Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

A resource and gathering site for people interested in playing and constructing early banjos, and the history of minstrel music in America.

The Resources Page

The Resources page has now been added to the menu!  Under this you can find Lessons, Books and references of different types, websites, and additional documents. 

 

Members

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Latest Activity

John Cohen replied to John Cohen's discussion Interesting new banjo
"I agree with you on all points.  Normally I'm very conservative when it comes to restorations.  I'll have to think hard about this one."
yesterday
Dan'l replied to John Cohen's discussion Interesting new banjo
"From this living historian's standpoint, I wouldn't put any money into cosmetics at all but instead focus on restoring full function. A refinish strips away some of the story.  The value of…"
yesterday
John Cohen replied to John Cohen's discussion Interesting new banjo
"Sometimes the gears just break and get jammed.  The set that's currently installed aren't salvageable. I normally don't have any refinishing done when I have a banjo restored, but this one seems like a good candidate.  The…"
yesterday
Dan'l replied to John Cohen's discussion Interesting new banjo
"I'm sure you have a reason to assign the gear sets on your banjo to late century, but they sure don't look it. Less primitive gear sets were being made well before 1860, as per examples below, two of them Martins, on from…"
Tuesday
John Cohen replied to John Cohen's discussion Interesting new banjo
"Dan'l, while the 5th string gear might be period, the peghead gears are of the late 19th/early 20th century variety.  There is another hole on the other side of the peghead, but this does not necessarily mean that the banjo had friction…"
Tuesday
Dan'l replied to John Cohen's discussion Interesting new banjo
"John - It's just that I'm seeing an extra empty hole showing inside the headstock slot. If that matches another empty hole inside the other slot (does it?). What were those (now-unused) holes for? Whatever the…"
Monday
Dan'l left a comment for Steve Bielski
"Al - It's a quick sketch of mine, I couldn't resist..."
Monday
Al Smitley left a comment for Steve Bielski
"Ha!  Where did that come from, Dan'l?"
Monday
Steve Bielski left a comment for Steve Bielski
"No offense taken. Happy to be here. I should receive my new Jim Hartel Boucher on Wednesday. Then the questions will begin! My previous banjo was a WA Cole man in the moon Eclipse that I sold to a guy in France who made me an offer I couldn't…"
Monday
Dan'l left a comment for Steve Bielski
"despite Mich looking like a banjo about to be tuned... "
Monday
John Cohen replied to John Cohen's discussion Interesting new banjo
"Despite what the pictures might show, its in pretty great condition and will need little work to be made playable.  It's caked in a lot of dirt that's rubbing off with a dry paper towel, and the hardware still maintains a polished…"
Monday
Dan'l replied to John Cohen's discussion Interesting new banjo
"I'm also noticing that the headstock slots were modified with added wood to the inside surfaces.  To me that means the gear plates were added later, the added wood necessary to accommodate the shorter shafts.  The original…"
Monday
Dan'l replied to John Cohen's discussion Interesting new banjo
"I'd agree with your estimate of time for this banjo being built, but I'd further narrow it to 1850-1875.   It doesn't have the appearance of an instrument built after 1875, at which time even shop-made banjos would…"
Monday
John Cohen replied to Jim Jacquet's discussion 'eagle bracket' banjo
"There are some good ideas about the different eagle brackets in this thread, but nobody is certain when they date to exactly, or even how the different styles relate to each other (it does appear some of these brackets are older than…"
Monday
skip sail replied to Jim Jacquet's discussion 'eagle bracket' banjo
"Boy,you have good eyes! I managed to get some pics from ebay up on banjohangout, but i couldnt see the brackets too well. i dont have the banjo in hand yet,only just bought it on ebay,so will investigate further. John, seeing as the eagles head is…"
Monday
John Cohen replied to Jim Jacquet's discussion 'eagle bracket' banjo
"Skip sail, look again- the brackets on your Buckbee are pretty different from those on the Bernunzio banjo.  The eagles are different, and yours do not have "Union Forever" written on them."
Monday
Al Smitley left a comment for Steve Bielski
"Welcome Steve!   Hope you can make it to Antietam next June.  I really should've responded with this, first!  Sorry!"
Monday
Al Smitley left a comment for Steve Bielski
"No offense intended to you, Steve.....I'm glad you joined......but every time there is a new member, I look to see if they might be from Michigan.  They never are!  Is my state among the least represented on this site?!?!"
Monday
Steve Bielski is now a member of Minstrel Banjo
Monday
Tim Twiss posted a video

Briggs' Yankee Doodle Final Variation.wmv

A quick example of the final variation of "Yankee Doodle" in the Briggs' Banjo Instructor, played slowly to demonstrate the "Strikes" in the song, and then p...
Monday

Forum

Interesting new banjo

Started by John Cohen in Uncategorized. Last reply by John Cohen yesterday. 9 Replies

'eagle bracket' banjo

Started by Jim Jacquet in Uncategorized. Last reply by John Cohen on Monday. 37 Replies

Nativity Songs, 1868

Started by Wes Merchant in Uncategorized. Last reply by Strumelia on Sunday. 2 Replies

1840s Boucher neck with gourd body

Started by EggerRidgeBoy in Uncategorized. Last reply by John Cohen Dec 10. 7 Replies

Oops

Started by Tim Twiss in Uncategorized. Last reply by Strumelia Dec 6. 7 Replies

 
 
 

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