Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Late 19th century English minstrel banjo, awaiting setup

Views: 165

Location: Rhode Island

Comment by Christopher Stetson on January 26, 2015 at 11:39pm

Nice!

Comment by David Floyd on January 27, 2015 at 11:01pm

Thanks, Christopher. Now to deal with stringing with Nylgut  for the first time! Wish me luck.

Comment by Christopher Stetson on January 27, 2015 at 11:17pm

Good luck, and don't hurry it, especially the smallest diameters.  They take a long time, about a week or so, to stretch up to pitch in my experience.  But be patient and you should be fine.  Have you strung in nylon before, or only steel?

Comment by Christopher Stetson on January 27, 2015 at 11:18pm

PS are you planning to tune to A or C?

Comment by David Floyd on January 27, 2015 at 11:26pm

Thank you for the tips. It became obvious it wasn't happening in one sitting. Only strung steel before. I am inclined to go with Chaff's C tuning, maybe less likely to bust strings that way.   

Comment by Christopher Stetson on January 28, 2015 at 12:06am

Yeah, but what's the string length?  An English banjo of that era likely was intended to be tuned C for the 4th string.  But doesn't hurt to start way low, and bring it up until it sings!

Comment by David Floyd on January 28, 2015 at 10:33am

Sage advice once again. Thank you! Will keep you posted!

Comment by Joel Hooks on January 29, 2015 at 7:42pm

The English were pretty late to the banjo craze only really getting into it in the early 1880s.  Most English banjos you see are 1880s+.  By that time banjos were tuned to "concert pitch" or standard tuning (fourth to C, etc.).  In fact, they even used that standard of pitch for their notation and "C" notation was known as then "English System" through the turn of 1900.

Your banjo was most likely to be tuned to standard tuning C when built.

Comment by Joel Hooks on January 29, 2015 at 7:44pm

BTW, cool banjo!  I've admired many a English banjo since getting into this game.

Comment by David Floyd on January 29, 2015 at 11:30pm

Thanks, Joel! Yeah, she is sweet. Bought on faith from a place in the UK, neck is straight, with all the hardware intact. I will, as per you and Christopher, tune to GCGBD to start with.

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