I would like to hear some solo Old Time tunes done on banjos without steel strings, either claw or OT two or three finger to get a handle on the tone produced. I have low tuned fretless Nylguts and am curious about going up in pitch, and fretted. Steel is not kind to my hands these days, and I am enjoying the tone of my Nylguts more and more. No wish to offend but I'm not particularly interested in the Classic or Stroke style techniques or tunes as that music is foreign to me and would not help in my evaluation. I just hope to hear the difference in tone between steel and nylon/Nylgut with standard tunings on some familiar tunes, and that does not appear to be a very common thing to find. Links appreciated!
Edited by - banjo bill-e on 09/06/2019 16:21:26
Bill, I’ve just missed the boat on your request. I had nylon strings on one of my fretted banjos until a few days ago and have now swapped them back to steel. I would’ve happily recorded a sound comparison for you. Unfortunately I don’t have a recording of that banjo with nylon strings.
Granted that’s not much help in the sound comparison you’re looking for. However I did play those nylon strings tuned to aDADE and aEAC#E. I was surprised at the volume; certainly equal to and probably louder than my other banjos that I keep with steel. Just not my preference in tone and feel. But great for playing while giving a steel-worn picking nail a chance to regrow.
Edited by - m06 on 09/07/2019 00:37:18
I posted a slow version of Little Black Train a few weeks ago to show somebody what the tab meant. Old-time 3 finger and a slightly unusual tuning, f#DGAD. Done on my c1880 Tilley with Nylgut reds. https://www.banjohangout.org/myhangout/music-search.asp?alpha=L&pagenum=6#
I've considered trying them on my main playing banjo (White Lady ringed Stacey) but haven't yet bitten the bullet. @m06 - Why did you revert to steel ? My main reason is that retuning takes longer, and it takes long enough to retune in a session with steel anyway.
Here's a few tunes, Bill.
Originally posted by AndrewD
>I've considered trying them on my main playing banjo (White Lady ringed Stacey) but haven't yet bitten the bullet. @m06 - Why did you revert to steel ? My main reason is that retuning takes longer, and it takes long enough to retune in a session with steel anyway.<
Purely personal preference. I was curious to try that particular banjo (Cedar Mountain J200) with a set of nylon strings. It was interesting to hear the sound difference. I just prefer the feel and tone of the steel strings that I play. Including on my fretless. The nylon strings stretching out wasn’t a problem at all. It’s more that the nail to string contact on nylon, thickness and tension not being my ideal set up for my playing.
Edited by - m06 on 09/07/2019 05:33:42
Well, I woke up to an embarrassment of riches here, thanks guys! Mike, getting used to the feel of nylon/nylgut has been an issue for me but after three months away from steel it is now steel where I feel that I've lost my touch. I greatly prefer steel strings if playing chords or droney stuff like triple C tuning, but usually play more sparse music like AndrewD's link, and I really like the sound of non-steel for that.
Between RV6 and the link to Guy Wolff's work I have hit the motherload, so thanks. But the one that is most on point for what I'm doing now--OT Two Finger with Nylgut--is Emil's link to Jed Clampett, and that is exactly what I wanted to hear. Thanks to all.
'Good Saturday Morning' 2 hrs
'Setups' 8 hrs
'St. Anne’s Reel (TOTW)' 10 hrs
'1987 bill sullivan rb-5' 11 hrs