Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

A smallish gourd from a farm just south of town, a leftover chunk of swamp ash from the basement, pre-enjoyed gut strings, and an old warped drum head that I somehow inherited years ago when a percussionist buddy of mine died. The gourd was so small I decided to make a "pre-Sweeney" four-string twanger. Cash outlay - about $16. (Canadian) for gourd, tacks, and fiddle pegs. It's not really loud, but it ain't bad for something made out of a vegetable. I'll post a tune on it soon.

Views: 105

Comment by Paul Draper on March 31, 2014 at 6:38pm
Looks great, Ian! Can't wait to hear it.
Comment by Andy Chase on April 1, 2014 at 10:09am

Love the grain on the neck... almost looks like oak!

Comment by Ian Bell on April 1, 2014 at 6:58pm
Thanks Andy - The grain was a pleasant surprise that wasn't a all apparent until I rubbed a little stain on. Maybe I should pretend I planned it all along!
Comment by Strumelia on April 2, 2014 at 12:27pm

God, you people are all so incredibly talented!!!   D'OH!!!

I can't believe you just threw this together from 'spare parts'....it's gorgeous!

Comment by Strumelia on April 2, 2014 at 12:27pm

Did you leave off the low bass string?

Comment by Ian Bell on April 2, 2014 at 12:35pm
Yes - I think the prevailing opinion (this week) is that the bass string is the one Sweeney (or whomever) added, back whenever it was he/they added it. Exhaustive research may eventually reveal that the important string Sweeney added was actually the one he used to hang the instrument around his neck.


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