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.

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?

I’m thinking about using gut strings. Gamut also makes Lutes. What banjo do you use them on? I’m thinking about using them for a Vintage turn of the last century banjo and to get an authentic sound from a reproduction Minstrel banjo. 

John Masciale said:

I get mine from gamut strings. I get them varnished.  A set of strings can last a long time.

 

I use them on my minstrel era banjos.  There are people who also like them on classic banjos.  The difference in sound is subtle. I far prefer the gut strings.  Although I have done sound studies comparing modern banjos with minstrel era banjos I have not tried comparing string types.  I suspect that the gut strings would have slightly higher harmonic content than nylgut, but that is purely a subjective guess. Temperature would definitely be a factor.

Michael Cypret said:

I’m thinking about using gut strings. Gamut also makes Lutes. What banjo do you use them on? I’m thinking about using them for a Vintage turn of the last century banjo and to get an authentic sound from a reproduction Minstrel banjo. 

John Masciale said:

I get mine from gamut strings. I get them varnished.  A set of strings can last a long time.

 

Thanks much!

John Masciale said:

I use them on my minstrel era banjos.  There are people who also like them on classic banjos.  The difference in sound is subtle. I far prefer the gut strings.  Although I have done sound studies comparing modern banjos with minstrel era banjos I have not tried comparing string types.  I suspect that the gut strings would have slightly higher harmonic content than nylgut, but that is purely a subjective guess. Temperature would definitely be a factor.

Michael Cypret said:

I’m thinking about using gut strings. Gamut also makes Lutes. What banjo do you use them on? I’m thinking about using them for a Vintage turn of the last century banjo and to get an authentic sound from a reproduction Minstrel banjo. 

John Masciale said:

I get mine from gamut strings. I get them varnished.  A set of strings can last a long time.

 

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