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Non-smoking banjo

Posted by gkuchan on Monday, February 18, 2008

Well here we are...week six going on week seven of taking up the Banjo, and not smoking. Someone suggested to me, when it was time to quit that I should consider taking up an instrument. It had worked for her and three flutes later, she plays in a few chamber groups, and has out lived her husband (who didn't quit) by over forty years. I am lucky enough to live near enough to a magnificent resource the Old Town School of Folk music here in the great city of Chicago Illinois. So I set a date and signed up for claw-hammer 1. Here we are seven weeks later. We have a Gold Tone BC-350 in the corner, which I traded in for the rental (I have since dubbed him Boris the Franken-banjo, because I keep playing with the strings and bridge, and the head tension. much to the delight of my wife, because I'm not out back with a cigarette). I can't say that I don't miss smoking, but I sure am having a hell of a time with this (the first and only musical instrument I have ever played). I've signed up for claw-hammer 2, and once we're done with that the BC-350 will have payed for itself with the money I haven't been spending on cigarettes. So here is the big question....I hope that within the next year that I may be good enough to want another banjo. So..here we go everybody sound off! Where should I go from here? I'm loving the sound of my BC-350 with a Samson Old Time Bridge and some good Medium strings on it. I'm leaning towards a Chuck Lee with a Tuba-Phone ring, but a whyte-lady or his "Gandolf" banjo might do the trick too....My teacher plays a Wildwood, and I like the wider neck and the volume. Or should I be looking at a Bart Reiter? Any of the above would be well within the price range after not smoking for 52 weeks. And keep in mind, I'm not very good, have no real aspirations to become all that good. But, I defy anyone to suggest that they may be coming anywhere close to the amount of fun I'm having with this. Any suggestions and support would be welcome. Also if anyone has any Ramones or Kiss tunes in Claw-hammer Tab...keep me in mind Thanks "If anyone doubts my tenacity, I can only say that I pity his lack of faith." -Baron Munchausen

2 comments on “Non-smoking banjo”

PruchaLegend Says:
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 @2:06:47 AM

Congratulations, Grant! Amazing how much money you can save in a short time isn't it?
If you like that BC-350 I think it is about as nice a banjo for the money as you can get. If you really want to get a more expensive banjo, I have a Prucha Premium (Greg Boyd in Missoula, MT... House of Fine Instruments) that I like a lot.
Anyway, keep up the fine work. I quit a year ago after a heart attack. I was lucky I got the chance to quit and talk about it.

tomthacker Says:
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 @4:38:46 PM

If you compare the current price of cigarettes at one pack a day for a year, you can have a pretty nice banjo. I quit smoking about eleven years ago. I wish I had taken up the banjo then, it would have made things much easier.

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