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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Scoop Neck Clawhammer


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Paul Roberts - Posted - 09/22/2011:  18:46:56



When I first started playing banjo I remember really liking the tone, where the neck joins the body, where lot's of us now have a scoop. I wished I could have better access to that area. There was a hankering to get into that mellow tone. A whole bunch of years later, scoops are now widely available on good, reasonably priced instruments. Obviously I wasn't the only tone wanderer looking in that direction.



PauL banjocrazy.com


blanham - Posted - 09/22/2011:  20:07:36


I for one am glad scoops are common now. I play over different places at different times, and it's nice to have that option. I've noticed Uncle Dave would wander way up the neck with his strumming hand sometimes.

Tinfoot - Posted - 09/23/2011:  05:10:26


Speaking of scoops, yesterday I found myself playing around with Scrugg style finger patterns (sans picks, of course) over the 19th fret - with my ring resting very comfortably in the neck/pot joint. Not sure if I really have a point to this other than me thinking, "Gosh, I really really like this!" I am extremely tempted to continue experimenting with finger rolls in the scoop here on out... :)

erikforgod - Posted - 09/23/2011:  05:42:34



My next banjo will have a scoop...its a feature I would like to have on at least one of my banjos ( My current Goodtime Crow doesnt have the scoop ) The few times I have frailed a little over the neck/pot joint I liked the warmth and mellowness of the sound of the banjo there...so it will be nice to have that. That same banjo with a scoop will probably have an Elite Amber Renaissance head also. It will be great...both of my banjos will offer something different...although its seems with the scoop, it definately will make it easier to frail over the neck...especialy since I use a brass thin frailing thimble.



Edited by - erikforgod on 09/23/2011 05:43:55

J-Walk - Posted - 09/23/2011:  09:28:28



I'm starting to think that a partial scoop is the ultimate solution. Just enough to let your thumb dig in, but still full access to the frets for the higher strings.



Here's a partial scoop on a Will Fielding banjo.




mworden - Posted - 09/23/2011:  09:36:52



 I think the partial scoop looks kinda cool but the number of times I've played (or wanted to play) above the 12th fret is vanishingly close to zero for me (on banjo; guitar is a whole different animal).


C Nyal de Kaye - Posted - 09/23/2011:  15:20:12



Whatever is a "a brass frailing thimble" please Erik?


Marc Nerenberg - Posted - 09/23/2011:  16:22:56



quote:


Originally posted by C Nyal de Kaye




Whatever is a "a brass frailing thimble" please Erik?






See this: thejoelhooks.com/Site/Buy_Thimbles.html



Joel Hooks, who makes these, is a BHO member under the moniker of: deuceswilde



Edited by - Marc Nerenberg on 09/23/2011 16:23:50

Tinfoot - Posted - 09/23/2011:  16:42:01


-waggles eyebrows- In fact, I had just ordered a pair of them on the basis of Erik's mention... ^-^

banjo bill-e - Posted - 09/23/2011:  16:42:21


The shallow scoop on my Ramsey is useless to me. I usually prefer playing over the head right by the neck for best tone, but sometimes I do like that over-the-fretboard sound. I would love a chance to try the "frailing platform" on one of Doc's banjos. That is the only scoop that I think would do me any good. Even with a scoop I sometimes crash my thumb into the side of the neck, and it hurts! I know that I should have more control, but sometimes I get enthusiastic and play rowdy.

erikforgod - Posted - 09/23/2011:  19:10:30



quote:


Originally posted by Tinfoot




-waggles eyebrows- In fact, I had just ordered a pair of them on the basis of Erik's mention... ^-^

 






These Joe Hooks thimble picks are great...I love mine! I think without the scoop I would maybe gouge or wear out the fingerboard over time with the thimble pick.


J-Walk - Posted - 09/23/2011:  19:14:39



I guess opinions will vary.



I have a Doc's banjo with a frailing platform. If I were ordering a new one from him, that would not be part of my order. It adds a very distinctive look to the banjo, but I don't see any playing advantages, since the scoop is already there. I'd like to try one with a frailing platform and no scoop.


Tinfoot - Posted - 09/24/2011:  02:58:01


Looking at the platform, J-Walk, it would seem to me that it would act as a thumb "guide" to keep it centered on the strings. I know in my own particular case, that is the part I have to practice. :p But ya, as for looks, I think it's the cat's pajamas! :D

frquent flyer - Posted - 09/24/2011:  05:03:41



I have a new 2009 bart reiter that is unscooped. I have not felt the need for scoop yet. Time will tell. I did ask around on scoop prices;got from $65 ,85 to elderlys outrageous 225 dollars.


erikforgod - Posted - 09/24/2011:  11:25:02


Elderly charges U$S 84 just to change the head on a banjo...for that price I will do it myself LOL.

