Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

From James Buckley's 1868 book.

Views: 158

Comment by Tim Twiss on March 23, 2015 at 4:26pm
Nice. Makes me think, the fretted banjo was certainly evolving at that time.
Comment by Paul Draper on March 23, 2015 at 4:39pm
Right. On the cover of the Buckley 1860 book is a fretted Ashborn.
Comment by Tim Twiss on March 23, 2015 at 6:32pm

I love fretless, and trying to see how far you can push it, but I really feel something like those fretted Ashborns would be the "go to" instrument for many of these, especially those in the upper ranges and using more complex chords.

Comment by Strumelia on March 23, 2015 at 6:40pm

How can you be sure though that they weren't flush frets, fret markers?   There were lots of scribe and inlaid lines indicating note positions back then I believe.  The Stichter had scribed fret lines, for example.

Comment by Paul Draper on March 23, 2015 at 6:42pm
I very much agree with you.
Comment by Paul Draper on March 23, 2015 at 6:49pm
Lisa, I suppose that could be true. I was going on info gleaned from Gura and Bollman's book "America's instrument".
Comment by Tim Twiss on March 23, 2015 at 6:51pm

Can't be. Just guessing by the execution of the material. I don't know that flush frets really help. It's about intonation, and getting it quickly.

Comment by Tim Twiss on March 23, 2015 at 6:53pm

Also, seeing that picture of Swain Buckley with that fretted monster he played..pre - 1860. I just bet James Buckley had his hands on the best.,

Comment by Tim Twiss on March 23, 2015 at 9:17pm

I've never moved a bridge. Rather, I have it marked specifically. I rely on tiny grains of wood to mark my "spots" up high. Moving it totally shifts your intonation. Then again, I do not play anything of the magnitude of a huge Stichter.

Comment by Strumelia on March 23, 2015 at 9:59pm

Hmm, I move my bridges all the time, both in minstrel and OT (on fretless only of course), mostly to accommodate diverse changes of key and playing situations.   I don't seem to need more than about a minute to relocate my brain and fingers after a shift.

That said, I must reveal that my own 'Stichter' is not huge by any means!

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