Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Is there a site that has a by ear tuning for low bass tuning? According to my Dr. Horsehair manual that would be 2 1/2 steps down from G tuning which I come up with A, F#, D, A, and D for the drone string. Am I correct?

I have a tuner, but I could get close by ear first, then fine tune.

My new Eric Prust tackhead came yesterday. I just uncrated it this morning as last night I went to the Steve Martin Show at the Meyerson in Dallas last night. My neighbor signed for it and I am jest now getting my hands on it.

Steve played three finger Blue Grass well last night, but seemed more at ease playing clawhammer. He played one of the songs on the album three finger pick style then must of shucked them and played the rest o the song clawhammer style.

He played an open back that he said was his first 45 year old banjo for two songs on the set. I could not tell what kind of banjo it was from a distance. It did not seem to have a clawhammer scoop. I might have been wrong on this as I was up in the cheap seats without binoculars.

I bought a Crow tour yellow ball cap for $20. They are $25 + shipping on Steve's website. I looked for the Crow Tour autographed commemorative $1250 banjo, but it weren't there. I think it is a Goodtime Jo with a few frills like the crow head stamp and different fret markers.

So as not to be derogatory . . . I am well pleased with my steel string Gold Tone CC-OT in comparison with the Goodtime.

Many thanks in advance

Tibilt

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Duh, I figured it out. I tuned my other openback down from G with the tuner. Tuned my new Tackhead by ear and then corrected with the tuner.

I bought it with Nylgut strings. They sound muddy unless I play in the scoop out valley. Are they like most strings and take a while to break in? Do da sheep gut strings sound better? Could I use steel strings? I would use light gauge strings right? I tested the intonation at the 12th fret. Where I have the bridge set must be spot on as it is close enough for the girls I go with with the tuner.

I bought my Jo with inlay frets and I am glad. I did not realize how lazy I was about putting my fingers behind the frets and it did not take me too long to figure out I need to put my finger tips right on the inlay lines.

Tibilt
The Prust banjo isn't designed for the tension of steel strings...could seriously hurt the banjo. Steel strings will also dig into the fretboard (which is why you see most steel-strung fretless banjos with brass or metal fretboards).

Give yourself some time alone with the Nylguts, they sound muddy in comparison to your other banjo because they are a completely different animal. Your ears will get use to it and the sonorus tonalities will start to tickle 'em eventually. It usually takes me a tune or two to get used to the different sound when I switch banjos.

I don't think guts sound any better...they're more expensive and don't last as long.
Thanks, you are right. The moveable D chord sounds out of tune unless I really contort my fingers to correctly line up with the fret markers. I am getting used to the touch. I even notice that when I bend the instrument just a little bit when I am playing it changes the tone. Boy howdy is it ever light.

In guitar speak = How it felt when I went from playing my new stratocaster after playing an acoustic for so long.

Tibilt

Trapdoor2 said:
The Prust banjo isn't designed for the tension of steel strings...could seriously hurt the banjo. Steel strings will also dig into the fretboard (which is why you see most steel-strung fretless banjos with brass or metal fretboards).

Give yourself some time alone with the Nylguts, they sound muddy in comparison to your other banjo because they are a completely different animal. Your ears will get use to it and the sonorus tonalities will start to tickle 'em eventually. It usually takes me a tune or two to get used to the different sound when I switch banjos.

I don't think guts sound any better...they're more expensive and don't last as long.
Thomas, why don't you send me a message and we can get together. I'll show you all I know. I live just down the road from you.

I am also a member of Marrow Bone Springs if that sort of thing interests you. Looking at your avatar I thought it might.
I did a look up on Marrow Bone Springs. That sounds fun. I am going Cowboy Action Shooting on Saturday. Yep, I think I could use some help dialing my tackhead in and I also have some musical queries. How do you P.M. somebody on the site.

Tom

deuceswilde said:
Thomas, why don't you send me a message and we can get together. I'll show you all I know. I live just down the road from you.

I am also a member of Marrow Bone Springs if that sort of thing interests you. Looking at your avatar I thought it might.
Hey, Thomas. The Nylgut strings take a long time to stretch before they stabilize, so don't let that put you off. They are well worth the wait. Also, I would recommend that you not worry so much about the location of the bridge with regard to intonation at the 12 fret (I know you got the inlay frets as a visual aid, but don't let it cripple you) you're probably not going to be playing up that high all that much and bridge location on a fretless is more about where it sounds the best on the head, and intonation is just a matter of your "fretting" fingers adjusting accordingly. FWIW, I've found that it helps to learn your fingers' and ears' way around a fretless fingerboard by sliding into the desired note or pitch, and arpeggiated chords might sound better at first. Yeah, they're light as a feather -- pretty cool, eh?
I discovered I was 1/4" oft on where I placed the bridge. I tried a different tuning and this helped alot. I also noticed that if I placed my fingers past the fret markers chords sounded mo better. I be a meeting with Dueces Wilde soon for my further musical enrichment and edumacation.

I wus thinking they dem strings needed a stretchin'. I even read about using fishing line for strangs which further intrigues me.

I am oft to relive a little history and get my ya ya's out Cowboy Action shooting. This will be the furst time I have shot my two LeMats pistolas at a match. We will see how I did afta de smoke clears.

Your obediant servant,

Tibilt AKA the dastardly SHAMELESS WOMANIZER

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