Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I just decided.

Because October is the month of Halloween and pumpkins and squash and old hollow/hallow things, even the O in October is round like a gourd...so...

I declare October to be Gourd Banjer Month !

Let's use this thread to share our enthusiasm for our gourd banjos...

Post your gourdelicious videos, pictures, your love/hate gourd relationship stories, and random factoids about your gourd banjo here!

Anything goes...bring it on!    :D

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A gourd is kinda like a punkin', so it makes sense. I don't think you are outa your gourd.

I am gourdless right now, so I dove into my stash of tunes and pulled up this video. Years ago Mara Eagle was around on this site, and she turned me on to this music. Here is my version.

Where?

Real nice, Chris!

Last month I had the opportunity to briefly play the banjo that Chris made for Jacalyn Thomas.  The craftsmanship was great, it played easily, and remained tight even after the weather got misty and drizzly.  

Chris Prieto said:

In keeping with the spirit of the month, I submit a photo my plantation banjo [Jeff Menzies #306].  It looks like the one in the old picture, holds its tuning, and plays very well.  I have found that it is best to play when sitting down because it goes all dobro-shaped when I play standing up, but I'm sure this is true for most of these type banjos.

Even sitting, my giant gourd rolls around. Sometimes I use the chamois to help. Mostly I stick the extra long perch pole under my right knee.

Good to hear! I really liked that one :)

That is a lovely plantation gourd too.

Here's one I finished up this weekend. It's a two and a half stringer!

 

I wanna see a photo of Jacalyn's gourd banjer!

When humidity makes my other minstrel banjo heads a little saggy, I do notice that my gourd banjo head seems to stay tight better. Maybe that's because regardless of the size of the gourd itself, the circular 'free-floating' surface of the skin is actually only about 8.5" diameter on my gourd... thus is less effected by 'humidity stretch'. ?

Here's Jacalyns gourd. In general I find the small gourds and their tiny head surface fair very well against moisture/humidity. Also I've found the skin thickness comes into play too. Thicker ones taking longer to be effected but longer to dry back up. Thinner ones dampen and dry quicker.

sweet build!

Chris Prieto said:

Good to hear! I really liked that one :)

That is a lovely plantation gourd too.

Here's one I finished up this weekend. It's a two and a half stringer!

 

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