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Normagal
12-19-2012, 01:35 AM
I recently was given a banjolele. I think it's handmade, as I don't see a name on it. It has new strings and tuners.
I'm used to my Dolphin uke, so this sounds odd to me.
Do you use play a banjolele?
Do you use it to play different types of songs than your uke?
Maybe I'll grow to like it?

RichM
12-19-2012, 02:39 AM
Yup, big fan of the banjo uke! I agree that the tone is very unlike the ukulele, but it has its unique appeal. The banjo uke gained popularity in vaudeville and music hall in the early part of the 20th century, during a time when the lack of amplification meant an instrument had to be LOUD to be heard.

Can you post photos of your banjo uke? We could probably hazard a guess to its origin if we could see it. :)

One of the foremost practitioners of the bano uke was George Formby. Even though George has been gone for over 50 years now, he still has legions of very loyal followers. Here's George at his best:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZYFXUg4aLc

ukeeku
12-19-2012, 02:55 AM
could you post some pictures of it. we may be able to help identify it.

foxisaac
12-19-2012, 06:16 PM
One of the main advantages of a banjolele is it's increased volume, as well as getting that banjo sound without relearning chord shapes.

kjmillig1
12-19-2012, 08:34 PM
I love the sound and I'm hoping to buy one within the next few months. Any experience here with Rally brand banjoleles? I can buy one (without the large resonator) for US$150 including a hard case and shipping to my door.

PhilUSAFRet
12-20-2012, 05:59 AM
I love the sound and I'm hoping to buy one within the next few months. Any experience here with Rally brand banjoleles? I can buy one (without the large resonator) for US$150 including a hard case and shipping to my door.

I bought a Rally concert a while back. Very nice instrument for the money. I have the one with the resonator. It's basically a "Gold tone" by design. I had them do a set up and install a calfskin head and a no knot tailpeice. It's now an amazing banjo uke for the money and sounds more "banjo" like, with no loss of volume over the plastic head. I still want to get the little arm rest that Goldtone sells for it.
Go for it.

Re: this post, check out Del Rey on YouTube. I have her instructional DVD Blue Uke. She uses a resonator, but teaches picking styles that are transferrable to the banjo uke. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWP0Nui61w0

Normagal
12-22-2012, 02:23 AM
46616

I'll try to take a better pic when I have time.
Do you play this different than a uke?

PhilUSAFRet
12-22-2012, 03:31 AM
46616

I'll try to take a better pic when I have time.
Do you play this different than a uke?

Yes, played like a regular uke, albeit usually with banjo picking styles. Strummers vs pickers may have preferences over string height though.....lower action for the strummers, higher action for the pickers, somewhere in between for all around playing. Aaron Keim a great source of banjo uke advice on these "setup" issues
and has provided us with some great tutorials on playing clawhammer style on the banjo uke. Here's lesson 1, there are several others, around 7 or 8 I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSlmEZUtROo

DJ Bob
12-22-2012, 04:20 AM
I love my banjolele. I play in a bluegrass jam once a week and it is really a good fit but it does have its place just like a regular uke.

You will find the banjo uke is good for old timey songs and most any song where a banjo would fit in.

zac987
12-22-2012, 06:36 AM
I tend to prefer banjo ukes for those old vaudeville-ish songs. An unfortunate aspect of playing a banjo uke in the old-time clawhammer style is that it has much less range than an actual banjo. But you can work around that. Enjoy it!

1937Scott
12-22-2012, 01:02 PM
I've got an Eddie Finn soprano and I LOVE it!! It has a sound like no uke, and it makes songs new all over as a result.

What fun!