View Full Version : Trade My Banjo for Your Tenor Uke or Banjo Uke?

03-09-2013, 10:19 AM
I have a Goodtime Special Openback Banjo with a scooped fretboard and gig bag available for trade.

It is a nice instrument -- it is "Special" because it has the patent pending Goodtime Special steel tone ring, which provides a louder, nicer sound than their basic Goodtime models. The scooped fretboard allows you to play clawhammer or frailing style comfortably over the fretboard, where it sounds the sweetest.

I purchased it used after hearing Gillian Welch's playing, but haven't been able to find the time to learn how to play it properly. I am a guitar player, learning the uke. My old brain just can't handle 3 instruments!

I would like to trade for a Bean Sprout banjo uke. I will add cash to cover. Pictures to follow.


03-10-2013, 06:37 AM
There are a couple of options: #1- if you don't mind the neck being as long as it is, tune it DGBE. If it's a 5 stringer, either take off the 5th string, or learn to incorporate that sound when it is appropriate. #2-since you realize how good the pot is, have someone make and fit a neck the length and width you would like. You could have it be 4 -5 - 6 or 8 strings.

I have two banjo mandolins with 11 1/2 inch heads. The full reflector backs stick out an inch on each side. The neck is exactly the same scale as a soprano ukulele,
but longer on the peghead to accomodate eight strings. One is strung as 4, and the other as 8.

There is a very simple way to make it a closed back without increasing the diameter. I have done it to three of my banjo ukes. Pictures available if you would like to see two of them. (a fellow made me an offer I couldn't refuse for one of them)

03-10-2013, 06:47 AM
I did a conversion from a Tenor Banjo to a Baritone Banjo Uke thanks to custom length strings from Living Water Strings (http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/Pages/LWS.aspx). I just informed Ken of the length I needed (neck length, plus enough to wrap around the tuning pegs and tie a knot in the tail end) and put them on the instrument. They were a pound more expensive than the standard baritone set.

I'm quite pleased with the result, which you can hear here.


It could be worth your while exploring that route before parting with the instrument altogether. If it doesn't work, save the strings for when your UAS reaches baritone level and cut to length ;)

03-10-2013, 06:56 AM
Nice video!

Thank you, both, for the suggestions. I hadn't even considered conversion. I'll have to take a closer look.

03-10-2013, 01:00 PM
More pictures.

As you can see in the pictures, banjo is in good but not perfect condition.
When I took the pictures today, I saw the fifth string tuner is pitted and has rust around the collar. Works fine, though.

Also available for sale for $525, PayPal and shipped in CONUS.


03-10-2013, 02:05 PM
Bigmama, how long have you been working on playing banjo. Just asking because for the 1st four weeks I had mine I thought I'd never get it. Even called the music store to see if I could trade it back in. If you're learning clawhammer the first month or so is the roughest, but once you get the picking motion down you 've got the battle won. About a year and a half later (now) I still have my banjo and can play about 40 songs by memory. Not great but well enough that people can recognize what I'm playing. I guess I'm trying to encourage you to stick with it. You can always save up for another uke or banjo uke. Here's my stable.
I'm no musical genius just play them well enough to enjoy.
Oh BTW I also have a bass guitar and two trombones that aren't in the picture.

03-11-2013, 12:55 AM
LOL -- You guys are no help at all!

I just ordered the Kala Marcy Marxer tenor ukulele on close out from Uke Republic:D

03-11-2013, 03:52 AM
LOL -- You guys are no help at all!

I just ordered the Kala Marcy Marxer tenor ukulele on close out from Uke Republic:D
Great Uke! Enjoy it.
So tell me about the difficulties you're having with the banjo. Maybe as a recent beginner on banjo I could offer some help.

03-11-2013, 02:13 PM
I play guitar to sing. Just basic strumming and fingerpicking. I thought clawhammer banjo would add a little different texture to some of my songs. I got a decent handle on the "bum-ditty" strum, but I couldn't add in melody notes for the life of me. It just never felt comfortable.

Then I discovered the ukulele and fell in love! It's great for strumming, of course, but I am finding I can also pick out melody notes here and there much more naturally than I did on the 5-string banjo.


03-11-2013, 02:48 PM
Well if you decide to give the banjo another try start here....
along with this free book
and see if you get better results.

03-11-2013, 04:47 PM
Or if clawhammer is a pain in terms of picking out the melody notes, you could always go Scruggs-style. I play a little banjo too, and although I'd love to learn clawhammer some day, I've never quite picked up the knack of it. And yes, I just plain enjoy going fast, too! Pump up those bpms!

03-12-2013, 05:03 AM
Thanks for the encouragement, but I have to go with my heart!

Trade pending:)

03-12-2013, 05:53 AM
Ach!! If your pending trade is not firm, since your head and heart are set, I would make you an offer of a trade.