Gettin' back into Banjo

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by duceditor, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Age:
    72
    Nov 29, 2010
    Indiana
    I have one of those. It was made back in the 1920's 0r 30's. Just recently put new strings on it. It still has the skin head. Picked it up cheap at a yard sale about 30 years ago. At least that tunes the same as my ukes.
     
    mb doug and MinorKey like this.
  2. MinorKey

    MinorKey Squier-Nut

    Age:
    52
    777
    Jun 14, 2012
    Darlington UK
    They're surprisingly loud!
     
    mb doug likes this.
  3. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Age:
    72
    Nov 29, 2010
    Indiana
    Yes, they are. Way louder than a uke of course.
     
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  4. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    90
    Dec 12, 2009
    Swanton Ohio
    One of my aunts had one when I was first learning..She let me play it..
    I have a very old one that doesn't really sound very good..Wall hanger..
     
    mb doug likes this.
  5. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Age:
    72
    Nov 29, 2010
    Indiana
    I think mine had also been a wall hanger at some point. Someone had drilled a hole right through the middle of the headstock (in order to hang it?)
     
    mb doug likes this.
  6. mb doug

    mb doug Squier-holic

    Jan 4, 2012
    Long Island
    I'd like to get a 5-string banjo someday. I'd like to get this old thing playing too. Pulled it out of a dumpster on a job site back in the 80's. Priced some parts for it but haven't gotten around to making it playable yet.
     

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    Big tuna, drewcp, Hugh and 1 other person like this.
  7. CVSteve

    CVSteve Squier-Nut

    Age:
    65
    621
    Dec 28, 2017
    Texas
    This is good too:
     
    Hugh and duceditor like this.
  8. Jay Jackson

    Jay Jackson Squier-Nut

    Age:
    66
    645
    Sep 1, 2018
    sanluisobispo CA (3401
    Back When I was in the Army 73, I got a 4 string closed back with the snare springs in side. I got pretty good with it. Learnd how to do the Frailing Technique what doing a Hammer on with a roll or pull off with a roll. A lot of fun to play
     
    duceditor likes this.
  9. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    73
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    The Donner banjo arrived today. Lookswise what a total wowser! Beautiful wood. Lusterous chrome. And the skin is a Remo.

    It came with the bridge off -- understandably (especially with a soft, though padded, bag).

    I'll likely set it up tomorrow using the ol' 12th fret to nut measurement method and then fine tuning that if needed.

    Any suggestions for tuning head tension? It sounds taut and pingy, but I do not have the experienced ear to say that it is just so.

    Anyhow, suggestions will be appreciated! More later, including pix.

    -don
     
    Big tuna likes this.
  10. Mr Bones

    Mr Bones Squier-Meister

    Age:
    57
    331
    Oct 17, 2019
    Kansas Territory
    Purty cool how many banjo pickers are comin outta th woodwork, lol :)

    Given my Ridgerunnin, Stump-Jumpin, Muhzurrah Hillbilly background, reckon yall probly coulda guessed that I also play banjo, though not in a stellar fashion...
    Gots me an ol (?'70's~ish?) Harmony 5-string, but it needs some work, an parts to be performance ready...
    IMG_3987 - Copy - Copy (2).JPG
     
    duceditor likes this.
  11. FhPudd

    FhPudd Squier-Meister

    193
    Nov 28, 2012
    Pa.
  12. FhPudd

    FhPudd Squier-Meister

    193
    Nov 28, 2012
    Pa.
    Just joking. I couldn’t help myself
    :D:cool:
     
    Mr Bones likes this.
  13. tuner sandwich

    tuner sandwich Squier Talker

    63
    Jul 27, 2019
    SC, US
    I have my granddad's banjo in the closet. 1960-1970's Japanese RB-250 clone I believe. Don't play it much at all. But I'll never let it go. I will learn a tune or two someday to do it justice. I can still see/hear, my Pow-Pow jamming on it.
     
    duceditor likes this.
  14. Mr Bones

    Mr Bones Squier-Meister

    Age:
    57
    331
    Oct 17, 2019
    Kansas Territory
    No need; actually, I thought it was hilarious! :D
     
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  15. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    73
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Got the instrument set up. (Took just minutes.)

    Got the strap adjusted. (ach!!!)

    Had to relearn tuning. (But the ears recognized it right off!)

    Got the finger picks fitted. (ach ach!)

    Now learning and practicing the rolls. (Gonna dig out my metronome to make myself do it right.)

    Yes, I am going to enjoy this! I am determined to.

    Pretty, pretty banjo!

    -don
     
    CVSteve, Caddy and Mr Bones like this.
  16. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Age:
    72
    Nov 29, 2010
    Indiana
    Sounds like a pretty nice banjo. The head should be fairly taut. BTW, banjos are pingy.

    If you want to really get into the setup this guy is an authority on bajos (and a great player.)
    This will give you more than you may want to know.
    https://banjonews.com/2010-09/tuning_the_head.html
     
  17. mofojar

    mofojar Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    May 9, 2019
    Calgary, Alberta
    My dad tells me stories of his uncles who all played various instruments. I think he was saying his Uncle Emmett was a jazz banjo player in the 20's and could play as well as anyone. In any case he has Emmett's original banjo and we want to restore it. I was thinking lately that I should branch out into some more of the folky instruments and maybe pick up a banjo, mandolin or fiddle as these were the instruments the Uncles played.

    My Dad can play a pretty mean banjo himself, he forced himself to learn after getting a brain aneurysm in the mid-2000's and it really helped his recovery, especially his memory and dexterity.
     
    duceditor, Caddy and Mr Bones like this.
  18. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    73
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA

    Okay, I read this with no knowledge about "flattop" and "archtop" banjos. I assume in ignorance that mine is a flattop.

    I then listen to the skin as the banjo was delivered and it is a clear "F." "Dang!" think I. That must be wrong.

    Then I do a google on flattop vs archtop, learn what the terms refer to (totally different that flattop and archtop guitars) and what'dya know... Its an archtop and in as close to perfect tune as I'd imagine it could be, at least to ears.

    Pretty amazing quality control by Donner. I am once again impressed!

    Now on to those other recommended articles/sources.

    Thanks guys!!! :)


    -don
     
    Caddy likes this.
  19. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    73
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    OKAY, Dumb question...

    On a guitar I slip the pick thru the strings to store it. On the sitar the mizrab (wire finger pick) neatly slips over one of the smaller kunti (tuning pegs). Where, oh where, do banjo players put them?

    -don
     
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