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Sigh, she does have a warped neck, but she's home from the banjo doctor

Posted by arcticpoppy on Saturday, March 13, 2010

I got my banjo back from the luthier to find she really does have a warped neck, but with some tweaking of the bridge the hopes are that the impact on tuning will only be minimally noticed.  Aaargh, I still notice it, but...as they say...it's only a banjo.  :)    (but it's MY banjo!) 

Otherwise, sounding good, and I'm remembering that I promised Banjoike a video, so I'd better go practice practice practice...........          Nancy



5 comments on “Sigh, she does have a warped neck, but she's home from the banjo doctor”

edavidt Says:
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @1:18:25 PM

Nancy,

My philosophy with banjos is this: each banjo is unique, has strengths and limitations. My task, when playing is to try and bring out the best of the instrument. I use tunings and play tunes that work best for that particular instrument. And I don't push the instrument musically where it doesn't seem to want to go. (I guess this philosophy works better when you have more than one banjo - I have 4 pretty good banjos and they are all different!).

Sometimes, I find that an instrument just doesn't work for me, so I let it go.

I have found that I take the same approach when I have to work for some one else (I am currently self employed). I spend the first few weeks with a new supervisor sizing them up for their strengths, and I work with the strengths to get my work done. In a small way, this keeps me in charge, rather than the other way around. If it doesn't work for me, I let it go. I have left more than one job without burning bridges, but knowing it was time to let it go.

Anyway, good luck with settling into your banjo. I want to check out the video.

arcticpoppy Says:
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @5:05:53 PM

Thanks, Dave. Tee hee, I actually was originally planning on selling this banjo after one I've ordered arrives this summer. (More on that much later.) But I love what you said. Not that I didn't know that musical instruments each have their own spirits before, but it's fun to get to know this one! And...to figure out how I can "beat it at its own game" by just adjusting my left hand finger placement at some very strategic times!

PruchaLegend Says:
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @8:26:53 PM

Hey, Arctic! Sorry to hear about your problem. Have you tried to contact the original builder? You may be able to get a new neck built for a reasonable cost. Also, there are several neck builders that you can find in the BHO links. One other thought is that Gold Tone builds a graphite neck that they say is impervious to humidity and temperature. They will even install it for you if you send the pot to them. You can check them out at http://www.goldtone.com/products/w/c/59/Necks.
I hope this gives you some ideas if you haven't thought of them before.

arcticpoppy Says:
Saturday, March 13, 2010 @11:19:16 PM

Thank you, PruchaLegend. Earlier this evening I was thinking about some of the things you suggested. This banjo has a Dobson-style neck...they wouldn't be more susceptible to warping, would they? Anyway, it does seem like it could be easily replaced -- yeah banjos! The damage is most audible in open G tuning -- on the G string -- I didn't notice it quite as much in D or C tunings. Anyway, thank you for your ideas...maybe I should just get one of the graphite ones :)

PruchaLegend Says:
Sunday, March 14, 2010 @8:45:26 PM

There is a string in the Bluegrass forum titled "New Banjo Neck" that you might be interested in. I'm sorry, I don't know anything about Dobson necks so I can't help you there. Hope you can get it fixed inexpensively.

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