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Alleyoop
11-02-2017, 12:01 PM
I run a successful uke club on Vancouver Island. I have discouraged the use of banjoleles because of their 'loudness'. This has upset some folk. The hall we play in is quite large ... there are about 50 of us and the room does fill up. Should I relent and permit banjoleles or stay firm in avoiding them?

Doug W
11-02-2017, 12:39 PM
My wife's banjo uke is open backed and she sticks some material in there to calm it down. Maybe better to encourage people to listen to each other and complement the overall sound than to ban some instruments.

ukantor
11-02-2017, 12:55 PM
If you are running a club for ukulele players then it should be for ukuleles only. Banjos are not ukuleles, even if they do have the same scale length and the same tuning. The sound of a banjo is not compatible with ukuleles. Even when damped down to reduce the excessive volume, banjos have a penetrating, "clacky" quality which is quite out of character in company with ukuleles.

I can't understand why anyone would object to being asked to use a ukulele at a ukulele club. Even if their intention is mainly to play the banjo, outside of the club, it is not a big imposition to be expected to buy a cheap soprano ukulele to use on ukulele club nights. If I were organising a ukulele club, I would keep a couple of cheapies handy for loaning to any itinerant banjo players who might turn up.

John Colter.

acmespaceship
11-02-2017, 12:59 PM
Sometimes I wish our club could require people to pass an examination before they get to play banjo ukes:


Do you know how to play this thing softly?

Do you understand the stylistic difference between Hello Ma Baby, Hello Ma Honey, Hello Ma Ragtime Gal and Michelle, Ma Belle?

Can you stay on beat? Seriously.


Of course I don't really want to play in a group that requires banjo licensing. Heck, an hour from now I'm headed off to uke club with my Firefly. I hasten to add that a Firefly is a nicely-behaved open-back banjo uke that is not hard to tame and blends very nicely with other ukes if you play it with any sense whatsoever.

What you might try is pick a meeting and call it "Banjo Uke Night" and encourage everyone who has one to bring it. If that night is a disaster, it might convince the people whose noses are out of joint. If it turns out mostly ok, then you might as well let the banjos in.

If it's only a few players who are too loud, maybe your club has respected leaders with good social skills who can take someone aside and gently suggest how to stuff a sock in it (literally or figuratively).

Now if we could just deal with the resonator ukes and the guitars. :cool:

Graham Greenbag
11-02-2017, 01:45 PM
The Uke Club that I attend does allow Banjo Ukes but I have mixed feelings about them. When there’s a limited number and they are played well by experts then they do add to the evening. However they can drown out other players (rather than support them) and if played badly then they put others off or confuse. To further confuse the issue Banjo Ukes come in different sizes and loudness, but perhaps what’s most important is how much sound (limit of) should any one player be allowed to generate. Maybe a halfway house here is to allow, on individual request and agreement between the leaders and member, Soprano Banjo Ukes (only). Personal amplification of a standard Uke isn’t allowed and that principle of broad equity of sound output works for us, YMMV.

Tootler
11-02-2017, 02:13 PM
Mine is a closed back resonator one and it is LOUD. When I was running a ukulele group myself I never took it along. In fact it's languishing in the loft just now because I find it too loud to sing over. I know someone who brought one to an open mic because it was loud enough without plugging it in as the previous time she'd had problems with the mics for voice and uke being too close together leading to problems with feedback.

I think you are probably right to at least discourage people from bringing them though you might consider saying OK if they show they can moderate them and reserve the right to ask them not bring them again if they don't act sensibly.

WifeOnFourStrings
11-02-2017, 02:43 PM
So many things can go wrong, I would just avoid it. It's an ukulele club; if they want to play banjoleles let them form their own banjolele club.

Osprey
11-02-2017, 05:42 PM
My group has several people that own banjo-Ike’s. They don’t bring them often and generally control them. Only on rare occasions has one been overbearing. I say let them play but tell them to respect the songs and the other players. We are a pretty loose group. One guy even brought a.......Mandolin!!!

DPO
11-02-2017, 06:13 PM
If you are running a club for ukulele players then it should be for ukuleles only. Banjos are not ukuleles, even if they do have the same scale length and the same tuning. The sound of a banjo is not compatible with ukuleles. Even when damped down to reduce the excessive volume, banjos have a penetrating, "clacky" quality which is quite out of character in company with ukuleles.

