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Gary Blanchard

Banjo, anyone?

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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I have a 6-string banjo that I play in a German polka band. I took off the low E and A strings, so now it's basically a tenor banjo. I also have an old tenor banjo from the 1800's that my grandfather gave me. I recently strung it up with nylon acoustic guitar strings and it sounds pretty good. In addition, I made a banjo-uke from a tambourine and the neck from a toy guitar. Lots of fun.

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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.

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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:


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.

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/

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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 ...

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

 

Phil

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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. :)

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