Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

This is a view of the scoop on the original.

Views: 97

Comment by Strumelia on November 26, 2017 at 12:18pm

Banjos didn't have reinforcing adjustable truss rods inside them back then. Despite the lower tension of a low-tuned gut strung banjo, a cutout this big would still make the neck slightly more vulnerable to bending under tension over time.  Indeed, many old banjos have warped necks...it's something every smart buyer checks for.  Some antique banjos survive 100 years in someone's attic, their strings broken or slacked, their necks nice and straight ...only to get strung up with wire strings and cranked up to modern oldtime A and double D tunings by some enthusiastic new clawhammer player... and their necks warp after a year or two of the constant high tension.  Sad!  

I've changed the skin heads of a couple of banjos with these carved out scoops.  Though it's helpful to have a half inch or an inch of leeway where the pot meets the neck rather than just a slot, a two or three inch wide scoop is way overkill and just not needed when changing skinheads.
Was a giant scoop a decorative feature? Personally, I don't think it adds to the look of a banjo to have such an exaggerated cutout in the neck, but maybe folks found it attractive back then?  I don't rule out any reason or purpose for the Big Scoop.

Comment by Timothy Twiss on November 26, 2017 at 1:08pm

Bob Winans owns the original. The one I have is one of the finest instruments I have played.


You need to be a member of Minstrel Banjo to add comments!

Join Minstrel Banjo


John Masciale created this Ning Network.

© 2023   Created by John Masciale.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service