I can't understand why anyone would object to being asked to use a ukulele at a ukulele club. Even if their intention is mainly to play the banjo, outside of the club, it is not a big imposition to be expected to buy a cheap soprano ukulele to use on ukulele club nights. If I were organising a ukulele club, I would keep a couple of cheapies handy for loaning to any itinerant banjo players who might turn up.

John Colter.

They are not banjos, they are banjo ukes, or to give them their correct name, ukulele banjos.
Perhaps allowing them 15 or 20 minutes on club night might be the way to go. Just banning them sounds a bit draconian.

kohanmike
11-02-2017, 06:48 PM
I play bass uke and a mandolele, should I be banned because they're not a ukulele, should concert, tenor or baritone ukes be banned because they're not a soprano ukulele? Our group has two banjolele players, one is good, the other not so much. Both are definitely heard over the other ukes, but no one complains, especially since our leader is always amped playing and singing, plus another member and I both play amped bass ukes.

I say just ask the banjolele players to control their volume, I mean the general consensus is ukulele groups are an ohana, so be inclusive rather than exclusive. I just joined a Meetup group that meets in a park and encourages any acoustic instrument; guitar, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, cajon.

Jim Yates
11-02-2017, 07:59 PM
It depends entirely on the type of ukulele group you attend. I've been to groups where the purpose seems to be for everyone to strum chords and the melody is entirely carried by the vocal. In some of these groups, folks don't really want to learn an awful lot, but are quite happy learning a few chords and singing along. Banjoleles usually work fine in these groups.

In other groups, people want to learn instrumental tunes and like working out duets and trios, learning the uke as a serious instrument. In this case, it's often important for the volume to be balanced and often for the tone and timbre to be matched as well.

I have enjoyed attending both of these types of clubs, but would not take a banjolele unless I had a particular reason for using it. In any case, if I can take only one instrument it will be wooden ukulele.

ukantor
11-02-2017, 10:18 PM
"They are not banjos, they are banjo ukes, or to give them their correct name, ukulele banjos.
Perhaps allowing them 15 or 20 minutes on club night might be the way to go. Just banning them sounds a bit draconian."

We all know what is a banjo. Tuning a banjo the same as a ukulele does not make it a ukulele. If I were to tune a ukulele the same way as a banjo - would that make it a banjo?

Santa
11-02-2017, 10:35 PM
It never ceases to surprise me, people join a club/group dedicated to a particular interest, then attempt to change/subvert the groups activities to suit their own interest/requirements.

I've seen clubs fold because of members causing disharmony in an attempt to get their own way.

Sadly it comes down to having an all encompassing constitution with I's dotted and t's crossed, without one your fighting an uphill battle, human nature.:mad:

DPO
11-03-2017, 12:03 AM
"They are not banjos, they are banjo ukes, or to give them their correct name, ukulele banjos.
Perhaps allowing them 15 or 20 minutes on club night might be the way to go. Just banning them sounds a bit draconian."

We all know what is a banjo. Tuning a banjo the same as a ukulele does not make it a ukulele. If I were to tune a ukulele the same way as a banjo - would that make it a banjo?
A banjo and a ukulele banjo are totally different instruments, but no doubt classing them the same suits your narrative.

Piecomics
11-03-2017, 12:26 AM
Agree with DPO. It's a banjo ukulele, not a banjo. Try telling a banjo player that your soprano is a banjo, see how that goes over. Or for that matter try taking a banjolele to a bluegrass jam and see how that goes.

PhilUSAFRet
11-03-2017, 12:35 AM
I am having trouble seeing how banjo ukes can cause a problem when surrounded by 50 uke players. Perhaps you could allow ukes, but limit the number of them that play at any one time...kind of like basses. Perhaps you could require mutes as some have suggested. My personal experience as one who also plays banjo uke in a group is there has never been a problem, but then I do not find it difficult to strum it softly enough so as to not be overbearing. (hope my English teacher isn't looking down on that last sentence, LOL) I also don't think it's cool to just ban them outright. I could strum my Martin or Kamaka hard and loud enough to cause the same problem you are trying to avoid. One last idea.....identify certain songs on your list as "banjo appropriate" and let them take the lead. Sorry, no more thoughts on the matter.

Tootler
11-03-2017, 12:43 AM
We all know what is a banjo. Tuning a banjo the same as a ukulele does not make it a ukulele. If I were to tune a ukulele the same way as a banjo - would that make it a banjo?

