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The No-strap for banjo comments

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Oct 22, 2019 - 7:52:46 AM
2 posts since 9/22/2019

New here...hello everyone. I'm having a terrible time with pain in my neck & shoulder from supporting the weight of my banjo and have been looking for alternatives to a conventional strap. I'm seen some mixed reviews here on the Slider Harness sold by Elderly so I don't think that will work. Does anyone have experience with the No-Strap made by Fifth Child Music in Knoxville? ( fifthchild.com/shop/the-no-strap-for-banjo ) Seems like a good idea but I'd like to hear how well it works from someone who's actually used it. Thanks in advance.

Oct 22, 2019 - 8:05:26 AM

92 posts since 2/17/2008

Well, they offer a thirty-day return, so I'd order one up and see how it works for me...

Oct 22, 2019 - 9:08:48 AM
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5491 posts since 3/6/2006

You could try sitting down.

Oct 22, 2019 - 9:19:23 AM

chuckv97

Canada

44166 posts since 10/5/2013

Jazz guys sit,,,, but sitting down is hard on the butt....nyuk,nyuk
I like the looks and idea of that product,, so far I’m not having problems with my conventional strap, but I’ll keep it in mind for the future. Thnx for posting.

Edited by - chuckv97 on 10/22/2019 09:23:06

Oct 22, 2019 - 9:28:52 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

i don't think my midsection shape would be conducive to that product functioning properly. There again, a shoulder strap doesn't give me much issue. How wide of a strap do you currently use?

Oct 22, 2019 - 11:14:07 AM
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792 posts since 3/23/2006

Eddie Adcock addressed the problem by using a stand to hold his banjo. youtube.com/watch?v=KFdc8xbbGPY   

Oct 22, 2019 - 11:32:21 AM

52578 posts since 12/14/2005

I designed, but never built, a simple enough device.

A piece of PVC pipe, with a Velcro (TM)  strap at the bottom, to fasten it around the instep, so it would move when the player moved, and a bit of bungee cord at the top, supporting some of the banjo's weight, so as to leave LESS weight on the strap.

I suppose I could draw a picture, if you're interested in a better description.

Oct 22, 2019 - 12:05:52 PM
Players Union Member

foamer

USA

4 posts since 9/13/2019

LOL, If I put that thing on the strings would be facing the floor.

Oct 22, 2019 - 1:53:40 PM
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Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14558 posts since 3/27/2004

The solution for pain caused by a heavy banjo is...

...wait for it...

... a lighter banjo.

Wider / more cushioned straps distribute the weight differently, but if you have problems with the weight a different strap will often not solve anything for you long-term.

Oct 22, 2019 - 2:00:55 PM
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52578 posts since 12/14/2005

Rudy hath spoken a Great Truth.

Just for the heck of it, step on your scale, WITH the banjo.

Then step off, put the banjo down, and step back on.
Post the difference, so we'll know how much the dang thing weighs.

Meanwhile- - - I'm not at a computer with drawing program on it, or I'd draw a picture for you.

Oct 22, 2019 - 6:53:49 PM

Fathand

Canada

11502 posts since 2/7/2008

My concern would be that it looks like the banjo sits low on your body which may not be helpful to good right hand position.
Is it easy to alternate sitting and standing with such a strap?

Oct 23, 2019 - 7:07:25 AM
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2 posts since 9/22/2019

Thanks everyone...this is a lot bigger response than I expected on this topic. I played banjo many years ago and as I approach my second (and final!) retirement I thought it would be a good thing to take up once I've stopped working. Trouble is I've had back issues over the years & that and age have left me with weaker muscles than I used to have & that's what's making it hard for me to handle this banjo.

To address a few specific things posters have mentioned:

My banjo weighs 10.6 lb & is one of those whose neck tends to drop unless supported so I find I need a strap to keep it in good playing position whether I'm standing or sitting.

A Mike Ramsey all-wood instrument would be lighter and might be an answer but they seem to be awfully scarce

I'm using a neoprene strap that's 3.5" wide so I don't think weight distribution can be improved much.

I never considered some sort of external support mechanism as some mentioned but that's really more than I'm interested in doing.

Anyway, I've ordered the No-Strap that started this whole thread and either it'll works or it doesn't and I return it. If that happens you'll probably see my banjo back on the marketplace here before too long.

Thanks again for everyone's interest.

Oct 24, 2019 - 4:33:18 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

11931 posts since 8/30/2006

You have free trade and sailor's rights. That means you can develop your own set of specs.

There is also a banjo stand, whether sitting or standing. So no weight is on your shoulders and spine. I lost my bluegrass for a few months from a nerve pinch back in 2014, lucky to get everything back.

I build the banjos that I play on stage. They vary in weight, tone and projection.
I have bamboo WITH a tone ring that weighs only 5 lbs. Others with a resonator weigh just at seven. The trouble is 3 hours later, 10 pounds feels like 15.

Good luck with the No-strap, I hope it doesn't stress your lumbar, because all yer bones are the same age and 'vintage.'

And of course, Mike Gregory can figure out a banjo "sling." Hangs from the ceiling, just where you want it, a little Macrame'

Keep going, there is a solution here, other people have this problem, help them, too.

Nov 2, 2019 - 6:24:57 PM

RevD

USA

37 posts since 4/8/2019

Interesting solution, I lost a lot of weight, once that boy clears my hips the banjo and my pants would be on the floor lol. Nothing like the big ending... Looks like it would work though, my lower 3 disc are garbage it probably wouldn't help me much. Good luck with a solution, I hope you find the one that suits you!

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