Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Setting the neck on a double-headed banjo shaped like a peanut is not the easiest thing to do.

Views: 101

Comment by Tim Twiss on October 1, 2011 at 10:18pm
Beautiful. Isn't it Adam Hurt tat plays one like this? What is the main point, or effect, one hopes to get from one of these? 
Comment by Moschella Banjos on October 1, 2011 at 10:21pm
this was a custom order for someone who came to me specifically to build a banjo like this. the reasons for his interest in the form were purely aesthetic, and i thought it would be an interesting project. it sure sounds nice and is really playable despite its weird shape.
Comment by Tim Twiss on October 1, 2011 at 10:33pm
It does look totally cool. It has some effect on bringing out certain overtones, perhaps?
Comment by Moschella Banjos on October 1, 2011 at 10:39pm
thanks, tim. you can never really tell with these what has an effect on what, since gourds are so unique and asymmetrical to begin with. it has a very crisp, even tone, which i attribute mostly to the fact that the geometry of this particular gourd dictated that the head surface be pretty small. i'm sure the second head contributes something or other, but for the most part it sounds like a standard gourd banjo to me. of course, in the hands of an actual good player, it will definitely make some magic.
Comment by Tim Twiss on October 1, 2011 at 10:42pm
I'll be anxious to hear it in the hands of the recipient...moving the right hand does have a lot of effect on tone on timbre. Lot's of real estate to experiment with. Congrats! 
Comment by Ian Bell on October 2, 2011 at 8:00am
What a great looking thing! The shaping of the heel around the top gourd is mighty impressive.
Comment by Bart McNeil on October 2, 2011 at 8:40am

A comment for Moschella Banjos:

I agree! That is one interesting goard banjo!

Am interested in building some goard banjos and am having trouble with rotting goards... Do you buy dried goards or do you dry them yourself? Can you clean them out before drying or do you dry them totally before cleaning them out? I tend to be impatient and it apparently takes many moons to dry them naturally. Or can you buy them already dried?



Comment by Strumelia on October 2, 2011 at 10:30pm
Great lookin banjer there Jeff!
Comment by Moschella Banjos on October 3, 2011 at 7:44am

Hi Bart -


I get my gourds either from Welburn or a couple other places in california. They come dried and cleaned, which would be a lot of work otherwise.




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