If you really want to be like that call it a soprano banjo if it makes you happy.

in truth, the banjo ukulele is something of a hybrid but it's generally accepted as a variant of a ukulele.

Call it what you like but accept that the overwhelming majority treat it as a form of ukulele.

Croaky Keith
11-03-2017, 12:58 AM
Well, it's your club & you decide the rules. :)

If they want to play banjo, fine, but it's not a uke, it has a skin resonator, as against wooden, I know, you're going to say that plastic isn't wood either, but it looks the same & has an approximation of the same sound qualities, whereas a banjo uke has a totally different, usually quite raucous, sound.

Take a secret vote of your members if you can't decide.

(I'd keep them for playing at home, if I ever got one, but that isn't very likely. ;) )

ukantor
11-03-2017, 01:00 AM
A banjo uses a skin (or similar diaphragm) stretched over a hoop. It is, in essence, a drum on a stick. The ukulele is very different. If there were no problem in accepting small banjos at ukulele gatherings then the OP would not have needed to ask the question. Quite clearly there is a problem, and my suggestion that a club should keep a couple of "loaners", for anybody who turns up with a banjo, is reasonable and not unfriendly.

Any banjo player who objects to playing a ukulele at a ukulele club is not being reasonable. Whether or not small banjos are accepted where other banjos are played is not relevant.

Graham Greenbag
11-03-2017, 01:16 AM
I run a successful uke club on Vancouver Island. I have discouraged the use of banjoleles because of their 'loudness'. This has upset some folk. The hall we play in is quite large ... there are about 50 of us and the room does fill up. Should I relent and permit banjoleles or stay firm in avoiding them?

The original post doesn’t mention banjos only banjoleles (whilst similar they are also different instruments) so, to me, talking about banjos too doesn’t really help the OP. I hope that that is fair comment.

As I read comments so far the consensus seems to be that moderate use is tolerable and in the spirit of Ohana or family (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohana). For what it’s worth I stick with the view that banjoleles should be by invitation only, to me it should be a priveldge awarded to appropriate players rather than a right - in short quite controlled use might be OK.

As for the upset of people perhaps it’s simply best to explain the logic behind the descision to restrict the use of instruments other than Ukes (overly loud banjoleles spoil the meeting for other people), it’s not wilfully being mean to anyone but rather being fair to everyone. That there isn’t a right to play a banjolele in a Uke group and that to do so is a priveldege awarded by those that run the group and then only awarded with reservations. If you don’t feel strong or supported enough to control and moderate the use of banjoleles then I think that it would be best, simplest and fairest if you stayed firm in avoiding them and sticking to Ukes only in a Uke group.

Ukecaster
11-03-2017, 02:52 AM
Hey, just be reasonable...post this pic at the door, where there will be an armed security guard with an x-ray banjo detector. He should be strumming Bob Marley's "No Banjo, No Cry" on a 20's vintage Martin soprano.
104126

ukantor
11-03-2017, 04:12 AM
:D I once went to an event carrying my CBU in a rectangular hard case. There was a security guy at the door, and he asked, "What have you got in there?"

"An AK47", I replied, preparing to open it for inspection. He laughed and waved me through.

EDW
11-03-2017, 04:57 AM
I play bass uke and a mandolele, should I be banned because they're not a ukulele, should concert, tenor or baritone ukes be banned because they're not a soprano ukulele?

Yes, rules should be very clear, addressing which tuning is allowed, string type- nylon, fluorocarbon, gut, scale length, construction and type of wood, use of pick or not, use of a strap or not, nut width, etc.

By the time you are done you will be playing alone! :D

SailingUke
11-03-2017, 05:35 AM
I run a large group with 50 or so folks. We are a Ukulele group, but welcome all acoustic instruments. I have had a few 12 string guitars show up for slack key. I usually approach them before we start and politely inform them to please respect that our Ukes are not as loud as a guitar and to please play at an appropriate level to blend in with the group. I have done the the same with the banjo uke and resonator players. Always with success and no problems.

70sSanO
11-03-2017, 06:09 AM
I run a successful uke club...

I think you answered your own question.

If you have a number of members who do not play banjoles recommend their inclusion, then you can pose the question to the group.

I ran a classic car club a number of years ago, and you just have to set some rules or it goes completely out of control. You also have to understand that the few unofficial helpers get precedence over those who just show up and leave.

