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Ding vs. Dong

Posted by nechville on Sunday, December 13, 2009

I may be a ding dong, but I get nothing from most meaningless banjo expressions, like  "Killer Tone, She's a Hoss, It really Barks" 

How many ways can we interpret,  "got a good bottom end"  or "It's balanced" "It's got THE sound" ?

But what if I were to say "it has good dong and zing but it's weak in the zip and chunk"?

I think it's time we make a definitive list of descriptive banjo terms that are strictly defined and agreed upon generally, and freely distribute them here on the hangout. Please help me add more terms, I will thoughfully process them and modify this list as it develops.

Here's a start

Plink- a note that decays rapidly in higher frequencies , Plunk- Lower frequency with decay

Ding- The sudden leading edge of the note                     Dong- The duration of the strings vibration

Boing- The tendancy to waver off pitch distractably         Bong- A reverberation that upholds the pitch

Clang- Mismatched harmonic content I.e. noise              Cluck- An echo effect reinforcing the note

Zip- Ding volume  (attack)                                                 Zing- Volume in the overtones

Click-Clack- Mechanical noise caused by low action      Chunk- A combination of plunk and bong

Now to interpret the example above."it has good sustain and brilliant overtones but it's not distinct in the leading edge of the note   and ot lacks fullness and depth in the lower notes. Is it just me or do me need a new system for describing sound?


8 comments on “Ding vs. Dong”

mainejohn Says:
Sunday, December 13, 2009 @3:09:22 PM

May I add "awesome", "growl", and "pop" to the list of terms that induce vomit?

pete hobbie Says:
Sunday, December 13, 2009 @5:00:13 PM

What about" whoops" for that loud twangy sound you get when you mistakenly bury a finger in the strings?

nechville Says:
Monday, December 14, 2009 @11:09:36 AM

Great Thoughts, Keep em coming, Tom

banjoy Says:
Monday, December 14, 2009 @4:38:56 PM

Okay, now we know Tom has gone certifiably nuts. I mean, he forgot "Spick and Span" for heaven's sake. What was he thinking? Spick -- a new, unused, fresh lick never before heard; Span -- the amount of time before that lick is copied by everyone else but never get it quite right (but span can also refer to plink-boing-boing, which is acceptable I suppose).

buckbybanjoboy Says:
Thursday, December 17, 2009 @5:39:40 AM

Yeah Frank, but in the UK, "Spick and Span", has an altogether different meaning for the more mature gentleman. Older male Brits. may recall a set of "nudie" books published by Harrison Marks, (or so I have been told), that bore this same title. Apologies for lowering the tone of this blog.............................Regards Tom, and keep it up................Peter V.

Jim D Says:
Thursday, December 17, 2009 @3:40:13 PM

My least favorite: "It's a CANNON" (almost always in all caps).

Tom, reading your list out loud reminds me of my daughter practicing her Mandarin Chinese lessons. But, all humor aside, I agree you have a point. Beyond the descriptions of sound, I think there also need to be agreed upon terms for "playbility" beyond "high and low action". In my limited experience I have played a few banjos that sounded good but felt like a 2 X 4 due to neck shape, string spacing, etc. Perhaps "clunky" for an unfortunate neck shape and "tactile" for one that feels particularly good. "Obese" for those that just feel really heavy and "sprightly" for the opposite.

Hint: if I had an experimental Atlas I could work on expanding the list. LOL


Yellowhouseroad Says:
Friday, December 18, 2009 @12:08:56 PM

Hi Tom it's David! I just saw the tour of your workshop and I think that to cool and I love all of the different options for banjos you have! Says:
Friday, March 12, 2010 @10:55:18 PM

what about Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah?

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