Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

     I'd appreciate it if someone would watch this on you tube and then answer my question.

http://youtu.be/guBfEzqVgeQ

    

      My question is this:  Was this banjo head tensioning system ever used  on a minstrel era banjo?

 

     It's like they used on some early drums , but would it be appropriate on a banjo? I like it because it doesn't use metal hardware which I do not have the equipment to build. And It does give the ability to adjust tension  somewhat.

 

      Any advice appreciated

      R H

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Direct answer: I've never seen an original that used this system.

Indirect answer: Bob Thornburg and Dave Ball use this system on their gourd banjos, I'm sure others have as well. I see no reason not to use it.

Even more indirect answer: If you showed up at the Antietam Early Banjo Gathering (AEBG) with one, I suspect we'd all be hovering around it saying things like, "Cool!", "Awesome!" and "Dude!" ;-)

I had a Thornburg banjo with this tensioning system and it didn't work. The head was slack and I never could tighten it. In fact the tensioners seemed to have no effect at all. The fellow in the video seems to have figured a better way to make that system work. To his great credit Bob replaced the banjo several years after I bought it with a beautiful tack head one that is a great player

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