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 I'm looking for a banjo made to sound like a guitar.

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DR Claw

32 posts
since 1/9/14

02/16/2017 18:10:31 View DR Claw's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I'm looking for a banjo made to sound like a guitar. I have found three options. Which do you think I should go with? Are there better options? I'm looking for a guitar sound and want to stay away from something that just sounds like a strumstick dulcimer.

Doc Fossey 5-string Guitar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glBdlN9lE68

Gold Tone 5-string Banjola

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX2C13NWKP8

​Bishline Madera

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwV1z6ppgbM

 

eagleisland

United States
12645 posts since 12/2/05

02/16/2017 18:37:03View eagleisland's MP3 Archive View eagleisland's Photo Albums View eagleisland's Blog Reply with Quote

None of them sound like a guitar. If you want something that sounds like a guitarl, why not buy a guitar?

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DR Claw

32 posts since 1/9/14

02/16/2017 18:49:40 View DR Claw's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I already own a guitar. I'm interested in doing a sort of role reversal where a banjo sounds like a guitar and a guitar sounds like a banjo. They have made several good guitars that sound like banjos, so I already have one piece of the puzzle. I have considered having a guitar modified.

quote:
Originally posted by eagleisland

None of them sound like a guitar. If you want something that sounds like a guitarl, why not buy a guitar?




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eagleisland

United States
12645 posts since 12/2/05

02/16/2017 18:59:42View eagleisland's MP3 Archive View eagleisland's Photo Albums View eagleisland's Blog Reply with Quote

Then I'd recommend having a guitar modified. I own a Gold Tone banjola. I love it (there are several songs on my music page that feature it), but if I were to compare it to another instrument it would be more like a dulcimer than anything else. And personally, I think the Fossey and the Madeira sound more like travel guitars than real guitars.

Fine if you like that sort of thing. But none of them give them warmth of a full guitar - and even if you modify a good guitar, you'll still lack the tonal depth of the instrument due to the absence of the 5th and 6th strings, which is where the instrument's gravitas lives. It'll probably be better than any of the  three cited due to the extra resonance and depth of the body, but I personally think that while it won't sound as thin as these, it'll still sound thin.

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RioStatPlayers Union Member

United States
3737 posts since 10/12/09

02/16/2017 19:11:44 View RioStat's Classified Ads View RioStat's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Get on youtube...look up Donnie Little playing the Yates git-jo.

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Paulf

Australia
2525 posts since 2/1/12

02/16/2017 19:26:41View Paulf's MP3 Archive View Paulf's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Tranjocaster.   Scroll to the bottom of the page in the link to see a couple of youtube vids.


http://tranjo.com/tranjocaster.php

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Mooooo

United States
549 posts since 8/20/16

Online

02/16/2017 19:32:00 Reply with Quote

I put the high g string from a set of 12 string guitar strings on my guitar and took off the 5th and 6th strings. The G string was .009 gauge so if you can find a single string at that gauge and tune it up to G, that will work instead of paying for an instrument that will be a novelty and is only a shadow of the awesomeness of a 5 string banjo. But I am a bit biased.

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dorymanPlayers Union Member

United States
423 posts since 11/26/12

02/16/2017 19:53:12 View doryman's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Bishline isn't making the Madera anymore, so you have to look for a used one and there aren't many. One sold recently here for over $4000. I'd love to have one if I had 4K burning a hole in my pocket. I too am intrigued by the idea of a banjo that sounds like a guitar. I have a Mike's Mute that gives my banjo a more guitar-like sound and it works very well for some slower songs I play and sing. However, it's too quite for anything but solo parlor playing (that IS it's purpose after all).

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Paulf

Australia
2525 posts since 2/1/12

02/16/2017 20:32:59View Paulf's MP3 Archive View Paulf's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Another one is the Blue Star electric banjo.  http://bluestarguitarcompany.com/banjos/1754170

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Meles_Meles

United States
6944 posts since 4/15/12

02/16/2017 20:33:04 View Meles_Meles's Photo Albums View Meles_Meles's Blog Reply with Quote

Have you listened to a baritone ukulele?

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wizofosPlayers Union Member

United States
3596 posts since 8/19/12

02/17/2017 05:13:08View wizofos's MP3 Archive View wizofos's Photo Albums Click to see wizofos's MSN Messenger address Send wizofos a Yahoo! Message Reply with Quote

I suspect that one reason you get the guitar sound is the size of the sound box.  If you built a wooden head banjo and perhaps enclosed the back of a banjo you would get a partial guitar sound but not the depth of sound you get with a guitar size sound box.

