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Down Up Dick
11-30-2014, 10:10 AM
About a week or ten days ago, I stuffed a big rolled up wash cloth and quilt padding between the tensioning rod and the uke's top. Today, I pulled it out.

My Banjolele was weak sounding (especially the A string) and dull and too boring for that "banjo sound". Now, it rings loud and clear, and I like it that way. It really is too loud, but I guess it just is.

Nobody likes a wimpy Banjolele! :old:

DPO
11-30-2014, 11:37 AM
About a week or ten days ago, I stuffed a big rolled up wash cloth and quilt padding between the tensioning rod and the uke's top. Today, I pulled it out.

My Banjolele was weak sounding (especially the A string) and dull and too boring for that "banjo sound". Now, it rings loud and clear, and I like it that way. It really is too loud, but I guess it just is.

Nobody likes a wimpy Banjolele! :old:

Sounds like too much padding. I use a small (2inch square), piece of sponge between the rim rod and the head, works perfectly. Plus you can move it into different positions and get a different sound.

Down Up Dick
11-30-2014, 01:56 PM
Well, DPO, I'm gonna try it like it is for awhile. I like the sound a lot better. I thought, maybe, that I had too big a wad of cloth. It's a little bigger than a pair of socks which some people use. The reason I like and bought two Banjoleles is that I like the sound of a banjo. I'd take up the banjo if I wasn't so old.

Thanks for the advice though. :old:

kwall
11-30-2014, 02:23 PM
I use like an old ankle sock and that works great, and I cut a little out so it was not too dull

SteveZ
12-01-2014, 02:25 AM
Well, DPO, I'm gonna try it like it is for awhile. I like the sound a lot better. I thought, maybe, that I had too big a wad of cloth. It's a little bigger than a pair of socks which some people use. The reason I like and bought two Banjoleles is that I like the sound of a banjo. I'd take up the banjo if I wasn't so old.

Thanks for the advice though. :old:

Suggest considering a 4-string Tenor Banjo. i've got my TB and banjolele tuned to same. Makes for easy transition from one to the other.

Down Up Dick
12-01-2014, 03:15 AM
Right on, SteveZ, I've been looking at them and reading about them. I couldn't find any mention of the strings--metal?

I've also been considering using my Banjolele Chicago style. So, of course, you have a great suggestion--thanks.

. . . with a banjo on my knee . . . :old:

Down Up Dick
12-01-2014, 08:43 AM
Come to think of it, SteveZ, if you already have a tenor banjo and know how to use it, what do you want with a Banjolele? I would think that a tenor banjo is better than a banjo Uke. :old:

IamNoMan
12-04-2014, 07:15 PM
I am puzzled as to why so many banjolele players complain that their instrument doesn't sound like a banjo and then put a sock into their pot. Padding a banjo is done to dampen the tone and volume of a banjo to emulate "cheap" old banjo sound characteristics. If you want to dampen the tone of your banjolele without dampening the volume, (much), or ring consider installing a skin head. Putting a sock in your pot reduces the volume and the sustain, (ring). It also reduces the treble output on the g, A, and maybe E strings.

I want my banjos to ring out loud and clear. I don't use socks to dampen the tone. I received my Gold Tone BUT from strumsilly yesterday. The first thing I did was take off the resonator plate to check things out. There was a set of infant skivvies inside. I removed them, replaced the resonator, Tightened the head tension and verrry carefully tuned it up from DGBE to gCEA. Then I played "When I'm Cleaning Windows" It has a great banjolele sound.

Down Up Dick: Steel and composite wound strings are typically used on banjos. It is never too late to take up the banjo. I would suggest a five string since they are commonly tuned to open G and easier to learn to play than the tunings SteveZ uses. Beware, BAS is more expensive than UAS.

strumsilly
12-05-2014, 04:24 AM
the plastic heads on these goldtones [remo] can produce some harsh overtones,depending on your style of play, and the quick and easy fix is the foam/rag stuffed inside. there are better mods, like a skin head or a real banjo mute.

IamNoMan
12-05-2014, 09:08 AM
I saw something interesting while doing research this morning. Roll up a piece of chamois cloth, I tried a piece of eyeglass cleaning cloth, place it between the bridge and tailpiece under the strings. You can instantly hear the difference. If you like it keep it there. If you want a different sound for a particular set or jam change it out as required. Good for wiping down the strings too.

PS: As an old-time banjo player its way cooler than a dirty sock too!

byjimini
12-05-2014, 11:09 AM
I put my car sponge in there, works a treat. :)

Down Up Dick
12-05-2014, 03:16 PM
Suggest considering a 4-string Tenor Banjo. i've got my TB and banjolele tuned to same. Makes for easy transition from one to the other.

