1922 and has its original neck, resonator and pot. I had to replace some tuners but I have retained the original ones. It has a great sound for Irish and the B and D's are the only banjos aside from the Omes which can be played at high volumes without distortion. The Eddie Peabody Voxes are fine for solo instruments but even Eddie played sometimes so hard that you couldn't quite distinguish between the tones. It kinda' rasped.

Pete Seeger fashioned a lignum vitae (one of the hardest woods you can find) neck on his
Tuba-fone pot for his recent banjo. This is the one that was inadvertently parked on the roof of his car and found later in a ditch. Stu Jamieson (of clawhammer fame) did his bridge but Stu doesn't make them now.

One of the most knowledgeable banjo players and repairmen lives in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and his name is "Arkansas Red". He has made some fine sounding instruments, some through mix and match.

Anybody know about the "Trujos" from the Bay area?

Frank

Frank


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 29 May 08 - 08:09 PM

Hi Kendall,

I think Grand Pa Jones used a Rogers natural skin top. They are a big pain in the ass however. Let off the top a little. You may have to put on a taller bridge if you do. My brother uses a Fiberskin on his AC Fairbanks and his Bacon and Day Silver belle. Great old timey sound.

Don

Gonna see you at Old Songs???


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: kendall
Date: 29 May 08 - 07:45 PM

Don, what do you mean by a "soft top" ? real skin not too tight?


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST,Noddy
Date: 29 May 08 - 06:32 PM

My Name is Noddy and I am a banjo player ......there I said it.
Now only Ten Steps to a cure!!!!


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 08 - 05:18 PM

Ramsey Standard with 12" pot, Renaissance head. Love it, it plays me!
Stew


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: glueman
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:18 PM

"Most banjos are way too bright and loud."

Agreed Kendall. My Deering Goodtime was purchased only partly beause I'm an undiscriminating tight @rse. The tone of so many banjos is way upfront and getting an open back model without fancy inlays is like asking for an economical Ferrari, the stuff of slack jawed amazement. Everyone sells rhinestones but some of us want rat traps.


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:10 PM

Kendall, I believe Grand Pa used heavy gauage strings and a soft top on his Mastertones. He left the resonator on and Frailed much like Uncle Dave. I too am envious of the sound.

Muddy, Use GHS loop end banjo strings. They are all long scale strings. I order up special sets from Elderly to get the old medium Vega Long scale guages.

I also got a new long neck case from elderly about five years ago that fits my Ode Long Neck 5 to a T.

Ray, I use three capos at once most of the time. I leave a capo on the third fret to keep the banjo in standard G tuning. I usually play up the neck anyway so I capo at 8 to play in C with G tuning and I have a sliding fifth string capo. Like juggling three cats at times.

Don


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: MikeT
Date: 29 May 08 - 04:07 PM

I play a Gatcombe standard from sometime before the last century. I love it.

Mike


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Subject: RE: What Banjo Do You Play?
From: MissouriMud
Date: 29 May 08 - 03:41 PM

I don't do it much, particularly when playing Bluegrass or Old Time string band music with other instruments, where you pretty much have to stick to traditional keys.   I must confess that after I got the "bass banjo" case I was curious as to whether I could do some "bass banjo" and looked for some situations where it worked. However, when accompanying mostly vocal music I'll play all over the place - wherever I can make c or g shape chords fit the singer's range- so it's not that uncommon to play with no capo in that situation.   I think Seeger did pretty much the same thing since he didnt do much bluegrass - just put the banjo wherever G or C matched his somewhat limited vocal range. He wasnt into the "high lonesome" vocal sound so the lower frets gave him a lot of flexibility in matching his voice. But I dont do much of that any more - mainly play guitar these days - banjo gives my wife "Deliverance" nightmares


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