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For enthusiasts of early banjo
My new gourd banjo. Maple neck, 4 strings, hand carved walnut pegs.
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OK, 1 take. This is just after I put the strings on and tuned it. I figured Coal Black Rose would be a good Juba to add. Some of the hesitation in my playing is just getting used to the instrument.
That's so neat John! I love how deep it sounds. Hey- be careful though with your sleeve cuff- I think it might be touching the strings and muting things a bit.
Calf or goat skin?
Can't wait to hear more on it!
It is goat skin. I bought a gourd on eBay and it was too thin walled. I spoke to Jeff Menzies about that and he recommended I get directly in touch with a gourd farmer. The second gourd was much better. Since I am giving a talk at the end of the month I wanted a more representative gourd banjo. I am also working on my classic banjo and learning a schottische.
I really like the sound of a gourd banjo. I like the deep, round sound.
Nice sound. I wish I had the talent/nerve to try to build an instrument.
I have built three gourd banjos. I documented how I did it on my web pages. You could start by skimming those pages to see if you might be interested in starting that journey.
Gourd Banjo 1
Gourd Banjo 2
Gourd Banjo 3
My latest banjo is a huge Minstrel type banjo with a bent maple hoop.
It mostly takes a lot of hours and a lot of persistence in the face of failure. It is also a lot of fun, and nothing beats making music on an instrument that you have built yourself.
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