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My New 5-String Banjo... Like... Thingy :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Woo-hoo! New life in an old crappy instrument!

I finally got around to reusing an old youth guitar that we got years ago for the niece and nephews... but they only wound up tearing up the strings on it.  It's been sitting lifeless in a corner since around 2002 or so.  Since that lousy Zither Heaven 5-string that I got is pretty useless as it is (I really need to remove the crappy tuning screw things on it and replace them with real live friction pegs that actually WORK!), I've been playing with the idea of just converting this old almost-a-toy into something that I can practice with.

I may need to look into replacing the low-quality, plastic machine tuners with better ones as one or two of them slip now and then,... and maybe stuff the body of it with foam rubber, old socks or quilting bunting to see if that'll get rid of the guitar resonator sound it still has.  As it is now, it works well enough for learning fingerings and rolls. :)

I was going to use a bent paper clip anchored into the fret board and wrapped around and jabbed into the back of the neck at the 5th fret to work for the 5th string, but after muffling the top portion of it with simple packing tape and pulling that back around the neck, then placing a wood screw and washer against it at the 5th fret, it worked great for what I needed; and the tape holds it securely around the back of the neck without the danger of tetanus when my thumb runs across it.

One of the tweaks I've had to add to it since this picture was taken was to place a strip of leather boot lacing from the 1st string across to the 4th string between the nut and the top fret to lift them up some.  There was a ton of buzz coming from the strings on the top fret and this cleared that up.

I think that the best part of this is that:

1. It saved me from having to budget away for a 5-string banjo by just using what I already had available (plus the cost of a new set of banjo strings)

2. If I ever get a 5-string banjo, I can pass this on to someone else wanting to learn how to play banjo, or

3. Remove the strings on it and restring it as a guitar to pass onto someone who may wish to learn that, instead.  It'll still function the same either way. :)

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UnkaTony has 3 friends.

Jane C
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Playing Since: 1999
Experience Level: Just Startin'


Occupation: Boer, TexMaster™, Myotonic goat rancher

Gender: Male
Age: 54

My Instruments:
Hilo 2652 Ukulele
Hilo 2649 Ukulele
Marcus Martini Oval Ukulele
1928 Gretsch Camp (personal favorite)

SX Country 4-String Banjo

Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Flatt & Scruggs, Weird Al Yankovic, Boxcars, Def Leppard, CCR, Rhonda Vincent, Seasick Steve, Lynnyrd Skynnyrd, Louis Prima, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Della Mae, The Cleverlys

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Visible to: Public
Created 2/17/2011
Last Visit 6/9/2015

It says that I have no friends in my Friend List here... I didn't think that would do that until -after- I had posted a song. I don't really want a -negative- number of friends, so I guess that I shouldn't upload anything at all. :) Boer, Texmaster™ and Myotonic Goat rancher. Really love the myotonics since they're the absolute EASIEST animals to catch when you have to deworm or vaccinate them.

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