Why not just remove the 6th (base) string from a guitar and capo the 5th string at the 5th fret and see how it sounds.   Tune it like a banjo and see what happens.

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dgibsonPlayers Union Member

United States
34 posts since 5/9/16

02/17/2017 06:18:23 Reply with Quote

Ross Nickerson sells a ResNick Resophonic banjo. https://youtu.be/z0BpBW62Ao4. It has a lot more sustain than a banjo.

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steve davisPlayers Union Member

United States
64330 posts since 5/9/07

02/17/2017 10:32:09View steve davis's MP3 Archive View steve davis's Classified Ads View steve davis's Photo Albums View steve davis's Blog Reply with Quote

Put in a spike behind the 5th fret and a 10-11 string in place of the A.
The spike is easy to remove for going back to full guitar.

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jellyfish

Norway
28 posts since 8/11/15

02/17/2017 11:39:33 Reply with Quote

If you can live without a drone sting then how about a tenor guitar? It can be tuned just like a banjo. The neck should be similar.
https://youtu.be/SI503cjOgaY

I'm kind of a big Richie Stearns fan and saw him play a tenor guitar as well as the banjo in this here fine video: https://youtu.be/tUp034j7t8k

Really want a guitar like this myself but like banjos they aren't really available where I live. But it may be an idea for you.

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clancyc1

United States
898 posts since 10/13/04

02/17/2017 14:41:15View clancyc1's MP3 Archive View clancyc1's Classified Ads View clancyc1's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

A banjo that sounds like a guitar??????There's no such thing...

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JohnwwPlayers Union Member

United States
11 posts since 4/14/11

02/18/2017 10:55:01View Johnww's MP3 Archive View Johnww's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Hi,

I have some experience with the Guitar/Banjo route. I recently purchased a new Luna Celtic Parlor Guitar and then took it to the Folk Shop in Tucson to convert it to a 5 string banjo tuned instrument. Their luthier drilled 5 new pin locations between and behind the existing 6 pins, replaced the bridge and installed a new custom 5 string nut. The nut was constructed with string spacing that spread the strings evenly across the neck. A railroad spike was installed on the 5th. String. It was strung with ball end strings which matched medium weight banjo strings. Result? It is a very nice instrument. I frail the banjo and I was looking for an instrument, using my existing technique, to play softer slower more mellow tunes. Is it a guitar? No, for the reasons mentioned earlier ie. limited base etc. However it is deeper than a Banjola, which I also have and like to play. The base is improved by tuning down the instrument to F# for personal play. BTW, I also recently purchased a Yamaha THR 5A mini amp and the FrankenLuna, which is acoustic/electric, sounds very good through it and can be used to adjust to the base side. I also added a LR Baggs Radius Mandolin pickup to my Banjola and it works great. So much so that I may decide to sell the Luna eventually. Time will tell. Hope this provides some insight for you. Purists please forgive me.

John

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Leslie R

United States
4782 posts since 12/20/05

02/18/2017 17:43:41 View Leslie R's Classified Ads View Leslie R's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

You can get a guitarish sound out of  6 string, 12 inch rim banjo.  Use a calfskin hide and a bridge a little on the thick side.  High tension nylon strings will help.

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fretful1

United States
139 posts since 8/17/10

02/18/2017 19:54:57 View fretful1's Classified Ads View fretful1's Photo Albums View fretful1's Blog Reply with Quote

Simple answer... Gold Tone "Dojo":  A banjo hybrid.  A cross between a Dobro (body) and banjo (neck).  

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BANJO TONY

United States
3413 posts since 9/24/03

Online

02/19/2017 04:34:10 View BANJO TONY's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I'm looking for a woman that thinks & likes a man. good luck.

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mikehalloranPlayers Union Member

United States
8908 posts since 10/27/06

02/19/2017 07:45:28 View mikehalloran's Classified Ads Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by fretful1
Simple answer... Gold Tone "Dojo":  A banjo hybrid.  A cross between a Dobro (body) and banjo (neck).  

Dobro made them back in the day and vintage units show up now and then. John Hartford's original recording of Gentle On My Mind was done on one.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LGs1IUS7ugg


Edited by - mikehalloran on 02/19/2017 07:49:57

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