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Thread: Banjo anyone?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Banjo anyone?

    Lately I've been bitten by the banjo bug. It's my favorite Bluegrass instrument. I used to "chase" and flirt with banjo pickers in Nashville.

    We just saw Mean Mary in concert, OMG she's wild!

    Last week we saw a bluesman named Scott Ainsley play a gourd banjo with nylon strings, wow, what a sound.

    I don't know how to play banjo yet, but I like to noodle on my banjouke a lot. I just want more versatility than the banjouke offers, the 5th drone string might help.

    I don't want a big heavy banjo that's gonna test my strength, and I don't care to play on steel strings. But I really want to learn, and play it in my ukulele ensemble.

    Does anyone have any ideas, opinions, helpful hints, etc?
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  2. #2

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    Do a search for banjo and some stuff will pop for you here. I think I remember something recent where someone threaded up a small banjo with nylon and played it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    This Deering article has good info on nylon string banjos toward to bottom of the article. https://blog.deeringbanjos.com/re-cr...me-banjo-sound
    Kamaka HF3, Tenor
    Martin S1, Soprano
    Ko'olau C1, Concert

  4. #4
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    The Gold-Tone Mini Cripple Creek at 4 pounds weight may be an option . It still has a 19+ inch scale, so the reach may be an issue.

    The most "banjo sounding" banjo-ukes I've found have been the Deering series and The Duke 10. The reason has been the drum size. Deering uses the same drums as their tenor banjos and The Duke 10 has a ten-inch drum. The drum size really makes a big difference. There are other banjo-ukes using comparzbke sized drum, but I haven't tried them.

    Going to a steel-string 17-fret tenor banjo still has one using four strings, but the scale length may be more manageable. Weight may be a concern. If one has tried the Deering banjo-ukes and found them too heavy, then so will be the tenor banjo.

    Another option, if scale length and weight are problems, is to change the banjo-uke tuning to DgBd or some other banjo-centric tuning for a different sound.
    ...SteveZ

    Ukuleles: Martin T1K (T)*, Oscar Schmidt OU28T (T8), Lanikai LU-6 (T6), RISA Solid (C), Effin UkeStart (C), Flea (S)**
    Banjo-Ukes: Duke 10 (T)*, Lanikai LB6-S (S)*
    Tenor Guitars: Martin TEN515, Blueridge BR-40T
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    Tuning: *Reentrant C CGDA. **DAEB. ***GDAE. The rest are CGDA

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  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default

    Magic Fluke has a 19" 5-string: https://www.magicfluke.com/Magic-Flu...ly-5string.htm

    Creme-de-la-creme has to be the 17" Beansprout: https://www.thebeansprout.com/instrument-models
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Flea soprano, C LW
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, A, EJ45LP

    !Flukutronic!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Thanks everyone!
    So far, the Firefly seems to be the closest thing to what I need. With planetary tuners and a pickup, this could be a viable choice!
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    Thanks everyone!
    So far, the Firefly seems to be the closest thing to what I need. With planetary tuners and a pickup, this could be a viable choice!
    If I remember you have small hands. If that's not the case and you can play tenor, get the Duke10. It's light and sounds a lot like a banjo. I hated getting rid of the one I bought. I liked the sound a lot better than the Firefly I tried. All subjective though I guess.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Plenty of full scale 5 string open back banjos are very well suited to being strung with nylon strings. They often sound really good, too. Remember, the 5 string banjo predates steel strings by a long way. The open back Old Time and Clawhammer banjos are usually whole lot lighter in weight and much more mellow sounding than their resonator backed, Bluegrass counterparts.

    Check out the Carolina Chocolate Drops ... plenty of nice plunky banjo music there. Also check out the forums at Banjo Hangout, plenty of Clawhammer banjo players use nylon. I myself have an open back, full scale 5 string Ramsey “Student” 5 string banjo strung with nylon strings.... I haven’t played it in years, but I still have it.

    I still have some of songs and sound samples I recorded of different 5 string banjos, fretted and fretless, that I had strung with nylon or nylgut strings. At least it gives a sample of how open back 5 strings can sound with nylon strings

    Here’s some links
    https://www.hangoutstorage.com/banjo...9545622008.mp3

    https://www.hangoutstorage.com/banjo...1427122006.mp3

    https://www.hangoutstorage.com/banjo...1127102006.mp3

    https://www.hangoutstorage.com/banjo...3142252010.mp3
    Last edited by Swamp Yankee; 11-26-2019 at 01:28 PM.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
    Plenty of full scale 5 string open back banjos are very well suited to being strung with nylon strings. They often sound really good, too. Remember, the 5 string banjo predates steel strings by a long way. The open back Old Time and Clawhammer banjos are usually whole lot lighter in weight and much more mellow sounding than their resonator backed, Bluegrass counterparts.

    Check out the Carolina Chocolate Drops ... plenty of nice plunky banjo music there. Also check out the forums at Banjo Hangout, plenty of Clawhammer banjo players use nylon. I myself have an open back, full scale 5 string Ramsey “Student” 5 string banjo strung with nylon strings.... I haven’t played it in years, but I still have it.
    And Rhiannon Giddens voice in the chocolate drops is amazing!

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Funny, I fancy trying a banjo but I don't like bluegrass
    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing

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