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New head on my old banjo-other updates

Posted by clawfootcurt on Monday, February 4, 2008

I put a new calfskin head on my old Lyon&Healy banjo a couple weeks ago.  It is so dry here that I've stopped tightening the head for fear of tearing it, or making it so it bottom's out  this summer.  I figure I should wait till spring or summer when it is humid again before I stretch it any more.  This presents a small problem in that the tension ring has another 3/8 of an inch to go before it is flush with the head, and any time I fret strings up the neck past the 5th fret, they will hit on that band.  Since this is not my main banjo, I figure I have the luxury of time though.

I had a good weekend in a way and a bad weekend in another.  While my wife was gone on a ladies retreat, (I hate it when she's gone, I miss her), I finished up our taxes and also finished putting a mountain dulcimer stand together for her.  Now it sits right out in our living room where she can pick it up and play anytime.  Plus, I think it looks good adding to the decor of the room.

I have still been working on Boatman, and progress is good, albeit slow.  I realy don't think there is a problem with slow, ( I hope it doesn't indicate that I shouldn't be playing the banjo) as long as I can play it well when I'm done.  My practices are usually pretty short for this song, 10 to 15 minutes max, two or three time a day, and after about a month of this, it is starting to sound a lot less choppy.  I would not be comfortable playing the song for anyone at this point, but I don't feel like I am in a hurry to be ready either.  My wife has been very encouraging and doesn't seem to mind my going over this tune again and again.

OK, enough for now.  See Ya!

1 comment on “New head on my old banjo-other updates”

Cottonmouth Says:
Monday, February 4, 2008 @4:38:18 PM

Curt, I imagine that the lower your head sits (or sags) the action is affected somewhat. I am now snugging up a Fiberskyn head on my '26 Vega mandolin banjo, and have loosened the strings four times (so far) as I creep up on the maximum tension. I will not alter the bridge until I decide that I have finally arrived. Never a lack of humidity (or humility) here in LA (Lower Alabama)!

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