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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Why leave excess string at the pegs?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/378691

dkfighter - Posted - 10/27/2021:  20:42:46


I was looking at We Banjo 3’s page and noticed that there is a lot of excess string at the pegs. I’ve seen others do this also. What is the point?  Is there more to it than just the way it looks?


Edited by - dkfighter on 10/27/2021 21:04:03



 

JimHenry - Posted - 10/27/2021:  20:50:01


People who don't have wire cutters?

struggle_bus - Posted - 10/27/2021:  21:00:46


That implies that people actually think it looks good. My god...

Bill Rogers - Posted - 10/28/2021:  01:32:39


Maybe they’re seeking a particular kind of buzz to fill out their banjo’s sound. … I have run into folks who swear that cutting off excess string changes the tone. I tend to nod and walk away.

Bill H - Posted - 10/28/2021:  02:32:02


It's like having your front yard crammed full of rusted out junk cars.

lightgauge - Posted - 10/28/2021:  03:52:08


40 years ago, it was a place to stick your cigarette. Today, I see no reason, if you have cutters and the time.

YellowSkyBlueSun - Posted - 10/28/2021:  04:21:45


Maybe they like poking their eyes out?

Guitarist friend of mine had to wear an eye patch for 2 months after getting poked by excess string hanging off a peg at a concert.

Texasbanjo - Posted - 10/28/2021:  04:46:50


Unless it's that way all the time, maybe he had to do a quick string change before a show and didn't have time to be neat?

Eric A - Posted - 10/28/2021:  04:57:59


I recently watched an episode of The Kruger Brothers Food Notes show, and they were explaining about how when they were young in Switzerland strings were so expensive and hard to get that they never cut off the excess. You kept it on there so that if you broke a string down near the tailpiece, you could slide the whole thing down, tie a new loop, and be back in business.

They were also quite happy to say that they didn't have to do that any more!

Food Notes #7 I think it was.

Personally, I leave an inch or two on there, and curl it up into a harmless springy thing. If I clip them off short, one way or another I end up drawing blood with it.

Jim_R - Posted - 10/28/2021:  05:10:48


His truss rod cover is crooked, too. Maybe he's just not into aesthetics.

Joel Hooks - Posted - 10/28/2021:  05:32:14


quote:

Originally posted by Eric A

I recently watched an episode of The Kruger Brothers Food Notes show, and they were explaining about how when they were young in Switzerland strings were so expensive and hard to get that they never cut off the excess. You kept it on there so that if you broke a string down near the tailpiece, you could slide the whole thing down, tie a new loop, and be back in business.

 






This was common with gut strings too.  It can be seen in many "period" photographs. 

carlb - Posted - 10/28/2021:  06:27:02


I don't cut my strings, on purpose, but quickly slide them between my finger and a dull edge to let them coil. I've been stuck too many times by strings ends that are snip short, even when I may have bent the ends with a needle nose pliers.

Alvin Conder - Posted - 10/28/2021:  06:43:43


That was actually a kind of look back in the 1970s among the NYC punk scene players (a previous musical life). It was a way to tell people “ I don’t give a F—-).

Maybe that aesthetic is getting carried down to traditional players decades later...

Texasbanjo - Posted - 10/28/2021:  06:45:59


quote:

Originally posted by carlb

I don't cut my strings, on purpose, but quickly slide them between my finger and a dull edge to let them coil. I've been stuck too many times by strings ends that are snip short, even when I may have bent the ends with a needle nose pliers.






I take the extra string and run it back through the hole in the peg and then cut it off.  That way there's no little end sticking out to bite you.   

tonehead - Posted - 10/28/2021:  07:35:50


There is no point. ( except that point at the end of those uncut strings)

JohnnyShayne - Posted - 10/28/2021:  08:28:06


Judging from the "unique" camera angle, it may be some weird promotional piece. I have never seen him leave strings like that before, but who knows, maybe he it's his covid look.

Cornflake - Posted - 10/28/2021:  10:46:45


Whenever I go to snip off the excess string at the peg I always have this dark thought that my winding might not work, that it will slip, and I’ll need more string to rewind it again. Of course they have never slipped even though I always clip them as short as I possibly can.

Emiel - Posted - 10/28/2021:  10:59:22


When the strings are cut very short, there is always the danger of wounding your fingers accidentally. You touch the sharp short end, and already your finger is bleeding. If you have the end of your strings like long curls, this cannot happen.

jbalch - Posted - 10/28/2021:  11:55:03


My friend, the late Jim McLellan, was a truly amazing plectrum banjo player in the style of Perry Bechtel.  Jim always curled the ends of one or two strings on his 1927 B&D Silver Bell #1.  He just like the way it looked. I think Jim had done so since the 1960s.