As for bass, it is not a ukulele, but it is good to have to set a tempo and is a welcomed benefit, however, if a half-a-dozen showed up and played at a different tempo and style it would be a disaster.

John

bariukish
11-03-2017, 06:10 AM
I am having trouble seeing how banjo ukes can cause a problem when surrounded by 50 uke players. Perhaps you could allow ukes, but limit the number of them that play at any one time...kind of like basses. Perhaps you could require mutes as some have suggested. My personal experience as one who also plays banjo uke in a group is there has never been a problem, but then I do not find it difficult to strum it softly enough so as to not be overbearing. (hope my English teacher isn't looking down on that last sentence, LOL) I also don't think it's cool to just ban them outright. I could strum my Martin or Kamaka hard and loud enough to cause the same problem you are trying to avoid. One last idea.....identify certain songs on your list as "banjo appropriate" and let them take the lead. Sorry, no more thoughts on the matter.

Phil has hit the nail on the head. Let the song choice determine whether any type of instrument adds to the presentation. If the song is colored by percussion, tuba, wash board, or bagpipes in a positive way then, by all means add the instrument. Shouldn't be too difficult to identify which genre that a banjolele would complement.

UkerDanno
11-03-2017, 08:08 AM
We have a large group too and a few show up with banjolele's sometimes, including myself, doesn't really disrupt anyone. What is annoying to me is the guy who loves his Tahitian "ukulele" that thing is loud and annoying and he's a compulsive noodler.

oddly, I just ran across this...:shaka:
104132

Rllink
11-03-2017, 09:10 AM
We have a large group too and a few show up with banjolele's sometimes, including myself, doesn't really disrupt anyone. What is annoying to me is the guy who loves his Tahitian "ukulele" that thing is loud and annoying and he's a compulsive noodler.

oddly, I just ran across this...:shaka:
104132
Been there. Last year I was attending a Jim DeVille workshop and the guy I sat next to just kept doing this finger picking noodling thing wile Jim was talking. I think that it is all about expectations. I'm not a big strum-a-long group type person, but I'll do one if it is all there is, but I don't expect much from them. I guess I'm thinking that one organizes something, pretty much invites people to come and participate, the thing grows to fifty or more people, you are bound to attract people who have conflicting expectations. My advise, ditch the group and start over. Be more selective with the new group right from the git go. Keep the numbers down. Don't just let every Joe with an instrument walk in and do whatever they want.

This kind of thing happens with small groups too though. I mean, I sort of started this little group of me and another fellow. He had a guitar. But then a fellow with a mandolin showed up, then a fiddle, and pretty soon we were a bluegrass group, started looking for a banjo player, and there wasn't a part for the ukulele. I moved on. That is just how it goes. No hard feelings. Musicians are always looking for opportunities to play, and conflict just happens. You either accept it, or walk away.

DPO
11-03-2017, 10:18 AM
A banjo uses a skin (or similar diaphragm) stretched over a hoop. It is, in essence, a drum on a stick. The ukulele is very different. If there were no problem in accepting small banjos at ukulele gatherings then the OP would not have needed to ask the question. Quite clearly there is a problem, and my suggestion that a club should keep a couple of "loaners", for anybody who turns up with a banjo, is reasonable and not unfriendly.

Any banjo player who objects to playing a ukulele at a ukulele club is not being reasonable. Whether or not small banjos are accepted where other banjos are played is not relevant.

And yet again they are NOT banjos they are ukulele banjos and are a totally different instrument. Try playing a ukulele banjo alongside a five string 12 inch head banjo and see if you can hear the small one.

Croaky Keith
11-03-2017, 10:31 AM
I think they are more akin to a banjo than a uke, just like an electric guitar is akin to a classical or acoustic guitar.
Think also of the violin family, viola, cello, bass, they are alike, but different sizes, & so ukes are, from the sopranino right through to the baritone, they are alike, but not a banjo uke, it is a small sized banjo, both in shape, construction, & sound. :cool:

DPO
11-03-2017, 10:39 AM
I think they are more akin to a banjo than a uke, just like an electric guitar is akin to a classical or acoustic guitar.
Think also of the violin family, viola, cello, bass, they are alike, but different sizes, & so ukes are, from the sopranino right through to the baritone, they are alike, but not a banjo uke, it is a small sized banjo, both in shape, construction, & sound. :cool:

So a violin is just a small double bass then?

besley
11-03-2017, 12:38 PM
As long as we're outlawing instruments, what about resonator ukes? Those get pretty loud too!

