Just wondering if this is something unusual. It was to me!
Edited by - sirtwangalot on 07/20/2019 05:52:29
Yes - Hartnett made one back in the teens of the last century. It is a metallic unit, and I have one on my tenor banjo. I think that it was an aftermarket item, but I've seen them on Bacon Professionals of the era.
The metallic bar under the strings and over the moon bridge - I've never seen that before!
Looks like a home-made item to me. Looks like drywall screws holding it together.
I think it’s a muffler, since recording can erase limitations, why limit the head from vibrating?
My fingers are enough
The D.E. Hartnett Adjustable Tone Bar was a bit different-- I am a fan of them (and have fabricated a few replicas).
The Hartnett Tone Bar was adjustable to create a platform that was parallel to the strings so that the distance for the strings remained the same from the bridge to the fingerboard.
Hartnett's Tone Bar was designed for the popular and common style of playing at the time-- "guitar style" or "finger style" (as opposed to "banjo" or "stroke" style). That was bare fingertips on gut or silk strings.
The banjos were built with no back angle to the necks and the action was quite high with a low (1/2") bridge by design. D. E. Hartnett also sold a slightly taller (than the standard 1/2") bridge to go with it.
The advertising claims were to "prevent hooking" (pulling up instead of across the strings) and muting with head with the little finger (most people only anchored the pinky).
This was long before the use of Hawaiian Guitar picks on steel strings.
I agree that the one in the video is a homemade invention.
Looking closer at the video-- his looks like a pretty good design. The drywall screws screw into blocks that clamp the finger rest to the stretcher hoop and flesh hoop. It is not adjustable but would cost nearly nothing but time and scrap wood to make so one could make them until they got it how they wanted it.
There was a metal rod type, that was advertised here on the Hangout up until a few ago. Some players need their fingers at a certain angle, especially for precise picking like that. The one in the video actually looks better, because it is wider, and further away from the strings than the one that used to be advertised on BH.
The description is hilarious :).
Apparently if I don't use one, "it is impossible to feel decently sorry" for me.
'Good Thursday Morning' 52 min
'Cigar Box Banjo' 2 hrs
'Cigar Box Banjo' 3 hrs
'I'm A Good Old Rebel' 3 hrs
'Bacon belmont..' 4 hrs