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  • Banjo, anyone?

    I am a Son of Seeger, and started playing at 5-string banjo back in the 1960's. A few years ago I had a long-neck banjo built by a local guy. I find the key of E is good for my singing voice, so the added frets are quite helpful. Here's what it looks like.

    long-neck banjo

     

    And here's what it sounds like:

    Oh Mary Don't You Weep

    The Peace Song

    Attached Files
    __________________________
    Gary Blanchard
    www.garyblanchard.info

  • #2

    I wanted to learn banjo shortly after i started learning guitar. I still sucked at guitar at the time thought and thought it would be a bad idea to pick up a new instrument. Then i learned about 6-string banjos and picked up one of those.

    I'm sure there's some variation in the picking patterns, but you basically get the sound of a banjo without a new learning curve. I love both of my 6-strings. They're so much fun to play.

    Comment


    • Gary Blanchard
      Gary Blanchard commented
      Editing a comment

      The EAKLE wrote:

      I wanted to learn banjo shortly after i started learning guitar. I still sucked at guitar at the time thought and thought it would be a bad idea to pick up a new instrument. Then i learned about 6-string banjos and picked up one of those.

      I'm sure there's some variation in the picking patterns, but you basically get the sound of a banjo without a new learning curve. I love both of my 6-strings. They're so much fun to play.


      Six-string banjo can be a lot of fun. They can be played in amy number of ways, just like the 5-string banjo. Many banjo purists look doen on them, but I say whatever floats your boat.


  • #3

    I've played around with both 5 and 6 string banjos, but ended up gravitating to the 4 string models -- a plectrum and my fun Goldtone baritone banjo-uke. Neither requires any great skill from me!

    If I do need a skillful 5-stringer, I call on my niece:

    Comment


    • Phil O'Keefe
      Phil O'Keefe commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow - that was really good - thanks for sharing it!

  • #4
    Eh, can't quote on my phone but this is in reply to Gary.

    I originally planned on getting a 6 string as a temporary I strument and then moving in to a "real" banjo, but the more I thought about it the more pointless it seemed. While I can see why some may look down on them, and I wouldn't refer to myself as a true banjo player, they basically have the same effect and get the job done very nicely. I've got a Gold Tone which is excellent, and a Dean Backwoods 6 with a pick up which has a lot of applications. Great instruments.

    Comment


    • Pine Apple Slim
      Pine Apple Slim commented
      Editing a comment

      I've really slacked off on my banjo playing, rearely get it out of the case anymore. I'm playing in 2 bands, bass and guitar and singing a good bit in one of em, and I just dont seem to have time to practice my 5 str pickin anymore. Plus since I moved about 4 yrs ago I havnt met any "pickers" that I really jell with. Hopefully before long I'll meet some compatible bluegrassers or old timers and get back into it.

      Anyhow, heres my Gibson RB3 and my Gold Tone Cripple Creek

      banjos

      Attached Files

    • Gary Blanchard
      Gary Blanchard commented
      Editing a comment

      Nice to see some other banjo players around. While I play a 5-string, I certainly don't play in either of the two sanctioned styles. :catlol: I make myself happy, though, and the audience seems to like it. I think folks are glad to see something other than guitar now and then.


    • american sinner
      american sinner commented
      Editing a comment

      Love me some banjo. Not that I really know what I'm doing, but at least I never used a pick on guitar, so it is not so different. 

       

      Here is an original

      Here is me playing a Tom Waits cover. Actually not a terrible recording despite being just a video camera microphone. 


  • #5

    There are some nice looking instruments in this thread. I've always wanted to try banjo, but never really knew where to start.

    Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded.--Jimi Hendrix

    Comment


    • Pine Apple Slim
      Pine Apple Slim commented
      Editing a comment

      Graeca wrote:

      Pine Apple Slim wrote:

      Posted this over on acoustic guitar, but thought Id repost here in case somebody misses it:

      <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<All the banjo talk has me inspired. Its time to drag the 5 str outta the closet and sharpen back up, maybe get a little better at it!

      We need to start a banjo VOM/Show and Tell thread.

      I'm gonna give myself a week then inflict something on you guys, and I'm layin down a challege to all the other banjoists and wanna be banjoist here to step up and contribute some noise!

      5str, 6str, 4 str, dosnt matter, whatever you got, any style. Old Timey, Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Polka, Dixieland, or just something you made up, dosn't matter. Good or bad, hot pickin, or 2 chord beginner strumming, dont matter. We're all friends here right?

      Whos with me? If I put my crappy pickin out here in a thread will yall step up?

