Travel with me....back in time.....back to a simpler place....back to the late 50's and early 60's. During these ancient times if one chose to play the banjo you first...bought a banjo......then you snugged the head, tuned the strings and found some bluegrass records and commenced to learn the banjo. Life was good.
Fast forward 40 some odd years to the present where I find out after a few festivals and the Banjo Hangout that I have gone about things totally wrong. The worst offense being that I have never owned a banjo fit for humans. So after gleaming all the info available I found the right parts to build the banjo that would simply be called ......."The Banjo of the Gods"........The very sound of this instrument would make strong men weep....and women swoon........and would melt the coldest of hearts.
On to the parts list.
The Rim........: The rim must be hand carved from the keel section of a Spanish Galleon sunk during a hurricane off the coast of Key West Florida in 1563.
Tone ring and tailpiece......: These two items must be forged at night under a full moon by Nubian virgins.
Bridge.....: Must be carved from the uppermost branch of a giant Redwood by an Old Henry pocket knife.
Nut......: Carved from the bone of a Tyrannosaurus Rex,....Brontosaurus can be used but expect tonal variations.
Strings......: strings are a personal thing but for this banjo ......only one set will do. These strings have to be manufactured under zero gravity conditions on the International Space Station where they will be immediately be cryogenically frozen( again by Nubian virgins.)
Head...: The head must be a Remo Weatherking "pre-EPA" head. The proper tension will be obtained by bouncing microwave transmissions from a satellite in geo-synchronous orbit directly to Area 51 where the correct tension will be analyzed.
All the rest can be ordered from Stew-Mac........so don't worry about it.
After building this instrument I went directly to the nearest bluegrass festival. While unlimbering "The Banjo of the Gods" I was in heady anticipation of the weeping and swooning that would occur after my rendition of Foggy Mountain Breakdown. Upon finishing the tune a lone banjo picker walked up and said, " That banjo sure does sound good.......it must be a PRE-WAR"...............................................damn.14 comments
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Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)
Playing Style: Other
Genre: Unknown/None Chosen
Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen
Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)
Playing Since: 1964
Experience Level: Purty Good
Banjo - built out of Stew-Mac parts.
Guitar -Ovation, Takamine and a Schecter electric
Mandolin - Ovation
Autoharp - Oscar Schmidt
I'm impressed by anyone with talent.
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Last Visit 8/28/2020
My Grandma started teaching me the banjo and guitar back around 1964. Grandma was a 2 finger banjo picker. She was in great demand back in the 20's and 30's in NE Arkansas for playing fiddle and banjo music at barn dances and other get togethers. In the mid 60's we formed a bluegrass band and played somewhere about every weekend for the next 10 years.
'Red River Valley' 5 min
'Clear Head' 1 hr