I do it in his memory ... and because I like it!



 



 

chuckv97 - Posted - 10/28/2021:  13:57:16


I coiled them with a quarter. When I busked I’d break strings and have the extra length if it broke near the bridge, as was mentioned. One time I broke a string in the middle,, I tied the two ends together with a reef knot,, once settled in it was fine,, just had to watch the sliding at those frets tho,,,,lol

geoB - Posted - 10/28/2021:  16:46:05


quote:

Originally posted by chuckv97

I coiled them with a quarter. When I busked I’d break strings and have the extra length if it broke near the bridge, as was mentioned. One time I broke a string in the middle,, I tied the two ends together with a reef knot,, once settled in it was fine,, just had to watch the sliding at those frets tho,,,,lol






I saw string quartet from Eastern Europe one night at an old church, and a cellist broke a string, I'm pretty sure it was his D,  right before the downbeat and he didn't have a spare. I was aghast you just have to keep a spare around... but that's another story anyway... He tied a knot and it worked because he had enough strength left over.



BB King  said they used to use of all their string wound up on the post because it was said to increase mass on the post and fatten up the tone.   Personally I like locking machines, they're great... bing bang boom... strings are swapped out.



Clip' em and carry a few spare sets in ye gig bag.


Edited by - geoB on 10/28/2021 16:49:23

geoB - Posted - 10/30/2021:  08:19:40


As the divas entered stage left one brushed by my slotted head tuning machines (Stratocaster) and the knit on her mohair sweater caught a string end and plucked it out of the slotted capstan! Downbeat in 5-4-3...?

I scrambled and got the string back in place and tuned up in a pretty decent amount of time... I couldn't believe it.

MxFlow - Posted - 11/05/2021:  23:31:57


I do it because it’s a thing in punk music. Aesthetics. But I hold them back with the capo I keep on the headstock.

Paul R - Posted - 11/06/2021:  00:12:04


I did it on an acoustic guitar - in the early Seventies. This was with D'Arco New Yorker strings that had the chenille wrapping on the string ends, do it looked kind of good. When strings were no longer wrapped, out came the wire cutters.

What's worse is/was the guys who put the strings on and neither wound nor clipped the ends.

I had a guitar playing friend who consistently broke strings at the pegs, and would tie them back together - a U of Toronto professor with three PhDs. Go figure.

potassium2 - Posted - 11/06/2021:  13:57:23


Reminiscent of the Kruger Brothers explanation: around 1973-74, the New Grass Revival kept all the extra lengths of their strings coiled at the headstocks, on all their instruments. It wasn't a reference to the "I don't cut my hair, why should I cut my strings?" attitude of some 60's - 70's musicians, it was because they all played with such energy that they broke strings quite frequently. At the back of the stage at their shows sat Hazel Dahlgleish Johnson (Courtney's wife), herself both a skilled musician and skilled luthier, at a large table with clippers, pliers, and whatever other tools might be needed, plus a jar full of ball-ends, plus multiple packets of spare strings, with spare instruments on stands in front of the table. Whenever one of the band, say Sam, would break a string in the middle of a song, Hazel would grab the spare instrument from the stand, swap it to Sam for his mandolin with the broken string, get back to the table, unreel, from the headstock, enough of the coiled string to cover the length as needed, and tie the broken end into a ball-end from the jar, attach the string to the tailpiece, and get it tuned up to pitch, all in about 25 seconds; just in time for Curtis to break a string, and start the process all over again. I think that it was Courtney who once told me, "Last weekend, we broke the Guiness book of records entry for most strings broken by one band: 40 in one night." (might have been one set; my memory is foggy....) Curtis broke 8 strings in one song (ok, it was a long song). Butch Robins actually broke 2 electric bass strings that night (and electric bass strings are rather robust)! Hazel's take on that night: "They kept me busy that night."

eagleisland - Posted - 11/07/2021:  05:07:45


I cut mine about an inch from the peghead and turn them out so they're perpendicular to the peghead. I started doing this at the recommendation of the banjo teacher I was working with about 12 years ago. He said it was the best method he'd found to ward off dobro players. wink

mike gregory - Posted - 11/07/2021:  05:18:15


I cut and then  twirl mine with surgical tweezers into little pigtails.



Plenty of spring, no finger bleeds.

adl1132 - Posted - 11/09/2021:  22:08:03


Back in the 70’s, when I was young and impressionable and just starting out on banjo, I had one good old boy (banjo player) come up to me (in the parking lot at Orange Blossom Park in Waynesboro VA, not that it matters overly much) and tell me, as I was changing strings, that clipping the ends was going to change how the banjo sounded. And not in a good way. He really seemed to believe it. In deference to the locals, I may have left them coiled that weekend, but cut them when I got home. I didn’t notice any difference…

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