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For enthusiasts of early banjo
This is played on an instrument made by Jeff Kangas. It is based upon the specs found in the Banjo Database http://www.banjodatabase.org/3DFullDetails.asp?ID=102&imgtype=undefined&title=undefined
Thinking they might be Cris Sand strings...?
That's one heck of a frailing scoop on that banjer! Same 25.5" scale length as my regular oldtime openback banjos.
Very lush and elegant. As always, nice playing Tim.
Yes, my Hartel banjo is a copy of an 1880s fretless minstrel banjo that belongs to Reed Martin. Both mine and the original have a deep 'frailing scoop' as it's called, cut out from the neck.
Not called "frailing scoop" until fairly recently (late 1960s?). It is an aesthetic design taken from tack heads. Period documentation (like the now famous "Dobson" silver bell patent) indicate that it was more likely used for ease of changing a head. It was also mentioned in several places that since "no one played way up there" they did not need that part of the fingerboard anyway so they cut it out to make it more fancy.
Look at the banjos held my minstrels in my photos section for more examples. You will notice that none are playing "Roundpeak style" over that area.
Yes, I'm sure it was not called a 'frailing scoop' back during early minstrel show era. That's what most folks call it today, and it does serve the distinct purpose of not annoyingly hitting the fingerboard with clicking nails or picks when one is playing over the neck. I myself found it really annoying when clawhammering on a banjo on that part of the neck (which gives a very beautiful mellow resonant tone, at the 'halfway point' of the strings).. on a banjo with no scoop my fingers were hitting the fingerboard and clicking in a very unpleasant way. Sometimes I play down on the head and sometimes over the scoop, depending on the musical setting and and the effect I'm wanting. :D
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