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View Full Version : Sustain of the Firefly uke?



Henning
06-23-2014, 10:04 PM
Hello, recent days Iīve been considering to build a banjo uke. My eyes have then been turned to this (http://www.themusicemporium.com/product-detail/product/firefly-banjo-uke.html).
For those of you that have tried to play such an uke. Does it have a very short sustain?

Timbuck
06-23-2014, 10:53 PM
That title should be changed to "Banjo uke" See here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVoDeK8eZHs
and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2RZ8AYFy2U

fynger
06-23-2014, 11:36 PM
Heres the Banjo-uke section of UU


http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/group.php?groupid=145

Titchtheclown
06-24-2014, 03:21 AM
Knocked up something similar recently
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?78020-What-s-happening-in-your-shed/page65
Someone else suggested using a hand drum as a base if using old soda bottles offends your sensibilities and making a pot looks like too much hard work. There are a lot of banjo based sites around that can give you ideas. A guy on the cigar box nation suggested starting out by making a rectangle box one to start with, made to fit the size of the plastic from the bottle.

Rob-C
06-24-2014, 12:18 PM
I have built four or five banjo ukes based on the Remo hand drum.

As a rule they are lighter, quieter, less bright and longer-sustaining than the full-fat traditional banjo ukes.

Henning
06-24-2014, 08:38 PM
I have built four or five banjo ukes based on the Remo hand drum.

As a rule they are lighter, quieter, less bright and longer-sustaining than the full-fat traditional banjo ukes.

Thanks Rob, that seems marvellous!
Did you use a tunable or fabricque pre-tuned (simpler or maybe both?) drum?
Have you fretted yourself or bought a ready neck or how have you solved the matter with the fret board?
I find this childrens drum (http://www.normans.co.uk/p-990-percussion-plus-pp876-8-inch-tunable-hand-drum.aspx) and wonder if it is a suitable choice.

I thought the rim around the drum-head would be of importance to create a longer sustain and a softer tone too. At least that's what I've learned by reading around the web last days.

Rob-C
06-24-2014, 09:19 PM
I used the same Remo hand drum as the firefly. (Non tuneable).

I build ukes for a living, so fabricating a suitable neck was not a problem for me, but the fibreboard shell was a nasty material to cut through - it rapidly dulled my router bit. I've seen several banjos made with different types of drum and they all work and they all sounded pretty similar.

Cutting a rebate in the neck heel to fit around the rim of a tuneable drum might be tricky if you only have basic tools to work with.

Sven
06-24-2014, 10:01 PM
As a rule they are lighter, quieter, less bright and longer-sustaining than the full-fat traditional banjo ukes.
Man, what a sales pitch! It's all you need and want innit.

Henning
06-25-2014, 01:10 AM
Cutting a rebate in the neck heel to fit around the rim of a tuneable drum might be tricky if you only have basic tools to work with.

And still it is a good idea to have the neck adjustable as the Firefly has.

But I canīt really get the picture about the sustain with a non tunable drum.
The soprano banjo uke I have is 6,5" and itīs got a ~4 mm chromed metal rim on a plastic base with aluminum sides. At the 12th band itīs got a very short sustain indeed.

Regards

Timbuck
06-25-2014, 05:23 AM
Standard remo heads don't work..You need the 8" Remo PTS (Pre Tensioned Head) as fitted to the "Remo Hand drum"

Henning
06-28-2014, 07:08 AM
Here is a nice example (http://www.instructables.com/id/Home-made-banjo-uke/step3/Attaching-the-neck-to-the-tambourine/) of a French guy building a banjo uke out of an ukulele kit and a tambourine. He even plays a little at the end.