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Author Topic: New toy  (Read 4529 times)

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Offline bwzuk

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New toy
« on: Jun 08, 2008, 05:39:52 PM »
So I finally tracked down someone who sells 4 string banjolins and yesterday I went out brought myself one. It's a noisy little beast, and loads of fun to play. They had an even louder model in stock but I thought I should have at least some consideration for my fellow session goers  ;D

Picture attached

Offline purpledog

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Re: New toy
« Reply #1 on: Jun 08, 2008, 06:05:07 PM »
Pretty cool...where'd you get it, if you don't mind my asking?

Offline bwzuk

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Re: New toy
« Reply #2 on: Jun 08, 2008, 09:16:20 PM »
I got it from this guy. He's UK based so I'm not sure if its useful for you or not. He was very helpful when I first contacted him, and had 3 banjolins ready to try out when I turned up at the shop. I'd recommend him to anyone who is thinking of turning to the dark side of banjos.

http://www.andybanjo.com/

I may try and post a recording sometime if I reach a stage where I think I sound good enough.

Offline patheslip

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Re: New toy
« Reply #3 on: Jun 15, 2008, 11:38:50 AM »
Nice to think there's something good on the north coast of Kent. >:D

Offline verbel

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Re: New toy
« Reply #4 on: Aug 22, 2008, 02:42:27 AM »
That's pretty cool. I've never seen one of those before.

Offline Jojopotato

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Re: New toy
« Reply #5 on: Aug 22, 2008, 04:03:19 AM »
Shiver. Banjo's remind me of sumo wrestlers. I don't even know why. But thats a pretty interesting do-hickey you've got there. How are the strings tuned? I imagine it's played like a guitar because of the frets, but when I try to imagine the sound I get something like a ukulele.

Offline bwzuk

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Re: New toy
« Reply #6 on: Aug 22, 2008, 02:05:30 PM »
Is tuned like a violin, GDAE, and has a similar scale length. Like an Irish tuned tenor banjo but an octave higher. I'm no banjo expert but to my ears it sounds pretty much like a tenor banjo except in a higher register, and the top end of a standard tenor sounds like the bottom end of the banjolin.

Offline June

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Re: New toy
« Reply #7 on: Aug 22, 2008, 03:30:32 PM »
Now that looks like fun too!!!  Let's hear a sound bite when you feel up for it.

Offline frodopogo

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Re: New toy
« Reply #8 on: Aug 22, 2008, 04:31:16 PM »
So I finally tracked down someone who sells 4 string banjolins and yesterday I went out brought myself one. It's a noisy little beast, and loads of fun to play. They had an even louder model in stock but I thought I should have at least some consideration for my fellow session goers  ;D
And if your fellow session goers start shooting you dirty looks,
you should know how to remove the resonator and:
1. Leave it off.
2. Stuff a sponge between the head and the rod in the round section.
(experiment with optimum position for good muting and good tone too.
3. Both of the above
4. Line the resonator with something on the order of a potholder or
a cloth baby diaper (if you can find one!)
5. Restring with nylon strings
6. Cover the underside of the head with masking tape.

There was a fellow who was coming to local jams with a plectrum banjo-
he could drown out ALL the other instruments combined. :o :o :o

I find I LIKE the fellow lots more since he started bringing a baritone
ukelele instead! ;D

You have to figure that the pot, tone ring, and head are basically the same as on a bluegrass banjo- and they are loud even though they only play one or two strings at once.  Strumming gives you 4 strings at once, so the total volume
is somewhere between doubled and quadrupled.

So your basic plectrum or tenor banjo is capable of keeping up with ragtime brass bands and it walks all over anything else with strings.
I suspect this higher pitched relative shares the full-sized banjo's sonic efficiency.
It's good you got the quieter one, but it could still be lethal!
Especially if an irate session goer thwacks you over the head with it!
Also, the difference between the louder one and the one you bought may
have just been a matter of head tightness: tighter = louder.

Offline Don Stackhouse

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Re: New toy
« Reply #9 on: Aug 22, 2008, 05:54:58 PM »
A rolled up athletic sock works well too, so if someone tells you to "put a sock in it", you can take them literally. However, make sure it's a clean one, there's a difference between being told your playing stinks, vs. being told your instrument stinks!

Offline madmat

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Re: New toy
« Reply #10 on: Aug 22, 2008, 06:19:46 PM »
Shiver. Banjo's remind me of sumo wrestlers.
Soprano and sopranino banjo(e)s remind me of yappy little dogs like Yorkshire Terriers or Pomeranians. ;)

There is a enormous, fretless three-stringed Japanese banjolike instrument called the shamisen; the sound raises the pain factor ante in the sound department quite a bit over its Appalachian half-cousin.
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline patheslip

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Re: New toy
« Reply #11 on: Aug 23, 2008, 08:43:16 AM »
madmat, plural form of banjo follows piano, not potato ;)

Try earplugs, then it won't be too loud.

Offline morning

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Re: New toy
« Reply #12 on: Aug 25, 2008, 06:11:05 PM »
To paraphrase one of our members' witty signatures:
Father:What do you want to be when you grow up, son?
Son: I want to be a musician and a great speller.
Father: You can't do both, son.

Offline madmat

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Re: New toy
« Reply #13 on: Aug 25, 2008, 07:21:57 PM »
madmat, plural form of banjo follows piano, not potato ;)
What if you're from rural Appalachia, or... gasp! Dan Quayle? ;)
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline patheslip

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Re: New toy
« Reply #14 on: Aug 26, 2008, 06:17:16 PM »
madmat, you don't need to be either, just selling veg by the side of the road.  'Potato's' anyone?

 




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