Posted by sixwatergrog on Monday, August 22, 2011
There are several options for purchasing a tenor banjo. The most obvious route is going with a production model Gold Tone or Deering. These companies both make decent, relatively inexpensive entry-level models. Or you could try getting a vintage 1920’s Vega, Bacon & Day, Slingerland, Paramount or similar from a reputable dealer such as Vinnie Mondello, Bernunzio, Intermountain Guitar and Banjo or Spruce Tree Music. There are also at least two well known makers in Ireland –Clareen and Boyle – who specialize in tenor banjos.
Instrument builder Noel Booth of Old Fiddle Road Banjo Works designs and builds banjos made with a combination of traditional and unusual woods. He works out of a small shop in Balsam, North Carolina and can make you an original tenor banjo using a combination of historical and contemporary design.
Jason Romero makes his hand-built, finely crafted J. Romero Banjos in Horsefly, British Columbia. Jason's banjos are playable works of art -- ever changing and evolving with just enough innovation to provide a tasteful alternative. As with all the builders mentioned here, custom tenor banjo orders are welcome.
|J. Romero Tenor Banjo|
There are many advantages to having a custom instrument made. For banjos, the cost is not much more, and sometimes less, than a mass produced or vintage model. Your dream instrument can be tailored just for you, with the perfect combination of materials and specs. Plus there's just the coolness factor of having your very own banjo which will bring you that much closer to playing and sounding your best. Let me know if there are any other North American tenor banjo makers who should be on this list.
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