       Anybody else with me?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >

      I think I'll start the thread on acoustic guitar, just so we can enlighten, or annoy, as many people as possible Keep an eye out for it in the next few days and please contribute!

       

       


       

      I'm game!


      Well I got some sloppy stuff videoed. I aint skeered If yall aint. Tommorrow is VOM on the acoustic guitar forum. Im a gonna post 2 short vids and am challenging all banjoist to post something and show me up. Believe me it wont be hard to best me, lol. I'm embarrased how rusty I am & so little time this week to practice. The VOMers are usually real nice folks and aint gonna rib me too hard, and if they do I dont care, its only the internet.

      So let the banjos invade the VOM tommorrow.  

      Anything you got, any style, any kind of banjo!

       


    • Pine Apple Slim
      Pine Apple Slim commented
      Editing a comment

      OK I put up my cold blooded murder of a piece of music on the VOM, now yall git on over there w yer banjars!

      So far its just me and TAH, we need halp!

       


    • fatback
      fatback commented
      Editing a comment

      Pine Apple Slim wrote:

      OK I put up my cold blooded murder of a piece of music on the VOM, now yall git on over there w yer banjars!

      So far its just me and TAH, we need halp!

       


      Go over and look again, I posted Sunday night uk time - (in a reply to your good self)

      Phil


  • #6

    Of the 3 choices you picked I think the C30 is a better all around amp.  It's been proven over and over to do almost anything well and they seem to hold up good.  I'd stay away from any thing Crate makes. Another choice you may consider is a Hotrod Deluxe (HRD), I havent tried the new ones but I've been told they are an improvement over the originals.  And it has 6L6's which I prefer over EL84's.   My friend uses a HRD in a working band 3-4 nights a week for the last several years and it's never been any trouble.

    Comment


    • #7

      Gary Blanchard wrote:

      I am a Son of Seeger, and started playing at 5-string banjo back in the 1960's. A few years ago I had a long-neck banjo built by a local guy. I find the key of E is good for my singing voice, so the added frets are quite helpful. Here's what it looks like.

      long-neck banjo

       

      And here's what it sounds like:

      Oh Mary Don't You Weep

      The Peace Song


      Nice banjo Gary.

      I'm just starting out with banjo, and I've been scouring the "net" 12 hours a day for the past week, trying to get as much "lurnin'" as possible before taking the plunge. I'm looking for a decent open-back, and it looks like I've got a prospect lined up; a Deering Goodtime, with a few extras (The Crow Package"). They're very basic, but play well and sound pretty good. Seems like an ideal starter banjo.

      I'm also looking for a decent resonator banjo w/tone-ring; probably a GoldTone OB-275.

      Gretsch has also just come out with a new model in their "roots" collection, the Gretsch Broadkaster Supreme, but I've yet to come across a Youtube demo for that banjo. Here's a video with the Gretsch "Deluxe", which is the model below the Supreme. It's roughly $260. cheaper, but has a "zinc" tone-ring. Sounds pretty fine in these guys' hands.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e781EW1ePY

      The Supreme is "loaded". (brass tone-ring, maple resonator, 3-ply solid maple rim, maple/walnut/maple neck, nice inlays, good tuners. Very heavy banjo, seems built like a tank.

      http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/G9420Supreme/

      Attached Files
      Veni, Vidi, Velcro;

      (I came, I saw, I stuck around)

      Comment


      • #8
        Cool stuff! I have a Gold Tone Whyte Lady style that I love!

        Comment


        • #9
          I love the banjo. It is the most percussive of the stringed instruments in my opinion (other than a hammer dulcimer). I wish I had picked up a banjo as part of my percussion studies way back in the day. Seems late now to learn a new instrument ...
          Bringing the Harmony back to Harmony Central

          Comment


          • #10
            How old are you? Its never too late to pick up a new instrument. In fact its your duty to the music industry.

            Phil
            Founding member of Harmony Unacoustic Activities Committee

            Comment


            • #11
              Yeah Dendy, do you have any guitar or other fretted instrument experience? 5-string banjo uses relatively similar left hand technique and chord shapes as standard guitar, and rhythm is rhythm - once you can play one instrument, at least some aspects of that are bound to benefit you in learning the next one.
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • #12
                I don't have any fretted experience, but if I get my hands on a banjo, I'll be at the very least trying to learn it!
                Bringing the Harmony back to Harmony Central

                Comment


                • #13
                  I played claw hammer when I started. Its fun but an acquired taste for those who have to listen.

                  Phil
                  Founding member of Harmony Unacoustic Activities Committee

                  Comment



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