Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Pompey Ran Away on early gourd banjo with horse hair strings

Sorry for it being a little out of tune, I think the horse hair strings are still adjusting.

Views: 38

Comment by John Masciale on Friday
It is very warm sounding.
Comment by James Pentecost on Friday

I have often wondered about the practicality of the horsehair banjo strings mentioned  in the early accounts. Thanks for the demonstration.

Comment by Strumelia on Friday

I'm impressed Brice.  I've made twisted horsehair strings for my jouhikko, and I know that it's not so easy to do. You really have to wrestle to 'tame' them- they keep wanting to go their own crazy way.  Would help to have an extra hand.   

This sounds lovely!

Comment by Strumelia on Friday

Incidentally, for anyone interested there is a video on making twisted horsehair strings by Michael King of the UK.  Here, Michael makes and installs strings on a Finnish style jouhikko (aka tagelharpa) ...actually the instrument in the video is the lovely custom jouhikko he made for me:


It's a good video on how you make horsehair strings. I've used the video to make my own as well.

Comment by Brice Alms on Friday

That's the same video that inspired me to try it on my gourd banjo.

Comment by Strumelia on Friday

Yep, I can't see any other instructional video online for making such twisted horsehair strings. He made tat video 7 years ago when he was finishing up making my jouhikko.

As we speak, Michael King is making me a, Icelandic bowed langspil, I should get it by Christmas. It's been about 2 years in the planning.  I just sent him the kolrosing designs last night. 
He also made me a very wonderful French epinette des Vosges last year. That's sort of like a very small mountain dulcimer. 

BTW, I'm not rich- I was only able to get these instruments after selling a couple of high end mandolins I had bought 20 years ago that i just wasn't playing anymore.  I love when I can sell an old instrument to finance a new one...it's kind of guilt free.   :D


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