PhilUSAFRet
11-03-2017, 12:57 PM
It is in fact a banjo uke!!!!!!!!!!! Uke size, tuned as one, banjo like body, just as a resonator ukulele is a uke. Not really open to debate. Now if we were talking about ukulele basses, it would be a different matter as they are in fact uke sized basses, not a ukulele with fat strings.

ukantor
11-03-2017, 01:05 PM
I wonder what happened to the OP? I visualise him (her?) sitting back smirking, with a large bag of popcorn, watching as the drama unfolds.

EDW
11-03-2017, 01:33 PM
So a violin is just a small double bass then?

FWIW- I seem to recall that the double bass is actually more closely related to the viol family.

PhilUSAFRet
11-03-2017, 04:01 PM
:rotfl:................I'll bet u r correct!



I wonder what happened to the OP? I visualise him (her?) sitting back smirking, with a large bag of popcorn, watching as the drama unfolds.

Croaky Keith
11-04-2017, 12:11 AM
So a violin is just a small double bass then?

Basically, yes - they used to be played with a bow, just like a violin.

ukantor
11-04-2017, 01:50 AM
Used to be? They are. They can also be plucked.

Tootler
11-04-2017, 12:08 PM
FWIW- I seem to recall that the double bass is actually more closely related to the viol family.

Yes and tuned in fourths as well - like viols.

kvehe
11-05-2017, 01:45 AM
I haven’t touched my Firefly in over a year. I’m going to get it out, but I will not let it leave the house.

TopDog
11-05-2017, 05:53 AM
Our local group found more members were owning
B/U's (but not bringing them to the Ukulele club),
so we made a decision,and here is now a seperate
B/U club where (we) members can be as loud as we
want to be!

Nickie
11-05-2017, 04:11 PM
1st, we banned them from our sessions, they blasted everybody else out. I also banned accordions, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and such, but we accepted harmonicas and tinwhistles.
How we got around it was a couple of times a year we all brought our banjoukes and tore up the airwaves. We got it out of our systems after a few songs.

Nickie
11-05-2017, 04:21 PM
I play bass uke and a mandolele, should I be banned because they're not a ukulele, should concert, tenor or baritone ukes be banned because they're not a soprano ukulele? Our group has two banjolele players, one is good, the other not so much. Both are definitely heard over the other ukes, but no one complains, especially since our leader is always amped playing and singing, plus another member and I both play amped bass ukes.

I say just ask the banjolele players to control their volume, I mean the general consensus is ukulele groups are an ohana, so be inclusive rather than exclusive. I just joined a Meetup group that meets in a park and encourages any acoustic instrument; guitar, ukulele, mandolin, harmonica, cajon.

Mike, a UBass was a MUST at our jams. That's what kept us together.

anthonyg
11-05-2017, 07:27 PM
A banjo ukulele is a tool/instrument with a specific purpose. I use one to busk un-amplified.

Yes its too loud for a group get together. I used to take an 8 string ukulele to a group session and in hindsight it was probably too loud as well considering I play loud as a matter of course due to how much busking I do.

Louis0815
11-06-2017, 03:13 AM
On the rare occasions I take my Firefly to uke groups I always have at least one "real" ukulele available as well - simply because I don't like the banjolele sound for each and every song we play (esp. now with Christmas songs coming up again). There's a niche for every instrument we own...

Freeda
11-06-2017, 07:32 AM
Agree with DPO. It's a banjo ukulele, not a banjo. Try telling a banjo player that your soprano is a banjo, see how that goes over. Or for that matter try taking a banjolele to a bluegrass jam and see how that goes.

I have, it was great fun.

fowl
11-07-2017, 08:40 AM
I started a uke club at the small church we attend with this philosophy. The only rule is we have no rules except for "No Negative Spoken Here". I bring my Firefly sometimes and a lot of people give it a try and have fun. I do stick a sock in the back. I am not a control person so it appears to be a good thing to me.

RichM
11-07-2017, 09:00 AM
I don't go to a uke group now, but I used to go to one quite frequently. I often brought a banjo uke along with a "regular" uke. I started out playing the banjo uke quietly on songs it was appropriate for, not wanting to overpower other players. I was actually asked by the leader of the group to play louder. The group had many beginners who had trouble staying on the beat, and he liked that the banjo uke cut through and provided an audible beat for people to follow (much as bass players do for other groups-- we didn't have a bass player at the time). A good example of how the banjo uke can be used to enhance music, and not just dominate it.

