For enthusiasts of early banjo
From James Buckley's 1868 book.
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.
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.
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.
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.,
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.
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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