Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Converse yellow book. One of my favorite walk-arounds.

Views: 213

Comment by Paul Draper on September 30, 2014 at 8:26am
Strumelia, thank you for the kind words. The action on the gourd is high (maybe a tad more than on my minstrel banjos - which also have high action, esp. the Boucher). The bridge for the gourd is different (I'll get the dimensions in a moment...) -- Jay made the bridge (spruce I believe) from the innards of a very old piano, and is thicker than other bridges. This gourd has a clearer tone when played in front of the head, out over the neck - but not too far up.
Comment by Paul Draper on September 30, 2014 at 8:37am
Also I like it in the A/E tuning...
Comment by John Masciale on September 30, 2014 at 8:59am

Paul, that's interesting, the action on my gourd is also higher than it is on my hoop banjos.  I was wondering if it is because of the way I built the gourd.  Next one around I was going to try to put a sharper angle on the neck.  The temptation the first time around was to put the neck straight through the gourd.

Comment by Strumelia on September 30, 2014 at 2:51pm

That's an interesting point John.   Although many folks play complex tunes on their gourd banjos (and do so wonderfully I might add), I tend to to think of my gourd as being more simple and organic in character...more intimate.  I play more rustic or simple tunes on it than what I might be brave enough to attempt on other banjos.  That would naturally avoid the upper areas of the neck where high action or sharp neck angle might be problematic.  So in that respect one might be freer to experiment with more drastic action.  (sounds dangerous...lol) 

Comment by Strumelia on September 30, 2014 at 3:07pm

Tim said: An audience thinks it is all one song...ha ha.

Yes, I suspect the same happens in any music genre that the audience is not familiar with.  Sometimes when playing oldtime fiddle tunes at a farmer's market for example, a person will ask me if we can play some well known bluegrass or countrywestern song (we don't play either genre), and I'll just say "O, that was actually what we were playing for that last tune- didn't you recognize it?"    ;D

Comment by Strumelia on September 30, 2014 at 7:24pm

Endless and inane is as endless and inane does, I always say!

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