Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Bart McNeil
  • three years
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Bart McNeil's Friends

  • Dena Lee
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Bart McNeil's Discussions

Dan Knowles minstral banjo building thread on banjo hangout

Started this discussion. Last reply by Moschella Banjos Sep 6, 2011. 1 Reply

When I originally saw Dan's thread on the Banjo Hangout i was very impressed with his documentation of banjo building. The whole thing, if I recall, from wood shaping through metal fixtures, shaping…Continue

Neck and Dowel Stick as One Unit

Started this discussion. Last reply by Bart McNeil Sep 5, 2011. 7 Replies

Have been building several minstral banjos and it occures to me that the dowel stick could easily be built as an integral extension of the neck... This would avoid the obvious difficulties with an…Continue

home-built banjo

Started this discussion. Last reply by Bo Aug 11, 2011. 1 Reply

I am about to start building a minstrel banjo... hopefully a litttle more sophisticated than a tack head. I won't have much difficulty with the woodworking aspect but am wondering who (if anyone) is…Continue

Building a minstrel banjo

Started this discussion. Last reply by Bart McNeil Apr 13, 2011. 2 Replies

A few months ago there was a terrific series on just about all aspects of building minstrel banjo(s). I thought I had saved it but have since lost it and cannot seem to find it. Can some2one point me…Continue

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Profile Information

How did you find out about Ning Minstrel Banjo?
Interested in banjo
How long have you played banjo?
three years
What kind of banjo(s) do you own?
tenors: unknown, unknown, Goodtime

Bart McNeil's Blog

Introducing... me

Posted on January 4, 2011 at 12:28pm 0 Comments

Thought I would introduce myself as I am new to this site.


I have been playing tenor banjo for roughly three years, an outgrouth of my interest in guitar, mandolin and banjo mandolin.. My focus musically is pre WW2 blues and have been surprised to learn that the banjo can be a terrific blues instrument.... I had been away from self-made music for quite a few years so when I began playing guitar again it led to other stringed instruments and the banjo really  struck a…


Comment Wall (4 comments)

At 11:57am on January 4, 2011, Rob MacKillop said…
Hi Bart, good to see you here! I had no idea you would be interested in the minstrel-style banjo. This is the place for it.
At 6:28pm on January 4, 2011, Bart McNeil said…


Yep... I am a compulsive do-it-yourselfer... If I want it and can't afford it I repair one or build one. That's how I get most of my instruments.... and occasionally they work out way beyond my expectations... My $1oo tenor banjo is the equivilant of a nice Vega. But of course sometimes I'm not so lucky. I think I counted 17 instruments at last count... Most in need of some work.  Some will obviously be wall-hangers... but I enjoy all of them.

I have a nice piece of maple and most of the needed tools so why not build a fretless banjo... Yours is a beauty by the way. I haven't decided which fretless to model mine after yet. Just got the Gura and Bollman book for Christmas so am still deciding.




At 6:43am on April 8, 2011, Dena Lee said…
Thanks, Bart. It is helpful to get feedback from people who appreciate the instruments. I really wanted to showcase the diversity of vintage instruments and the complex sparceness they possess. Feel free to share my tracks, I am happy for the critiques. Do you have recordings that I can access?
At 2:57am on February 5, 2012, Bob said…

I just uploaded a picture of the homemade banjo you can take a look at.

My avatar is a slightly modified picture of the fifth string peg on that particular banjo.

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