Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

2. Nailing it

Posted by Rob MacKillop on Friday, September 5, 2008

Spent some time just trying to change the bum of the bum-ditty to different strings, and consequently became frustrated that the notes just weren't ringing out and my accuracy was poor. So, I decided to try out a false nail on my middle finger. The difference was very noticeable - big improvement in tone and accuracy. I was having fun with the excercises in the online A Book Of Five Strings by Patrick Costello


[Isn't the Internet a great resource, especially when people take the time to stop and share?]

Then I started reading Minstral Banjo


(scroll to the bottom of the page to see this excellent book). Page 13 has a facsimile of an ad for 'banjo thimbles' - very interesting. Do they still make these? I've never seen them. It has encouraged me to either seek them out or continue with my false nail. Although I am working slowly on basic stuff, I know that complex stuff is just a few basic things played fast, so I've got to train the muscles to do the correct thing, and that takes time.

Dying to practice right now, but it's my daughter's banjo, and she has a mean snarl! Only kidding, but I must get my own banjo. Got my eye on a fretless Enoch Tradesman, which I plan to string in gut. I've used gut for many years on lutes and Early guitars. Can't be beaten for warmth and clarity. Plus, with no frets to wear them down, they might last longer than they would on a lute or fretted banjo.


3 comments on “2. Nailing it”

muntjac Says:
Friday, September 5, 2008 @11:43:02 AM

Hi Rob  welcome to the BHO..........................Ian

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Friday, September 5, 2008 @9:10:28 PM

Nylon strings are the equivalent of gut in tone without the attendant negatives.  They last longer, are not hygroscopic, maintain a uniform linear mass density , are lower maintenance and last much longer.

Rob MacKillop Says:
Friday, September 5, 2008 @10:51:36 PM

Agree with you, FiddlerFaddler, but would add that good gut sounds better. I'm very familar with both gut and nylgut, and like both, but they are different. Finances might dictate nylgut, however...

You must sign into your myHangout account before you can post comments.

More posts from Rob MacKillop

Newest Posts

More >  

Hide these ads: join the Players Union!

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories