Banjo Anyone????????????????

Cougar

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I used to have a 5-string, long-neck open back. I'd definitely recommend a 5-string, whatever you get.
 

bobouz

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I owned & played a number of banjos in the ‘70s, but eventually my interest in it dwindled down to nothing. It’s all about the tone & flexibility of the instrument (or lack there-of), which lies within narrow parameters. I still enjoy it in a band setting, but I like to play on my own & banjo just isn’t cut out for that. Imho, mandolin is the way to go if you want a change of pace from the guitar - so much more soulful.

But If you must persist, I finally found happiness with a late ‘70s Japanese-made Ibanez Artist model that was a finely crafted & tastefully ornate instrument. Recently, two of them were for sale on Reverb, one in near-mint condition for $1,100. I honestly started to salavate for a moment. But beware, most of the entry level stuff from that era (like the Madeira models) were pretty awful instruments. Some of those exact same cheapo designs persist to this day, and I wouldn’t give anyone a penny for one of them. Bottom line: Do the research & buy a good one!
 

Cougar

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I used to have a 5-string, long-neck open back. I'd definitely recommend a 5-string, whatever you get.
I learned by trying to play "Little Maggie" by Sandy Bull back in the day. (I had a girlfriend named Maggie. :) ) I could get through the first few iterations - until he really cranked it up - but that was OK with me....

 

Sal

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I learned by trying to play "Little Maggie" by Sandy Bull back in the day. (I had a girlfriend named Maggie. :) ) I could get through the first few iterations - until he really cranked it up - but that was OK with me....

Nice. I'd never heard of Sandy Bull.

And I never got very far with my banjo either but here's a song that makes me want to take it out and dust it off. Noam Pikelny with the beautiful voice of Aoife O'Donovan.

 

wileypickett

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richardp69

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Nice. I'd never heard of Sandy Bull.

And I never got very far with my banjo either but here's a song that makes me want to take it out and dust it off. Noam Pikelny with the beautiful voice of Aoife O'Donovan.

That was really nice. Sure wish I could play the fiddle. Always loved the sound.
 

bobouz

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Any recommendations out there?????
Richard - Elderly just listed the exact banjo I referenced above that I owned in the 70s: It’s a circa 1976 Ibanez 591 Artist, in excellent condition, and they’re asking $1350 for it. A fine & beautiful instrument. Edit: The noted railroad spikes are for capoing up the 5th string. ‘D’ tuners are for doing a slide-type effect that Scruggs developed.
 
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S100

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I'm thinking of picking up a Banjo to try to learn a little bit. I want something decent but that won't break the bank. Also something that's thought of well enough that if I decide it's not for me will be something I can sell and that there may be a buyer for.

I'm thinking with pup but that wouldn't be a show stopper.

Any recommendations out there?????
I got a Fender Rustler open back. I love it but I don’t know any better. It’s a lot of fun, though.
 

richardp69

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Richard - Elderly just listed the exact banjo I referenced above that I owned in the 70s: It’s a circa 1976 Ibanez 591 Artist, in excellent condition, and they’re asking $1350 for it. A fine & beautiful instrument. Edit: The noted railroad spikes are for capoing up the 5th string. ‘D’ tuners are for doing a slide-type effect that Scruggs developed.
hmmm. I'll go take a look. I did pop for that Mando/Guitar thing from Gold Tone so I may have to hold off now for a bit. I seem to say that a lot and then never seem to hold off all that much. Thanks though.
 

wileypickett

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Open back banjos (preferred for clawhammer style) and resonator banjos (mainly used for bluegrass) are very different instruments. (And let's not even get into all the dfferent tone ring choices!)

IMO your best bet, Richard, is to visit a good music store specializing in acoustic instruments, and get a sense of what satisfies that itch.

Near where I live is the Music Emporium, which has been selling guitars and banjos since the '70s. After trying everything they had a few years ago I settled on a Rickard 12" Maple Ridge open back, with a Dobson tone-ring. The workmanship is second to none; the sound is simply fantastic; and the neck is wider than your standard bluegrass style banjo, which makes it more comfortable for hands used to guitar necks.

Despite all the jokes, the banjo is wonderful instrument. Playing guitar influenced my banjo playing, and vice versa.

Good luck!
 

D30Man

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See Hans' book page 166! Can't paste it here, it's Hans' copyright.

One of the Guild made Banjos lived in Dallas, TX back in 2017, but it had a dot neck, not the fancy neck as shown in Hans book. See 5th article here, the owner was even willing to sell it:


I don't think this one below would fly however: :unsure:

View attachment 12199


There were even Banjo stings offered in 2013 and 2014!

View attachment 12200

And as already shown, the Madeira by Guild Banjo:

View attachment 12201



Since Deering was mentioned:

There was a banjo manufacturer Vega in the past. The Vega company was founded in Boston back in 1881. Arguable the most popular Vega product at the time would be the 5-string banjo that was designed and also used by the noted folk singer Pete Seeger.

View attachment 12203 View attachment 12202

C.F.Martin acquired the Vega rights from the Bostonian Nelson Family in May of 1970. In March of 1979 C.F.Martin sold the Vega name to the Galaxy Trading Company of South Korea.
And in 1989, Vega (at least the Banjo rights) was bought by the Deering Banjo company which continued the storied history of Vega musical instruments.




Ralf
That Guild banjo you show in the photo above, anyone know if it was an arched back???
 

SFIV1967

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That Guild banjo you show in the photo above, anyone know if it was an arched back???
That looked like a self assembled one to me. So I have no further info about that one.

1610813522585.png


Except in Hans book, I have never seen a picture of the real Guild made Banjo version(s). So Hans is probably the only one who would know.

Ralf
 
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