My banjo arrived today and thanks to Tim Twiss' videos in the lessons section I'm tuned up and plunking away in minutes. Wow are these beautiful things. I have some things to learn. Once I can plunk my way through a ditty or two I hope to post some videos for feedback. I should add that this website has offered loads of advice, knowledge and inspiration. Thanks everyone.
What did you get? I forgot what you said.
It's a Hartel Boucher, #118. Once I stop gazing at it - it's incredible looking - I may sit down and play it. Heh.
And I'll also definitely be spending some quality time with Briggs and Rice in the coming months as well as the Lessons section of this website. Far fewer resources existed a year or so ago when this banjo bug bit me like a bear trap.
I also have to admit I was worried about the hide head and gut strings. But I find myself romancing the texture, look, smell and - of course - the sound of the non-synthetic materials. All I need to do is hide it when my vegan friends visit (though I'm about 90% vegan myself). Heh.
Oh yes. You are going to like it....more with each passing day. I got mine and the original setup had a synthetic head and nylgut. I retooled with calfskin and gut, and it is sweeter than ever.....very stable. I especially enjoy the beauty of the design...it is as classic as a Stratocaster is to the 20th century guitar player.