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Been Down So Long...

Posted by Paul Roberts on Friday, October 1, 2010

Ever since Gold Tone came out with the cello banjo, I've been hanging out in that low-pitched comfort range. I enjoy the soothing effect of that low tone, and the fact that it's not a stereotypic banjo sound so you can go places not generally associated with the banjo: like music from other parts of the world; music from ancient cultures; original musings. 

But, alas, I've reemerged. Now, I can stay under water - with the cello banjo - or  swim back up to the surface and play a standard-pitched instrument. My weapon of choice (for the latter) is a Gold Tone BC-350+ with a skin head. I play almost exclusively over the scoop, whether I'm frailing or picking. I just like the tone there (it's the mellowest) so that's where I park.

Last night, I did a music therapy session at an alcohol and drug rehab clinic, and the consensus was that people liked the cello banjo the best. Interesting. I think the range and tone hit people right in the gut, and it has a calming, pleasing effect.

Getting back to the BC-350+, some of my latest compositions are "Camel Stomp," "Consonance" (thinking of changing the name to Solace), and "Renewal."


2 comments on “Been Down So Long...”

Laurence Diehl Says:
Friday, October 29, 2010 @3:07:26 PM

Well, I hear you. Sometimes I feel like I want my banjo to sound both low AND high (coming as I do from a guitar-centered place) But to do that I would need a 7-string banjo. I have come to accept that it is these very limitations (and the overcoming of them) that lend charm to the instrument. Who would have guessed that the Uke would become so popular? It recently dawned on me that the banjo has almost the same range as the Alto Sax. That made me feel better for some reaon. I like the Cello too, but welcome back to the Alto world!

Janna Says:
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 @11:18:07 AM

I love your playing cello banjos, Paul! How are you doing? I hope you're doung well.
Your friend Janna!

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