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Old 03-06-2012, 06:42 PM   #41
Fly-By-Night
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Originally Posted by Engineer4beer
Signed up just to thank you for introducing me to Trampled by Turtles...


Ha awesome man! Always glad to plug bands from my home state. If you ever get the chance to see these guys live, do it! Great live show, lots of energy. I've them 5 or 6 times and it never gets old
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:23 PM   #42
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That sounds like it would be very awkward to play, especially with the fifth string. I might have to borrow my sisters bow and try it. I think maybe if I tried some up the neck seventh chords and bowed 16th notes, maybe with some heavy delay and reverb. Actually, I might try that on a song I'm recording, and double the guitar up an octave.




Mostly just roll open chords with it. Sounds pretty fiddle-ish.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:31 PM   #43
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I've tried it a little bit more. I might try recording a little something, just for fun. I've mainly been doing single string work on the first string, and the main probably with that is the open strings resonating a lot, so I'd need to use a little bit of whatever to mute them.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:38 PM   #44
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I'd really love to get a banjo but right now I can't afford one. Tempted to make a simple one if I had any wood to use as a neck....
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:16 PM   #45
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I'd really love to get a banjo but right now I can't afford one. Tempted to make a simple one if I had any wood to use as a neck....


W4RP1G has one that he made using a cookie tin as a pot, try asking him for advice.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #46
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I have a cookie tin and plans for that actually! But I'm in a college dorm so I'd need to invest in a few hand tools and find something I could shape into a neck using hand tools and lots of sand paper.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:56 AM   #47
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Would anybody be kind enough to give a brief comparison, and pro and con, between an open backed banjo and a resonator?
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:08 PM   #48
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Hey, for future reference, is it worth learning to play a traditional banjo, or, as a guitar player, would it be better for me to eliminate the learning curve and just get a banjitar?
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:19 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Captaincranky
Would anybody be kind enough to give a brief comparison, and pro and con, between an open backed banjo and a resonator?


Resonator banjos are louder. This is useful for... when you need to play louder. At the same time, a louder instrument means it will be harder to learn to pick harder, so you won't project as well, and it might not sound as good.

Resonators are a bit heavier, though the exact amount depends on the materials, but usually open backs weigh a couple of pounds or so less than a similar resonator banjo. Open backs are generally a bit cheaper as well, though usually not by too much. Keep in mind that resonators can be removed, though it takes a decent chunk of time.

Tonally, I really am not sure of the difference, since I haven't personally played enough different banjos. Open backs generally are preferable for old time tunes and clawhammering, and resonators are preferable for bluegrass, since they are louder and therefore better suited to playing with several other musicians.

Open backs are generally a bit cheaper as well, though usually not by too much. A that's really all I can say.

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Originally Posted by Natrone
Hey, for future reference, is it worth learning to play a traditional banjo, or, as a guitar player, would it be better for me to eliminate the learning curve and just get a banjitar?


It depends on if you just want the tone of a banjo or if you want to actually be able to play banjo licks. A banjitar will get you the sound, and it also has a superior low range, being able to go a minor 7th lower than a 5 string (both in their respective "standard" tuning).

The thing about the 5 string banjo though is that a lot of the magic of the instrument really comes from the high 5th string, particularly for Scruggs style or Keith style bluegrass playing as well as clawhammer. These can be a bit difficult to accurately reproduce without the 5fth string, since many roll patterns rely on being able to use the thumb for both the lowest and highest notes of the arpeggio.

That being said it certainly isn't impossible, considering the number of guitar players there are that mimic bluegrass banjo on guitars.

If you're looking to play things along the lines of a plectrum banjo (4 string), a banjitar should be able to handle that, though a banjitar wouldn't work very well for tenor banjo tuning, which is tuned like a viola.

So it really depends on why you're looking to move to banjo.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by theogonia777
Resonator banjos are louder. This is useful for... when you need to play louder. At the same time, a louder instrument means it will be harder to learn to pick harder, so you won't project as well, and it might not sound as good. .......[ ].....
Thanks for taking the time to reply. and for the info.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:09 AM   #51
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Super Duper Helpful Stuff

Thanks! I'm more looking to just be able to have the tone of a banjo when I write more folk-sounding songs. Sounds like a banjitar is a pretty solid choice for that!
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:39 AM   #52
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I have a nylon banjo that sounds so mellow & is a bit more forgiving when an errant note is hit. I ressurected it from junk even made my own clear banjo skin for it. I figured putting a piezo in it was a good idea too lol

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Old 03-22-2012, 04:23 PM   #53
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So I was watching some video the other day with some guy playing banjo. It was a five string, and the 5th string started at the nut rather than the 5th fret, but still tuned to a G when open. I was thinking that would be cool to try, since that way it would solve many of the inherent problems cause by the 5th string, though I'd imagine it would have to probably be like a 9 or an 8 even to tune up to G.

Also have any of you ever played a long neck banjo?
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:43 PM   #54
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I have a nylon banjo that sounds so mellow & is a bit more forgiving when an errant note is hit. I ressurected it from junk even made my own clear banjo skin for it. I figured putting a piezo in it was a good idea too lol



Oh my that is pretty... sound clip?

I'm still looking for a banjo I can afford. I'm looking into repairing and building string instruments(studying under a luthier starting this summer) and so looking out for a good deal in any condition.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:45 AM   #55
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:51 AM   #56
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That's like... the worst news ever.

RIP
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #57
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So I made this really cool flat pick out of a piece of an index card the other day. It was the best flat pick for banjo ever. It was soft enough that that clankity clank sound of the pick hitting the string was substantially reduced, but it was sturdy enough to pick fairly quickly. I've been trying to duplicate it, but with little to no success.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:00 PM   #58
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I went through that till I just decided STUFF IT & just use my fingernails & fingertips. I find I can do most styles even if I'm faking it (it is the sound I'm after not the perfect style), the best part is that when you are really getting stuck into it (heavily) there is no picks to come flying off or dropped & loose it/them. It works for me!!
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:54 AM   #59
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I just re-did my home-made banjo. I build cigar-box guitars and had to do a banjo a couple of years ago. I used a PVC sewer-drain pipe for the body and a 1/8" hardwood plywood "head". Turned out pretty well but the home-made frets were never quite right...
I sanded the neck down and did a proper fret job (my first!) and now it plays in tune. I also added a "frailing" cutout near the body so my thumb could freely play the 5th string in that style.

Personally, I love the mellower sound of the open-back banjo, especially the traditional "skin head" jobs. I admit I'm Jonesing for a proper instrument but I need to accumulate some scratch.

I was going to build one when I started this instrument but the design is complex and the manufacture of the clamps needed to hold the skin and all the tensioning screws... Lot of work.
Been listening to this lady a lot lately:
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:08 AM   #60
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I've got some old czechoslovakian banjo with the resonator. I can kind of play clawhammer style
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