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View Full Version : Banjolele... How do you use it? What do you think about it?



kerneltime
05-28-2018, 09:12 PM
I have a beansprout that has a bit of history but plays well.
I still struggle to see what to do with it.
As an experience it was nice to get one and try it out and lead the way to me discovering a Waldman Cello Banjo that is just mind blowing.

That said, I do not see too many demos of folks playing bajoleles here or discussions around it..

Curious to see what folks have to say about how they use the bajolele and what they think about it..

DPO
05-28-2018, 09:59 PM
I have a beansprout that has a bit of history but plays well.
I still struggle to see what to do with it.
As an experience it was nice to get one and try it out and lead the way to me discovering a Waldman Cello Banjo that is just mind blowing.

That said, I do not see too many demos of folks playing bajoleles here or discussions around it..

Curious to see what folks have to say about how they use the bajolele and what they think about it..

Try searching for Banjo uke or Ukulele banjo. But not necessarily on this site. Have a look at andyeastwood.com. and you will find the best exponent of the instrument.

Croaky Keith
05-28-2018, 11:43 PM
....& then of course, there's all the old George Formby stuff. :rofl:

kypfer
05-28-2018, 11:50 PM
Claw-hammer all the way :music:

Jerryc41
05-29-2018, 03:42 AM
I have a beansprout that has a bit of history but plays well.
I still struggle to see what to do with it.
As an experience it was nice to get one and try it out and lead the way to me discovering a Waldman Cello Banjo that is just mind blowing.

That said, I do not see too many demos of folks playing bajoleles here or discussions around it..

Curious to see what folks have to say about how they use the bajolele and what they think about it..

I've always liked the banjo, but never had much success playing it. I got a Duke 10 and later, a Gold Tone ResoUke. I play them the same as I play my ukuleles. I'm no George Formby, I like the sound.

Grizzly Adams
05-29-2018, 04:13 AM
I find the Banjolele to be a very flexible instrument, and it is my "go to" for gigs. Great for blues, folk, gospel, old time music, and jug band stuff. About the only thing it does not work well with, IMHO, is Hawaiian music. The banjolele never fails to get the interest of an audience.

Jerryc41
05-29-2018, 04:32 AM
That could be worth money some day. A George Formby banjolele sold at auction for 28,500. All you have to do is get famous. :)

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-derbyshire-40380623/george-formby-s-banjo-ukulele-for-sale-at-auction

anthonyg
05-29-2018, 04:37 AM
Banjoleles are old fashioned instruments from the days before amplification.

They do one thing very well. They are unbelievably LOUD and quite small as well. I used to take my banjolele out to busk un-amplified and it was easily loud enough.

RichM
05-29-2018, 04:39 AM
I use my banjo uke for many things:

-George Formby style playing
-Adding a banjo flavor to the sound when playing in a combo
-Creating some electric guitar style tone to an acoustic group

Banjo ukes are usually known for being LOUD, but they really have a variety of voices.

captain-janeway
05-29-2018, 08:47 AM
I always wanted to play banjo but my hands are too small to fret one. this seems to be next best option. I love the bluegrass picking. Just bought a Duke 10.

SteveZ
05-29-2018, 11:12 AM
I enjoy my tenor banjo, but there are times I just want something physically lighter. Have had a fewl BUs, but really enjoy the two I have now. The size differences give each an advantage.

Basically, anything one can play on a banjo, one can do the same with a banjo-uke.

Bill Sheehan
05-29-2018, 05:58 PM
Doggone it, I just decided to stop by and see what this thread was all about, and now I'm starting to feel that little "itch" again... noooooooooooooo!!!!!

kerneltime
05-29-2018, 06:41 PM
Wow! Some really good responses.. my conclusion I have not yet reached the stage where I can meaningfully use a banjolele... everyone seems like a pretty serious musician!
Thank you, it was good insight!

Jerryc41
05-30-2018, 02:51 AM
...my conclusion I have not yet reached the stage where I can meaningfully use a banjolele...

A few years ago, you might have said the same thing about a ukulele.

