Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Matthew Menice
  • Plymouth, MA
  • United States
  • Four years
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Matthew Menice's Friends

  • Tom Berghan
  • Chris Prieto
  • Paul Draper
  • Strumelia
  • Mark Weems

Matthew Menice's Discussions

How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tom Berghan Jul 26. 17 Replies

I played afore an audience 'tother arternoon.De sun war so hot de banjo could not stay in tune.I tried to sing ob Uncle Ned and den Old Joe,but de strings kept kickin' up a'hind and a'foeWhen it's…Continue

Where to get a jawbone?

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Masciale Jul 2. 2 Replies

If I have to shell out $85 for animal remains, I will, but are there any places to get them cheap?Continue

A Question

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mike Bostock Jun 26. 11 Replies

Since I have joined this community, I have been curious as to what drawn all of you swell folks to this uniquely American genre of music. What made you want to start in the first place? What was the…Continue

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Latest Activity

Tom Berghan replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"Strumelia said: I've heard there are tens of dollars to be made playing minstrel banjo.____ Yeah that's about right Strumeila . . . I play listening rooms, coffee houses, and wine bars, two to four times a month.  Sometimes I get as…"
Jul 26
John Masciale replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"It is the cool wet nights (45 degrees or below) that tend to kill my banjo.  I prefer gut strings, but mine are varnished, and the humidity does not seem to affect them.  If yours are not varnished, dip your fingers in some shellac and run…"
Jul 26
Timothy Twiss replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"That much? Cool."
Jul 26
Strumelia replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"I've heard there are tens of dollars to be made playing minstrel banjo."
Jul 25
Timothy Twiss replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"Oh, a Roadie eh? "
Jul 25
Tom Berghan replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"I play two to four gigs of every month, skin heads & gut strings but 98% are indoors, with conditioned air (heat in winter / AC in summer) and my regimen is detailed above and it works very well. The same steps will work outside too but the…"
Jul 25
Timothy Twiss replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"Oh man, back the truck up to think of the lutenists in those dark castles in Europe. I'm sure a few lost their heads from an ill tuned performance in front of a king."
Jul 25
A.N. Chase replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"Keeping the real deal on hand is what's given me pause; I've got several 'tubs' but only one with bracket hardware (the rest are tackheads.)   If I ever get around to building my own tub I'll definitely be putting…"
Jul 25
Timothy Twiss replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"I had one on my Hartel and it was fine, but what fun was playing alone?? haha. Better to suffer together. I tell you this, if I were ever booking serious gigs with money involved, I would work with a synthetic head......at least have it on standby."
Jul 25
A.N. Chase replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"Yes, I remember everyone taking turns in drying their banjo heads out over an incandescent light bulb in one corner of the barn.I've been pretty tempted to put a Renaissance head on my minstrel banjo for all of these reasons. "
Jul 25
Timothy Twiss replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"I recall a night at AEBG when it just gushed a horrible rain. It disabled all banjos for several hours. They were grounded, just like wet wasps. These early banjos are certainly magic under good conditions, but otherwise a total PITA. I guess that…"
Jul 24
Strumelia replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"Twenty years ago I was playing a Summer gig at an outdoor informal event.  My friend and I were both playing banjos.  We were both pretty inexperienced. Her banjo was an old Buckbee with what appeared to be original skin head. The brackets…"
Jul 24
Tom Berghan replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"1) Do not play in direct sunlight. Must be in the shade. Take a big umbrella if you have to. 2) Let your banjos get used to the atmosphere at least 45 minutes before your set. Don’t leave them in the cases.  3) The more you tune, the less…"
Jul 24
Roberta Perkins replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"Terry Bell sprayed the heads of the two tack head banjos he made for me. He used Aquanet and it works fine. It has to be heavy humidity before I need to worry about having to make adjustments or not play my banjo at all. I like the popsicle trick as…"
Jul 21
Tom Taggart replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"Using a craft (popsicle) stick as a shim under the bridge is a great idea. Going to try that. Thanks for meantioning it."
Jul 20
Strumelia replied to Matthew Menice's discussion How does one keep their instrument in shape during the humid months?!?
"If you are using real gut strings, they do get 'spongey' and absorb humidity. then Nylgut strings will help. Chris means by popsicle sticks:  cut a popsicle stick (the large ones are wider if you have a big banjo head) so it is 1/2 or…"
Jul 20

Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
I've been interested in Ethiopian Delineation for many years. I was bound to stumble upon it at one point.
How long have you played banjo?
Four years
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
Bell Boucher, Bacon Irish Tenor, Thompson Odell Artist Banjo

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Comment Wall (2 comments)

At 2:18pm on June 11, 2018, Paul Draper said…

Welcome aboard, Matthew. Good to see you here. 

At 7:26pm on June 14, 2018, Strumelia said…

haha... it's at HERE

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