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weaver banjo, Essex & Cammeyer

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Jul 19, 2019 - 12:21:06 PM
1306 posts since 2/12/2009

hopefully there should be a few pics of my new toy bought yesterday.








Jul 19, 2019 - 12:31:18 PM

csacwp

USA

2259 posts since 1/15/2014

My guess is that this was originally fretless. The nut and fifth string pip appear to have been replaced, and the gap at the end of the fingerboard is very unusual. The frets look a little large in the photos but without a closeup I cannot confirm if they are original or not. It's definitely a Weaver and the Essex & Cammeyer nameplate is quite rare and very cool.

Jul 19, 2019 - 12:34:46 PM

Emiel

Austria

9160 posts since 1/22/2003

Wonderful banjo and in great shape, it seems.

Jul 19, 2019 - 1:50:34 PM

1306 posts since 2/12/2009

I dont think this banjo was ever fretless, the inlays line up too well, old fretless banjos I have seen have inlays all over the place and look most odd when somebody puts frets in .

Jul 19, 2019 - 2:06:10 PM
likes this

csacwp

USA

2259 posts since 1/15/2014

quote:
Originally posted by spoonfed

I dont think this banjo was ever fretless, the inlays line up too well, old fretless banjos I have seen have inlays all over the place and look most odd when somebody puts frets in .


That's only because many of them were fretted without care given to the original scale length (as marked by the inlays). Check out the Weaver I have in the classifides. It was originally fretless but was fretted carefully in the 1950s. The inlays line up perfectly.

If this banjo were mine I would find matching fretwire and go ahead and add a few additional frets. It's in great condition and will make a fine player.

Edited by - csacwp on 07/19/2019 14:15:33

Jul 20, 2019 - 1:44:09 AM

1184 posts since 4/25/2007

Nice banjo in great condition Nick. Johns spot on about the nut and pip they would originally have been ebony and likely the tailpiece. Essex and Cammeyer plate on a Weaver I've not seen before but you see them a lot on the Cole banjos they imported.
What's the scale length and pot diameter ?

Jul 20, 2019 - 3:37:16 AM

1306 posts since 2/12/2009

I am enjoying exploring some classic style tunes and, already considered the possibility of adding frets should I find the current setup restricting as I learn, for now 17 frets is all I can cope with ! I shall measure her and post the information you requested Stephen, gotta go out and earn my keep first though. I have ordered a CE Morley bridge and will see what difference that makes, cool to know that the nameplate is kinda rare too !

Jul 20, 2019 - 5:07:31 AM

1306 posts since 2/12/2009

just whipped out the tape, 11" pot and scale measuring at exactly 26"

Jul 20, 2019 - 7:38:20 AM

976 posts since 6/20/2014

That's a beautiful instrument.

Charlie

Jul 20, 2019 - 8:12:09 PM

csacwp

USA

2259 posts since 1/15/2014

quote:
Originally posted by spoonfed

just whipped out the tape, 11" pot and scale measuring at exactly 26"


That's quite a short scale length- more evidence that it was fretted after the fact. Luckily it's not too short for serious classic style playing, so have at it and enjoy it! Don't be afraid of adding a few extra frets if you progress to the point that you are missing them. 

Jul 21, 2019 - 12:46:10 AM

1184 posts since 4/25/2007

quote:
Originally posted by spoonfed

just whipped out the tape, 11" pot and scale measuring at exactly 26"


I also have an all original 11 inch pot Weaver with a 26 inch scale.  

Jul 21, 2019 - 8:14:52 AM

1306 posts since 2/12/2009

Aw c'mon Stephen, I showed you mine, show us yours ! I am having some seriously good fun with this old jo, I have fingerpicked guitar for over forty years so, am finding it comes fairly naturally to play some of the classic tunes, I am surprised though listening to some of this stuff, these guys are definitely using what can only be described on occasion as rolls ! I have got down reasonable versions of "Whistling Rufus" and "The Ladbroke March" for starter tunes and both use what I would describe as rolls,have not had this much banjo fun for ages !

Jul 21, 2019 - 10:24:10 AM

4505 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by spoonfed

Aw c'mon Stephen, I showed you mine, show us yours ! I am having some seriously good fun with this old jo, I have fingerpicked guitar for over forty years so, am finding it comes fairly naturally to play some of the classic tunes, I am surprised though listening to some of this stuff, these guys are definitely using what can only be described on occasion as rolls ! I have got down reasonable versions of "Whistling Rufus" and "The Ladbroke March" for starter tunes and both use what I would describe as rolls,have not had this much banjo fun for ages !


Looks like a winner! Nothing wrong with that banjo at all.

My unsolicited advice for learning "classic banjo"... save yourself a huge amount of time and aggravation and take a course of study like Frank Bradbury's "Mel Bay Banjo Method."

Most people will approach classic banjo by jumping right in.  They will find a tab and video of a piece and painstakingly lean it note by note.  A month or three later they have it about where they can preform it for people.

But that is it-- three months and they can only play one or two pieces.  Rarely do they advance beyond.

They neglected to learn any of the basic skills.  Because of that they have ignored one of the most important aspects of playing-- alternate right hand fingering (and proper left hand positions).

An alternate approach would be to start with the fundamentals of learning through a method like Bradbury's.  

By the end of 6 months you will be able to play ANY piece at the level you have worked up to.  By that I mean you wil be able to take any of the thousands of pieces of public domain sheet music and read right off of the page as if you were reading a short story or magazine article!

You will also be able to read 2nd banjo parts.  That comes in handy at rallies where you can just sit in and play.

Plus there is the satisfaction of learning correctly.

You can ignore my advice, but at least work through the scales and exercises until you have programed yourself to use proper alternate fingering.  It is the key to playing this stuff smoothly.

AFA Whistling Rufus.  The ABF has a proper arrangement that includes all 4 parts (the CE publication is incomplete).  The complete score with all the parts can be found here... http://banjofraternity.org/group-numbers.html

Jul 21, 2019 - 11:00:41 AM

1306 posts since 2/12/2009

Man I cannot read a note of tab much less real music dots ! I have always played by ear on my several instruments, always for me it has worked better to just listen and learn and, for me at least part of the thrill and satisfaction is finding my way around different tunes and techniques, in about a week I shall attempt to post some of my rudimentary playing so Y'all can hear how this baby sounds, it currently sports a set of nylon strings with all 5 being plain nylon however along with a new bridge I shall try different strings as I would like to obtain a less loose feel and more snap, as usual with a new jo its experiment time and I am gonna enjoy it.

Jul 22, 2019 - 4:22:52 AM

csacwp

USA

2259 posts since 1/15/2014

You'll want a set with a wound nylon or silk 4th string. A banjo is not a guitar, and historically the stringing has been very light and loose for a number of reasons. To get a snappy sound, try these period-correct string gauges:

.017"
.019"
.023"
.024w
.017"

Jul 22, 2019 - 7:26:40 AM

1306 posts since 2/12/2009

sure will try, thanks John.

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