Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Views: 103

Albums: Liana
Location: Liana

Comment by Chris Prieto on February 25, 2018 at 11:39pm

New toy? Scalloped frets look fun

Comment by David Kinney on March 4, 2018 at 1:28pm

Hi Kevin, beautiful banjo. Doc's I presume.  I'm new here.  Beginner.  I've never seen an authentic minstrel banjo.  The only minstrel banjo I've seen is my Bell Boucher, a kit.  In a previous post I asked this question, " How far are the strings above the fingerboard at the 12th fret position?"  Stumelia replied, " 5/16 inch."  Mine is about the same.

I've built a few guitars and banjos,  5/16 at the 12th fret would be considered unplayable. Am I missing something here?  I know Doc's banjos are designed for clawhammer and frailing.  I imagine they are more than adequate for stroke style?  His setup:  .040 over the 1st fret and .125 over the 12th.  I've fretted mine and am considering cutting a 3 degree angle on the heel of the neck, lowering the action to near Doc's specs.

Can one play stroke style on a lowered action, or is there a reason for a high action?  Thanks, Dave

Comment by Brice Alms on March 6, 2018 at 12:45pm

David, I can play stroke on a modern banjo just as well as I can play on a early banjo, although when I play stroke on a modern banjo, I'm often find myself accidently hitting the head on every note because I'm so used to using a higher action.   here is a great web site if you want to see some original minstrel banjos, there's 193 early banjos, including original Boucher banjos, here's the link. http://www.banjodatabase.dreamhosters.com/collections/browse

Comment by David Kinney on March 11, 2018 at 12:05pm

Thank you Bruce.  I'm building a minstrel banjo (fretted) and also what I'll call a minstrel banjo guitar.  The 6 string banjo was invented in the late 1800's tuning ??  The banjo guitar (banjitar) came later.  I'll post pictures when I finish them.  Thanks again, Dave

Comment by David Kinney on March 11, 2018 at 12:40pm

Hi Bruce,  I downloaded that banjo database you provided. Thanks a bunch. I t has provided me with many  construction and design alternatives. Dave

Comment by Kevin Ransberger on February 7, 2019 at 9:06pm
Hi David, sorry it took so long for me to respond. Yes it is Doc’s banjo and she’s a beauty.


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