Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Old Johnny Boker on horse hair strung gourd banjo.

Briggs 1855

Views: 41

Comment by Strumelia on November 12, 2018 at 9:53am

Very nice Brice! Those horsehair strings on your gourd sound great.


With horsehair strings, one would need to bring a backup instrument to a gig... if you break a string it's a bit of a project to twist and put in place a new one.

You'll find the string will very slowly break hairs (mostly at the bridge slot which acts like a saw over time) and the string will eventually become unreliable and need replacing. The fewer hairs remaining on the string, the greater the chance of it breaking when under tension.  Perhaps more reliable (and cheaper) than gut however- which sometimes breaks with little advance warning.

Comment by Brice Alms on November 12, 2018 at 10:13am

Thank you for the advice. Thankfully I have a ton of hair left to use.

Comment by Ian Bell on November 13, 2018 at 10:33pm

I don't check in to the forum as often as I used to, but this kind of thing is why I still do! Great project. I also enjoyed Stumelia's video of string making for the Scandinavian instrument.

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