Hey, SteveZ, I noodled a four string in my favorite store today, but of course I couldn't really play it. I was surprised that the metal strings didn't hurt my fingers. It had a resonator and was very heavy. I'm keeping it in mind.

. . . with a banjo on my knee . . . :old:

IamNoMan
12-05-2014, 04:51 PM
Hey, SteveZ, I noodled a four string in my favorite store today, but of course I couldn't really play it. I was surprised that the metal strings didn't hurt my fingers. It had a resonator and was very heavy. I'm keeping it in mind.

. . . with a banjo on my knee . . . :old:You could try a ZevetS (SteveZ in reverse). Jim Yates has a tenor set up for uke tuning with nylon strings. He says he uses a capo at the second fret to do so for proper tension.

Jim Yates
12-21-2014, 06:37 AM
I have a sock (clean, but usually with a hole in the toe or without a matcher) in all of my banjos. I slide it towards the neck joint for gentle muting and closer to the bridge for more muting and sometimes it just stays in the case. The distance from the coordinator rod or dowel stick to the head determines what weight of sock to use.
Pete Seeger said in his old red banjo book, "A handkerchief is too small and a towel is too big, but a diaper is just right."
As IamNoMan said, I found the nylon strings a little too tight (I was afraid of breaking them) without the capo at the second fret. I almost forget it's there now. I guess I should get some lighter gauge strings so I don't need the capo.

Down Up Dick
12-21-2014, 06:54 AM
Well, I haven't played it much without the pad. I'll have to wait 'til I've played it some more. I can always put the pad back. Thanks for the info though.

Let the Banjos ring loudly! :old:

IamNoMan
12-21-2014, 07:07 AM
Sliding the sock will do just what you said Jim, Hadn't thought about it before. This poses a little difficulty for me though. Like you I play outside a lot. All my banjo-ukes have resonators. The School of Hard Knocks has learned me separating the resonator from the banjo is Nikulturni. Is there a workaround for this short of installing a trombone slide?

NOTLguy
12-22-2014, 02:05 AM
I have a refurbished 1925 vintage Banjolin that is now strung G C E A with four Worth Brown strings. It can be called a banjolele now I guess. It has an 11" pot with a beautiful resonator and I use a sport sock mounted snugly but not tightly under the bridge between the hide head and the wooden dowel rod. It provides a lovely slightly muted sound but still bright and with a good degree of sustain. Sometimes I use a very soft pick to strum and it sounds amazing. For this particular instrument the sock works a charm.

74284
74286
74285

I am also considering a tenor 4 string banjo sometime in the future.

Regards,
Bill

SteveZ
12-22-2014, 03:09 AM
Hey, SteveZ, I noodled a four string in my favorite store today, but of course I couldn't really play it. I was surprised that the metal strings didn't hurt my fingers. It had a resonator and was very heavy. I'm keeping it in mind.

. . . with a banjo on my knee . . . :old:

The steel is noticeable after a while, but the fingers eventually adapt. I tried nylon strings on my Deering 17-fret, string came from a classical guitar set. I didn't like them, but that could just have been what I selected. May try nylon strings again on the next set or so.

SteveZ
12-22-2014, 03:11 AM
I have a sock (clean, but usually with a hole in the toe or without a matcher) in all of my banjos. I slide it towards the neck joint for gentle muting and closer to the bridge for more muting and sometimes it just stays in the case. The distance from the coordinator rod or dowel stick to the head determines what weight of sock to use.
Pete Seeger said in his old red banjo book, "A handkerchief is too small and a towel is too big, but a diaper is just right."
As IamNoMan said, I found the nylon strings a little too tight (I was afraid of breaking them) without the capo at the second fret. I almost forget it's there now. I guess I should get some lighter gauge strings so I don't need the capo.

Jim - What nylon are you using on your TB?

IamNoMan
12-22-2014, 04:02 AM
Hey, SteveZ, I noodled a four string in my favorite store today, but of course I couldn't really play it. I was surprised that the metal strings didn't hurt my fingers. It had a resonator and was very heavy. I'm keeping it in mind.

. . . with a banjo on my knee . . . :old:Dick the weight is part of what gives the volume but the padding is what gives you the tone you want. Consider getting a strap to overcome the weight issues when you get your banjolele. I'm not keen on straps for ukes but for banjoleles its a no brainer. Why have to deal with the weight and the oddball shape. Your concentration is better spent on playing. A note about steel strings: I am not sure why your favorite store uses steel strings on banjoleles. I would never use steel strings on a banjolele made mostly of wood unless it had a good truss system to adjust for neck bowing. Your fingers will adjust but they will take a beating too. I think it was John Lennon that said "Bloody Fingers"! It might have been George Harrison - he played uke. Whoever said it they were right.