Ukecaster
05-30-2018, 03:11 AM
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ydH4d6tTiCc

Spicysteve
05-30-2018, 05:26 AM
Good call Ukecaster! My thoughts exactly.:agree:

bariukish
05-30-2018, 05:54 AM
Wow! Some really good responses.. my conclusion I have not yet reached the stage where I can meaningfully use a banjolele... everyone seems like a pretty serious musician!
Thank you, it was good insight!

I'm definitely not a "Pretty serious musician" and I really enjoy my Duke 10. For me, it is the perfect voice for certain genre and songs. Tuned gcea and strummed with your regular uke strums, it sounds great with old Steven Foster songs, country "train" songs, and many of the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary classics. The instrument adds an accent to many group sing alongs that is unmatched. Just let yourself go and have fun with it.

besley
05-30-2018, 06:22 AM
Well I have a Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly banjo uke, and I love it. The sound sure doesn't work for everything, but if someone calls a Stephen Foster song it can't be beat. Only thing I don't like is now I often feel the need to take both a regular uke and the banjo uke to a jam, which does get to be a bit much to carry.

JoeJazz2000
06-06-2018, 06:27 PM
I have a Concert Lanakai Banjo Uke, with resonator. I'm sure the open-backed soprano would have been too small for me. My tastes on ukulele tend to the 20s and 30s songs popular during the ukulele boom, so most of what I play sounds good on the banjo uke. I really enjoy Formby and wrote to the club in England for the method book. I learned some of the techniques and worked out a few of his solos, but to be honest, I haven't kept practicing and playing Formby style, so I'm rusty. The music is great fun to play and I recommend giving it a try. His techniques work fine on a wooden uke, so you can stick your toe in and decide on a banjo later. It didn't take me long. I had to have the banjo once I got into it.

SandChannel
06-07-2018, 06:31 AM
I don't own one, but I will someday! I think they are awesome.

jackj
06-08-2018, 10:17 AM
Claw-hammer all the way :music:

That's what I expected out of a banjo uke, but the one I bought, as well as the few others I've tried, don't do clawhammer in a way that suites my taste--just not enough sustain after the initial bark of the hammered string. I much prefer standard ukuleles for clawhammer.

Where banjo ukes excel, for me, is on jazzy, strummy, ragtimey, dixieland stuff. Needless to say: YMMV.

monica.h
06-08-2018, 05:48 PM
If you want it, it's worth the money.

With that said I personally opted to just get a banjo. A banjolele sounds cool and is fun to play (because a uke is fun to play) but IMO it's kind of an unnecessary mash-up. Get your banjo sounds from a banjo and your uke from a uke

RichM
06-08-2018, 06:09 PM
If you want it, it's worth the money.

With that said I personally opted to just get a banjo. A banjolele sounds cool and is fun to play (because a uke is fun to play) but IMO it's kind of an unnecessary mash-up. Get your banjo sounds from a banjo and your uke from a uke

I play both banjo and banjo uke. Honestly, folks, you don't really have to make a choice. Play what you want to play.

Swamp Yankee
06-09-2018, 03:01 AM
I played banjo before playing uke. At one point, I had 35 banjos .... now I have 3 in playing condition but the only one that I ever play is a 1920's "Own Make" 17 fret tenor that I've kept strung high G with nylguts for the past 12+ years so's I can play it as a uke.

Back in the days when I had BAS, any number of vintage banjo ukes passed through my hands but I never bonded with any of them because I found them too thin in tone. That is taken care of with the full size pot of the tenor... something which Deering seems to have figured out as well.

Papa Tom
06-09-2018, 03:51 PM
I was a drummer all my life and have always played the uke like a percussion instrument. The banjole is my most "percussive" uke, so I think I have the most fun with it.

That said, it rarely comes out except for Christmas time, when I play it almost exclusively. I love the joyous tone it brings to "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," and all those non-religious Christmas songs.

Jerryc41
06-10-2018, 08:43 AM
Yesterday, I played my newly-acquired Firefly with my uke group, and I was very pleased with the sound. I'll definitely be playing that a lot.