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Collecting and playing open back banjos

Posted by Bill Anderson on Thursday, June 16, 2011

like this

Collecting vintage instruments is in my blood, ever since trying to find a prewar flathead years ago. Now I am "banjo crazy" primarily for open backs dating from about 1850 - 1910. I am posting photos of some of my open backs. Take a look at my hangout site if you enjoy that kind of thing. I never tire of seeing photos of nice instruments.

I love playing and collecting vintage open back banjos for the following reasons:

1. Affordable, at least for now

2. Original 5-string necks ....... usually original tuners are fine, the banjos are generally ready to play and enjoy.

3. Play old music on old instruments, it's just better. Instruments that have character and can tell a story

4. Artistry and craftsmanship of the highest order. .........old world materials no longer available

5. Investment potential ........ play it and let it grow. 

6. Variety of  manufacturers .....different tonalities, weights, sizes, scales, heel carvings, peg head shapes, inlay patterns, etc. 

7. Easy to sell and trade

8. Enjoy playing and owning a piece of Americana





7 comments on “Collecting and playing open back banjos”

Robby Boone Says:
Saturday, June 25, 2011 @8:05:00 AM

I don't know what has you so "fired up" lately but I'm glad for whatever it is. So nice to see your posts and responses to topics. Your opinions, replies and answers are always well thought out and well said.

Keep coming back to BHO, you're presence here is valuable. If not for folks like Bobby Joe, yourself and just a small handful of others that actually "know" of what they're talking about, this forum would not be what it is.
Take care old friend,

Bill Anderson Says:
Saturday, June 25, 2011 @8:23:09 AM

Robby, thanks for the support........I think I am getting into it, testing the waters, because I have the time. Work is a little easier, my performing career over, I am learning as I go. About a year ago I couldn't even type. I enjoy writing, wish I had paid more attention in English class......... thanks again, Bill

JMalmsteen Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @5:53:30 PM

Bill, you have the right idea! Investing in instruments is a lot more rewarding then putting all of your assets into stocks and mutual funds.

tymburrs Says:
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @6:04:06 PM

Bill, great post. I'm in the same process of historical openbacks. Their art, stories, craftsmanship and sound. It's like "The Red Violin", american style. michael

Bill Anderson Says:
Sunday, September 9, 2012 @9:10:42 AM

Thanks guys.....seems obvious to me.

Paul Roberts Says:
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 @3:53:26 PM

Nice piece.

davidwigal Says:
Sunday, June 21, 2015 @6:29:20 PM

"Playing old music on an old instrument" Wow that is so perfect, I have been thinking the same thing for a long time ": ' )

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