Any instrument played badly, too loudly, or without regard to other players is going to be disruptive. It needn't even be particularly loud. A discourteous player should be addressed; there really are no discourteous instruments. The instruments don't play themselves (okay, player pianos, but that's it!).

I play in a regular acoustic jam that is heavily guitar-based. I am often asked to bring out my banjo uke because it adds texture and flavor to all those guitars. Again, an instrument used to flavor music, rather than dominate it.

The old joke goes: "A gentleman is one who knows how to play the banjo, but doesn't." I'll amend that to "knows how to play the banjo uke, but plays with the other players, not against them."

Graham Greenbag
11-07-2017, 11:28 PM
I don't go to a uke group now, but I used to go to one quite frequently. I often brought a banjo uke along with a "regular" uke. I started out playing the banjo uke quietly on songs it was appropriate for, not wanting to overpower other players. I was actually asked by the leader of the group to play louder. The group had many beginners who had trouble staying on the beat, and he liked that the banjo uke cut through and provided an audible beat for people to follow (much as bass players do for other groups-- we didn't have a bass player at the time). A good example of how the banjo uke can be used to enhance music, and not just dominate it.

Any instrument played badly, too loudly, or without regard to other players is going to be disruptive. It needn't even be particularly loud. A discourteous player should be addressed; there really are no discourteous instruments. The instruments don't play themselves (okay, player pianos, but that's it!).

I play in a regular acoustic jam that is heavily guitar-based. I am often asked to bring out my banjo uke because it adds texture and flavor to all those guitars. Again, an instrument used to flavor music, rather than dominate it.

The old joke goes: "A gentleman is one who knows how to play the banjo, but doesn't." I'll amend that to "knows how to play the banjo uke, but plays with the other players, not against them."

There have been, what I think to be, several really good replies to the OP on this thread. To my mind the above pretty much exemplifies what should go one, human nature being what it is means that something else sometimes happens. I’m fortunate in being in a Club were the banjolele players act in a similar way to RichM - maybe someone has a quiet word with the occasional one that doesn’t yet ‘understand’.

frianm
11-08-2017, 03:06 AM
I find this a rather sad thread as I believe the ukulele banjo has a meaningful place in the ukulele world. In no way are they lesser instruments. Certainly I find any kind of purist prejudice difficult to entertain.

Having said that they can be loud and may need to be muted. Much depends on the size of the pot - early ones have pots of about six inches, now they have exploded with the Deering probably being one of the largest. I have found that the closed back ones are much more muted than open back or, even louder, having a resonator. I play an old Maybell by Slingerland and these have a very modest sound - 6 inch pot and closed back with no side holes. I also play regular banjo and as with most players am sensitive to the sound volume that can be produced.

All in all I hope that the ukulele banjo players can be sensitive and that regular ukulele players can be open minded. Maybe the latter are going to set up separate groups for sopranos, concerts and tenors, let alone the baritones - heaven forbid.

Croaky Keith
11-08-2017, 04:33 AM
Maybe the latter are going to set up separate groups for sopranos, concerts and tenors, let alone the baritones - heaven forbid.

But they have - they're called Ukulele Groups. :rolleyes::rofl:

frianm
11-08-2017, 05:24 AM
But they have - they're called Ukulele Groups. :rolleyes::rofl:

IMHO the banjo ukulele is still a ukulele. This thread is becoming increasingly sad to read.

Rllink
11-08-2017, 06:18 AM
IMHO the banjo ukulele is still a ukulele. This thread is becoming increasingly sad to read.Pretty much anything is a ukulele if you want to call it one.

Xtradust
11-08-2017, 06:47 AM
I go to a jam where the leader adds a few banjo friendly songs to the list each night. A lot of people bring a banjo along with their regular uke to play during those songs. They sound great! There’s no reason not to love a banjo Uke.

frianm
11-08-2017, 04:50 PM
I go to a jam where the leader adds a few banjo friendly songs to the list each night. A lot of people bring a banjo along with their regular uke to play during those songs. They sound great! There’s no reason not to love a banjo Uke.

