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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Long Neck Banjo

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Phil - MO - Posted - 06/18/2020:  07:53:35

Been playing some Kingston Trio for a little variety of my normal Scruggs style.
I have one banjo I tune to open E or maybe even D (strings start getting floppy at D) but would match my attempts to sing a little better.

After watching some youtubes beginning to wonder why long necks if they usually capoed up 3 to 8 frets?
I think I may hold off buying the $6,299 long neck Deering for awhile (lol).


DH#52 - Posted - 06/18/2020:  08:06:35

Dave Guard bought his because of Pete Seeger, and I think just about everyone who bought one after that bought it because of Dave Guard. As you know, The Kingston Trio was enormously popular.


John Gribble - Posted - 06/18/2020:  08:15:20

By using a longneck, two tunings, and a capo, Pete and the other folkies had access to all keys almost instantly. Remember, these people were singers, not subject to the key limitation of fiddle tunes.

35planar - Posted - 06/18/2020:  08:43:31

I love playing my long neck banjo...personal taste. I play a regular scale open back as well.
There are great sounding vintage longnecks for less, sometimes far less, than $1000: Gibson RB-175, ODE Model 33, Vega Folklore each has a different tone. Then there's the not as playable Silvertone, Gretsch made Bacon, the occasional Christie, and others.
But, yep singing in a key within one's range was the reason Pete Seeger paid John D'Angelico to graft three more frets onto a neck attached to an old Tubaphone pot. But, it's also just a great sound for some.

Phil - MO - Posted - 06/18/2020:  08:52:39

I just purchased the George Grove "Banjo Arrangements of the Kingston Trio". I hope it has the tabs (bought used), but I don't really like learning by dvd. I do know Scruggs style of several of the songs, so may be able to change styles by ear for a little variety.
I fixed up a Leo Fender banjo awhile back with a Tony Pass woodie rim that sounds pretty good. Might purchase a long neck for it if needed.

UncleClawhammer - Posted - 06/25/2020:  04:16:06

The extra frets come in handy if you need them, but they can unwieldy. As you say, a lot of players seem to have the capo permanently parked at the third fret.

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