Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I'll admit, I just finished an ugly gourd banjo. My first gourd build and I found it more challenging then a regular minstrel banjo to build. I worked very hard at stretching the skin over the gourd and getting as many wrinkles out of the head as possible before I tacked it in place but, it sure doesn't look like I put much effort onto it!. It's wrinkled quite a bit but, now that I have strings on it, WOW! It does sound very unique and I can tell it is going to be my favorite! I will get a few photos up soon I hope. Play on!

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Where is the head wrinkling? If it is wrinkling on the top and not the sides then the gourd may be too thin collapsed a bit. If it sounds good then that's okay, but just watch the gourd to see if it starts to flex too much or starts to crack under the pressure. When the skin is drying it will tighten WAY up and put a lot of stress on the gourd.

If you want to bring it by some day and talk gourds, let me know. I have a technique for installing skins with no wrinkles that works pretty much perfectly.

I've only got one gourd banjo kicking around. But maybe I should use this to build up my stock, as I'm finally moderately through my back orders.

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