Thank you. This is meant to be a fun instrument and fun to play in groups.

frianm
11-09-2017, 05:26 AM
I don't think the thread is sad at all if you work out the difference between a BU as an instrument and a poorly played BU disrupting other players. I don't think many people have a problem with a BU played by a person who knows what they are doing and who joins in. The thread is full of examples of post where the BU player has been able to take a BU along and play it in the group setting. One thread even says that the BU owner was good enough to get asked by the leader to set the beat for the beginners and play louder. No-one wants to argue with a group member who does not understand the difference, which is why some groups just say no to BUs.
For all the BU owners and players and leaders out there, a good BU player can be the rhythm setter instead of a bass player or a drummer, its just a matter of finding them or training them. Maybe the playing parts of the forum could have a BU themed video episode and explore some different ways to get BU players included in a way that is useful to others and enjoyable for them.
Excellent contribution - when I lived in New Orleans the banjo player (tenor) was the rhythm setter when no piano was available, especially when part of a marching band. My sadness is the attitude that the banjo ukulele is somehow inferior, not a form of ukulele. Thanks

Graham Greenbag
11-09-2017, 11:58 PM
Excellent contribution - when I lived in New Orleans the banjo player (tenor) was the rhythm setter when no piano was available, especially when part of a marching band. My sadness is the attitude that the banjo ukulele is somehow inferior, not a form of ukulele. Thanks

I too thought Bill1’s contribution to be excellent, to me it seemed to really pull together the best of the thread and ‘talk’ some sense.

If anyone has said that the banjo ukulele is inferior then I don’t recall reading that and would question it too, to my mind it’s neither inferior or superior to a traditional or standard Uke. I don’t tend to think of a banjo uke as a form of uke at all and had regarded it as more a form of banjo than anything else. Perhaps I’m wrong there but to my eyes it’s built like a banjo but with four strings and uke tuning. Is a banjo uke near enough the same as a traditional uke be be considered the same? Well that’s a question that has different answers depending upon who you ask and what the situation is. On balance I believe that the answer is no, but also believe (as Bill1 so ably pointed out) that there can be a place for them together with ukes.

Rllink
11-10-2017, 05:15 AM
There are lots of people out there playing all sorts of instruments who are looking for an opportunity to play with others. And big group get togethers are pretty appealing to them. And a lot of them are going to be inexperienced players looking for a safe environment to play, and group sessions are less intimidating then a lot of other outlets for their music. I read about banjo uke players who play with large groups and get along just fine. I would suspect that they are experienced banjo uke players who have enough experience to know how to play well with others. It has always been my experience with large groups, that in order to be inclusive everyone is going to have to play to the lowest common denominator, and I think one needs to adjust their expectations to take that into consideration, and that included banjo uke players who don't know how to modulate themselves.

As an organizer, I don't know what advise to give. I tried a few years ago to get something started here. My first attempt, I showed up with my ukulele, and a dozen or so people showed up just to watch. The second time, another ukulele player misunderstood what I was trying to do, and set up for a gig in the corner of the coffee shop before I got there, with amps, microphones, lighting, and the whole shebang. He also invited thirty or so of his friends to come and be the audience. That was actually my first gig, and it went surprising well considering that he and I had only had a phone conversation with the guy before. Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent now. My third attempt netted me one other ukulele player, a guitar player, a guy with a djembe, and a fellow who hadn't played his trumpet since high school. So I applaud anyone who can get a group of ukulele players together like that. Right now I have three or four of us, and not all ukulele players, who get together and jam a little, but we are a bit exclusive in our approach for the reasons that I addressed above. We are all about equal in ability and we can play off of each other pretty well. No one can really dominate over the others. I really like that sort of experience best.

ksiegel
11-10-2017, 05:33 AM
A banjo uke is a ukulele, and I play it as such.

Some songs lend themselves to a louder sound, some softer - but I can use the same instrument, regardless of the song. I can get a "twangier" sound from the banjo uke if I try, or a warmer sound.

I have two - a 1920s Stella, and a Fluke Firefly. Both are open back, 8" pots, and fun to play. And never have I been asked not to play them at a uke gathering because they are too loud.


-Kurt

MopMan
11-10-2017, 05:52 AM
A banjo uses a skin (or similar diaphragm) stretched over a hoop. It is, in essence, a drum on a stick. The ukulele is very different. If there were no problem in accepting small banjos at ukulele gatherings then the OP would not have needed to ask the question. Quite clearly there is a problem, and my suggestion that a club should keep a couple of "loaners", for anybody who turns up with a banjo, is reasonable and not unfriendly.

Any banjo player who objects to playing a ukulele at a ukulele club is not being reasonable. Whether or not small banjos are accepted where other banjos are played is not relevant.


