Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Considering buying a Bell banjo. Any thoughts on the sound or quality of build? 

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I am very impressed by the Bell banjos that I have seen.  Terry really understands what he is doing, and makes a great product.

I absolutely love my Bell minstrel banjo.   :)   Some folks find it takes longer to get than they anticipate... or not.  Just something to consider if you are in a rush.

Thanks for the input. Terry seems like a top notch kind of guy.

What tuning do you use for your banjo?

Mostly "Briggs" tuning- low bass for playing in G.  Some tunes I retune to 'high bass' to play those in D... it simply means raising my bass string a step, and re-locating the tune's tonic to D rather than G.

Do you have Tim Twiss's beginner minstrel book and cd ?- they are very helpful.  And here is Tim's 'how to tune' video:


Terry is great and makes a solid banjo but in my personal experience have found he has a lil trouble meeting his own deadlines. That said I own two Bell Banjos and a Tambo.

So if you don't mind waiting you should be good. I also picked up a banjo from his eBay. I got a great deal and it was ready to ship so I got that one pretty fast.

Thanks, I saw he has one on eBay which I will try.

I'm on my 5th or 6th Terry Bell banjo--can't remember which, and am waiting for the next one--a special model, this time all by Terry. I've done mostly build/finish myself and had one really great tack head and have a super gourd banjo built by Terry. Sound, quality of build, quality of materials, ease of doing it yourself if you are so inclined and overall satisfaction --way above average to be sure!

Thanks for all the input I now have one and having fun
That's great! Did ya get the one on eBay? His Banjos do sound great.

I actually *just* received a beautiful coffin and banjo from him. Will post photos when I get a chance.

Wow that was fast.  Congrats and enjoy!   :)

Just bought a used Bell Boucher today. I am new to minstrel but it sounds deep and loud, and well built too. Terry Bell is a fine craftsman. AI am going to enjoy leaning to play this elegant machine.

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