Well, the Goodtime banjo showed up at work today, and I promptly loaned it to Mac, as his banjo has sat on my bench for months. He was excited to get it, and we'll do a lesson soon. I need to finish his banjo.
I was getting close to the end of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance last night. In it, Pirsig describes many "gumption traps" that help explain why I've stalled out on Mac's banjo. I need to get down there and finish it. And when I do, I'll get my hands on that Goodtime and Zeppify it.
Yeah, that's right--Zeppify. I was thinking that some easy mods could be done to make the banjo better, and then I see that Zepp has been doing this for a long time. So in tribute to him, I think I'll do the exact same thing. I've never been a moon bridge guy, but what the heck. This is cool, ain't it?
The only thing that he hasn't done that I'd consider is adding a proper 5th string pip. That railroad peg/zero fret thing just kinda bugs me. In fact, I should search the archives and see what others have done.
So, now I no longer feel guilty that Mac's banjo is unfinished. And when it is, I will play Dr. Frankenstein to the Goodtime. I'm gonna leave that Gumby peghead, though. It's ugly as sin, but that's half the charm of this thing, isn't it?
UPDATE: Another concept from Zen and the Art of Motocycle Maintenance is the idea of "value rigidity." There's an interesting lesson on this zero-fret thing. To me, as an instrument snob, zero fret = cheap. Zepp actually likes the zero fret spike for some very musical reasons. Check it out:
Gotta love this site.