And yet again they are NOT banjos they are ukulele banjos and are a totally different instrument. Try playing a ukulele banjo alongside a five string 12 inch head banjo and see if you can hear the small one.

Whether or not a "banjo ukulele" or a "ukulele banjo" or whatever you want to call it is a ukulele or a banjo is beside the point. It seems apparent to me based on opinions in this thread that it is a bastard stepchild of sorts--accepted neither as banjo by banjoers nor as ukulele by ukuleleers.


The real problem OP is asking about is more like "how to deal with a knob." This is a life skill that is not unique to ukulele group. Some people will never be happy and will cause problems wherever they go.

If someone is playing any instrument too loudly or obnoxiously at your meetup: "everyone, lets take it from the top and concentrate on blending our sounds together nicely." If they still don't get the hint, "Mr. X, can you play a little more softly and sweetly to better blend your sound into the music?" And if that doesn't work, take them aside after the meetup and tell them in no uncertain terms: what they are doing is obnoxious and auditorially offensive. Either they make an attempt to play nice with the group or they will be asked to leave.

Any reasonable person will respond appropriately to this. If the person you are dealing with is an entitled knob, simply ask them not to return. If they make a stink, others in the group will recognize the person as acting childish and and will support you in your decision to enforce a ban.

Alleyoop
11-23-2017, 06:51 PM
I have decided to inform the group that I don't like the idea of having banjoleles played within our group due to their 'loudness' and that will be mentioned in our 'manifesto' on our web site. However, I will not out and out ban them ... instead, hoping members will understand where I'm coming from. They are a responsible bunch of seniors and I think that will suffice. Thanks to all of the Ukulele Underground types that responded. My final decision is based strongly on the comments put forth. You guys Rock! Actually, I have a Deering banjo-uke and a firefly and get great enjoyment from them doing old tunes clawhammer style (but not with the uke group).

https://sites.google.com/site/evergreenukes/

Graham Greenbag
11-23-2017, 10:24 PM
Thanks for coming back to the thread and letting contributors know what you have decided and why. To me that makes the time taken to respond more worthwhile.

I thought it interesting that you have some banjo Ukes of your own, which you enjoy playing, but you leave them at home as banjo ukes are too loud for your particular group. Perhaps that’s a comment to make on your site and to say in person.

LimousinLil
11-23-2017, 11:23 PM
Interesting thread this! I have just - as in this morning - bought this exciting instrument from a maker in the UK, who claims that it sounds more "civilised" than a standard banjolele and lends itself to accompanying both ukulele and voice. (As I never play with anyone else, anyway, it doesn't really make any difference to me, but I DID have a more conventional banjouke once and found that the sound, even with a sock stuffed in the open back was REALLY loud!)

104639

Tootler
11-24-2017, 02:46 AM
Interesting thread this! I have just - as in this morning - bought this exciting instrument from a maker in the UK, who claims that it sounds more "civilised" than a standard banjolele and lends itself to accompanying both ukulele and voice. (As I never play with anyone else, anyway, it doesn't really make any difference to me, but I DID have a more conventional banjouke once and found that the sound, even with a sock stuffed in the open back was REALLY loud!)

104639

That's an interesting looking uke, Val. You'll have to introduce us to it in the Seasons.

DPO
11-24-2017, 09:49 AM
Interesting thread this! I have just - as in this morning - bought this exciting instrument from a maker in the UK, who claims that it sounds more "civilised" than a standard banjolele and lends itself to accompanying both ukulele and voice. (As I never play with anyone else, anyway, it doesn't really make any difference to me, but I DID have a more conventional banjouke once and found that the sound, even with a sock stuffed in the open back was REALLY loud!)

104639

It's not April 1st is it?

Graham Greenbag
11-24-2017, 12:44 PM
Interesting thread this! I have just - as in this morning - bought this exciting instrument from a maker in the UK, who claims that it sounds more "civilised" than a standard banjolele and lends itself to accompanying both ukulele and voice. (As I never play with anyone else, anyway, it doesn't really make any difference to me, but I DID have a more conventional banjouke once and found that the sound, even with a sock stuffed in the open back was REALLY loud!)

104639

I struggled with the picture at first but then realised that it’s a Banjo uke with a Tenor (?) directly behind it. The drum looks massive to me so I’d have thought it would be really loud, am I mistaken and (please) who built it for you?