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Bummed because my banjo's at the doctor

Posted by arcticpoppy on Friday, March 5, 2010

Aaargh.  So sad that when my banjo is in perfect "open" tune, the 3rd string is sharp when played in a chord.  So, took it to the banjo doctor today who informed me (and did I ever gasp!) that it has a twisted neck.  When asked if I then got a bad deal when I purchased it, he said no, I had had it awhile, and I should have had a humidifier in a hard case...I should never have kept it in a gig bag.  So, what do I think next?  I am not the only person in Alaska who carries a banjo around in a gig bag.  But now I feel like such a crummy pal to my banjo.  He said he thinks he can make it "playable" but that he can't fix the twisted neck.

Wow, I'm pretty sad about this.  We'll just have to see how it sounds when I get it back next week.  


4 comments on “Bummed because my banjo's at the doctor”

banjoike Says:
Friday, March 5, 2010 @7:38:22 PM

you sure the neck is twisted....maybe the bridge isn't right or maybe you could try a moon bridge ??????

arcticpoppy Says:
Friday, March 5, 2010 @7:51:21 PM

Hi Ike, The luthier I took "her" to is probably the highest-rated one in Anchorage...he said he can do something with the bridge and then the head needs some "adjusting" (?) so I'm hoping that will help. But he said when you look down the neck from the top of the peghead you can see it. In all honesty, I never had the set up checked out since I got the banjo. Even though I bought it used, and it went on quite a journey to get here, I believe I got a good instrument when I bought it from Elderly Instruments. The luthier agreed...he said I just need to keep every wood instrument in a case with a humidifier. He said it only takes a week to get messed up in the dry climate. It was like he was "yelling" at me.

I swear, swear, swear I will get a good picture of her up on BHO as soon as she gets back home. It makes me feel terrible to feel like I'm getting in trouble by mistreating the instrument I love.

edavidt Says:
Friday, March 5, 2010 @11:58:42 PM

Bummer on a twisted neck. That can be quite a job to replane a twisted neck. Sounds like it may be too much for this banjo.

I no longer use hard cases, and have never used a humidifier on a banjo. However, I don't heat with wood in the winter, and it is pretty humid here!

If you heat to higher temps. and your air is dry (as in wood heat), you may need to keep your banjo in a distant corner of a bedroom.

I hope it comes back from the luthier both playable and lovable.

arcticpoppy Says:
Saturday, March 6, 2010 @3:42:22 AM

Thanks. I've gotten through 35 years in Alaska with 2 Martin guitars, 4 other guitars, a mountain dulcimer or two, and an autoharp without damaging an instrument up to now. So I'm with you on that hope thing :) Still holding on to it!

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