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I'm thinking of getting a crappy banjo

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  • I'm thinking of getting a crappy banjo

    I kind of want a banjo, but why not just get one of those $99 piece of crap banjos? I started on a piece of crap guitar, and that didn't hurt me any.

    Plus, I figure if I hate the thing, I'm only out $99.

    Someone talk me into (or out of) doing this.
    Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

  • #2
    I started on a piece of crap guitar, and that didn't hurt me any.


    Are you absolutely sure about that?

    What little experience I have with banjos indicates that they are really loud. Hard to play softly on a banjo. Other than that have fun. I would go with mandolin before I tried banjo, but that's me.
    Music for your busy day.

    All the info you need.

    Be my friend?

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    • #3
      I kind of want a banjo, but why not just get one of those $99 piece of crap banjos? I started on a piece of crap guitar, and that didn't hurt me any.
      I started out on a $35 guitar and when I got a $100 guitar, my playing improved. But I like playing my $100 banjo as much as my $10,000 banjo.

      What $99 banjo are you looking at? And I suppose I should ask what you want to play on it? Bluegrass? Old time square dance style? Folky stuff? Just another texture for rock music? 4-string? 5-string? banjo-guitar? banjo-uke? banjo-tuba?

      The Deering Good Time and Gold Tone banjos are about $300 and are good enough so that they won't hurt your playing. They sound sound pretty good and they're well made. I don't know of a new banjo cheaper than those that I'd recommend. It's just not very rewarding to play a crappy instrument.

      If you don't want to spend that much, look for a funky music store and see what they have in the used stock. They may have taken one of the new $300 banjos in on trade for something classier. I don't know stores in your area. There used to be a pretty good folky instrument shop in Claremont but I haven't been there for several years. It may no longer exist. I can't remember the name. If McCabe's is still around and still sells instruments, they might be of some help.

      I might not know much about accounting or computers, but I know a bit about banjos.
      --
      "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
      Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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      • #4
        Psst...you know anyone at Dean?
        http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Dean-BW6-Backwoods-6String-Banjo?sku=519798

        Six string banjo, strung like a you know what
        aka "The Guitar Geezer" at MP.com
        "DO NOT ADJUST YOUR MIND:
        IT IS REALITY THAT IS MALFUNCTIONING"
        Robert Anton Wilson 1932-2007

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        • #5
          What $99 banjo are you looking at?


          Looking at any major online retailer (Musician's Friend will suffice), there sem to be a few banjos between $99 and $139 that would qualify.

          And I suppose I should ask what you want to play on it? Bluegrass? Old time square dance style? Folky stuff? Just another texture for rock music? 4-string? 5-string? banjo-guitar? banjo-uke? banjo-tuba?


          I'll probably be doing some folksy textures. I play a little bluegrass, and can do some Travis picking on my Martin D-18, but I'm not looking to be some banjo virtuoso. I'm probably looking at a traditional 5-string.

          Yes, I'd rather get a better-quality instrument (like a Deering), but I might do that anyway if I enjoy playing a banjo at all (which has yet to be determined). And yes, I should probably check the used market first... good call.

          If McCabe's is still around and still sells instruments, they might be of some help.


          McCabe's is around, but I'm scared to go in there because I seem to want to write checks for $10,000 every time I walk in the door.

          I might not know much about accounting or computers, but I know a bit about banjos.


          I had no idea you were a banjoist until now.
          Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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          • #6
            You know, you could just sleep with your cousin & save the $99...

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            • #7
              Psst...you know anyone at Dean?


              I know people everywhere. But I only call in favors once they get past the $1000 mark.
              Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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              • #8
                You know, you could just sleep with your cousin & save the $99...


                Thanks Jethro.
                Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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                • #9
                  Maybe Deering could use a Weasel?

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                  • #10
                    Maybe Deering could use a Weasel?


                    I just want a banjo, not another client.
                    Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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                    • #11
                      Did you know there are 6-string banjo's???
                      Tuned just like a GTR I think.
                      Even the Doobie Brothers used a banjo in some of their songs ... go for it Jeff.

                      Russ
                      Nashville
                      "In Order To Predict The Future .... Create It"

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Jethro.

                        Hey, if I had a cousin who looked like Ellie Mae, I'd hit it with a big gap-toothed grin.

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                        • #13
                          Did you know there are 6-string banjo's???
                          Tuned just like a GTR I think.


                          Yeah. Neil Young used one pretty often. In fact, James Taylor played the banjo line on Neil's "Old Man" using a 6-string guitar-tuned banjo.

                          It feels like a bit of a cop-out though. If I'm going to play the damn thing, I should do it right.
                          Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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                          • #14
                            I bought myself a crappy mandolin on a whim - I now play that more than my bass which, laughably, is supposed to be my first instrument.

                            And then I won a crappy ukulele and that got me a semi jokey solo acoustic gig in a folk club where my little folk trio now plays.

                            You're very unlikely to ever think to yourself, "Hey everything's going great in my life . . . except . . damn, I wish I'd never laid eyes on that friggin' banjo."
                            [tumbleweed . . . bell tolls . . .]

                            I'll get me coat.

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                            • #15
                              I have a Deering Good Time and it's been a nice banjo for learning.

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