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Too Late...Should have replaced the strap...

Posted by Gumbograss on Monday, May 20, 2013

Banjo brothers and sisters, I would like to remind you to pay attention to the smallest things, when it comes to your banjo. See the archtop Stew Mac I'm playing in my profile pic? It had the same leather cradle strap on it for over 30 years. A week ago I found a spot where the leather was wearing thin and I thought, "I need to see about getting a new strap soon." I wish I had. While playing at a local nursing home tonight, I reached up to put an electronic tuner on the head, leaving the banjo supported only by that strap, and it chose that moment to break. I could not catch my banjo. The banjo my mom had made for me in 1981 fell like an anvil and smashed onto the tile floor. The binding broke, the back of the resonator popped off, and the rim is cracked all the way through.
I will be taking it for an estimate this weekend, and I'm praying a repair is even possible. I believe everything happens for a reason. It will be interesting to see what the reason for this could be.  

4 comments on “Too Late...Should have replaced the strap...”

Torben Pedersen Says:
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @4:37:31 AM

Sorry to hear. Hope you can get the banjo fixed. I think you can...there is a lot of great builders, that surely can help....It must be fantastic to have a banjo, made by your Mother.

Gumbograss Says:
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @5:31:50 AM

Torben, thanks for the encouragement. To clarify, when I said "my mother had made," I meant that she had someone make it for me. Still, it is very special to me.

Paul R Says:
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @8:32:46 AM

Ouch! Really sorry to read about your mishap. When you say the rim is cracked, you mean the resonator rim, right? It would be far more serious if the banjo rim had cracked. I guess resonators have another purpose - to protect the banjo rim if dropped. Repairs won't be cheap. Hope everything can be put back together again. Good luck with it, and I hope you get a really nice new strap!

Gumbograss Says:
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @8:34:00 PM

Hey Paul, Thanks! Yes, I mean the resonator rim. The only visible damage is to the resonator. But I have an appointment to get an estimate on Saturday, and I'm planning to get everything on it examined closely then and tuned up at the same time as the resonator repair. The man I'm taking it to is a well known violin builder and instrument repair man. I'm sure he'll be worth whatever he charges.

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