Paul Roberts - Posted - 09/24/2011:  12:49:31



quote:


Originally posted by Tinfoot




Speaking of scoops, yesterday I found myself playing around with Scrugg style finger patterns (sans picks, of course) over the 19th fret - with my ring resting very comfortably in the neck/pot joint. Not sure if I really have a point to this other than me thinking, "Gosh, I really really like this!" I am extremely tempted to continue experimenting with finger rolls in the scoop here on out... :)






Besides favoring the scoop position for clawhammer, like Tinfoot I also use the scoop as a position for 3-finger picking to get the mellowest possible sound out of my banjo, a Gold Tone BC-350+ as in this video



PauL banjocrazy.com


farmer bob - Posted - 09/24/2011:  16:31:02



This is the scoop I cut on my newest long neck project. It starts at what would be the 16th fret if it were a standard scale instrument. Bob.




   

Paul Roberts - Posted - 09/24/2011:  17:13:33



Farmer Bob, I checked out the banjos you're building on the photos of your home page. You're doing some really beautiful work.



PauL banjocrazy.com


farmer bob - Posted - 09/24/2011:  18:27:56



Thank you Sir... Bob.





Farmer Bob, I checked out the banjos you're building on the photos of your home page. You're doing some really beautiful work.


AlpacaLips - Posted - 09/24/2011:  23:14:58



Paul, I'm a new but avid player (about 4 hours today). I purposely bought a banjo with a scoop, but I find that my preferred position is such that the farthest up toward the nut I'll go I to position my thumb just over the tone ring. Unfortunately my notched tone ring sticks up 1/16" above the fretboard surface, which makes for an uncomfortable WHACK when my thumb hits it. For that reason I keep my thumb over the head. Kinda funny that I'm already splitting hairs.


derwood400 - Posted - 09/25/2011:  05:48:38



quote:


Originally posted by Paul Roberts




quote:


Originally posted by Tinfoot





Speaking of scoops, yesterday I found myself playing around with Scrugg style finger patterns (sans picks, of course) over the 19th fret - with my ring resting very comfortably in the neck/pot joint. Not sure if I really have a point to this other than me thinking, "Gosh, I really really like this!" I am extremely tempted to continue experimenting with finger rolls in the scoop here on out... :)






Besides favoring the scoop position for clawhammer, like Tinfoot I also use the scoop as a position for 3-finger picking to get the mellowest possible sound out of my banjo, a Gold Tone BC-350+ as in this video



PauL banjocrazy.com






Paul, that is a beautiful sound and song in that video.  


erikforgod - Posted - 09/25/2011:  06:39:29



quote:


Originally posted by AlpacaLips




Paul, I'm a new but avid player (about 4 hours today). I purposely bought a banjo with a scoop, but I find that my preferred position is such that the farthest up toward the nut I'll go I to position my thumb just over the tone ring. Unfortunately my notched tone ring sticks up 1/16" above the fretboard surface, which makes for an uncomfortable WHACK when my thumb hits it. For that reason I keep my thumb over the head. Kinda funny that I'm already splitting hairs.






might wanna change to another kind of tension hoop.


farmer bob - Posted - 09/25/2011:  07:54:53



Cory, There is a chance your banjo has a low or medium profile head and that is why the tension hoop is in your way. If so try a high profile head...Bob.


Paul R - Posted - 09/25/2011:  08:07:30



I don't have a scoop and have never had issues about it. I sometimes play over the neck, and sometimes over the head, but the neck extends out over the head, so it's no biggie. Sometimes I like soft and plunky, sometimes I prefer a brighter sound. I often play three-finger backup (with picks) at the jam on the resonator banjo, and I often play over the head, right beside the neck. It actually seems louder there.


Chadbanjo - Posted - 09/25/2011:  09:05:33


A few weeks ago I started playing over the neck for that tone and then realized a scoop would help. I removed the strings, plucked out the last four frets with a pair of pliers and started grinding away with a rasp. I'm no carpenter.. It wasn't the prettiest job, but functions as it should.

If you want a scoop, start sanding, not difficult.

erikforgod - Posted - 09/26/2011:  05:32:21



quote:


Originally posted by Chadbanjo




A few weeks ago I started playing over the neck for that tone and then realized a scoop would help. I removed the strings, plucked out the last four frets with a pair of pliers and started grinding away with a rasp. I'm no carpenter.. It wasn't the prettiest job, but functions as it should.



If you want a scoop, start sanding, not difficult.






 Alot of guys have dont that...they say with some patience and the right tools its no biggie..


chuckb - Posted - 09/26/2011:  14:37:40


One of my banjos is a Bart Reiter Standard A scale with a scooped neck. I wanted this banjo as I heard good things about the brand and wanted a shorter neck for my short, pudgy fingers. I like the banjo a lot; however I don't play over the neck so the scoop doesn't offer me any advantage. Actually it is the opposite. Along with clawhammer I play some two finger and OT three finger. When I played these styles on the Reiter, I noticed my pinky or ring finger was touching the 1st. string; this doesn't happen on my other banjos. It took awhile to get it through my dense head, but the problem seems to be the higher bridge on the Riter which is needed to clear the frets which are higher than on my non-scooped banjos--5/8ths of an inch instead of 1/2. On this banjo the scoop portion meets the head at the point the normal fretted bridge does. I imagine this is only a problem for someone like me that has short fingers. I wouold like this banjo without the scoop, but the open backs I ahve come across that emulate or try to come close to the Round Peak or Galax style all have scoops.



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