Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I seek advice for locating a suitable vendor of real gut strings.  Many thanks in advance.

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That's cool Brian.  :)

I have a Cretan Lyra as well, that I play like a tiny cello on my lap.  Wish I had more time to get better at it!

Now you guys got me thinking I can make a gourd fiddle. What's the bow made of and is it similar to traditional bow? Not sure how to make a bow. Very neat stuff.

Look up Google images of lyre bows, psaltery bows, and rebec bows.  It can be as simple as a bent stick with horsehair in the notches.

If you are interested in gourd fiddles, you might take a look at the West African varieties of one-string fiddles, since they are played by the same cultures who play banjo ancestors.  My favorite name for them is the onomatopoeic "nyanyar" but "riti" is also used.  Lots of other names too.  Their bows are the simple sort Strumelia just described--a bent stick with horsehair in the notches.  Here's a YouTube video of a guy playing the riti.


Thanks Paul & Lisa I will be sure to post any attempts at a gourd fiddle. Also seems all this gut talk sent out the gut signal cuz my gut string set from Dr horsehair has finally shipped today. I'm hoping they are super fat but will follow up once they arrive.

I had a gut feeling they'd be shipped today.

Boo. Not fair.

John, what type of varnish do you use?

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