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Apr 7, 2020 - 2:55:40 PM

Black Gold

Norway

8 posts since 11/11/2019

Hey guys!


Whats your thoughts concerning Electric banjos?

Do they all sound like a guitar?

Pros/cons anyone?

Edited by - Lynne on 04/07/2020 17:17:50

Apr 7, 2020 - 3:04:53 PM

Tweelo

USA

115 posts since 4/14/2014

I use a Gold Tone EBM and I think it sounds like a banjo. It uses a telecaster style neck pickup and a humbucker under the head. The advantages are no feedback and lighter weight. The only drawbacks are dynamic control is reliant on your hands and not stepping away from the mic. The only other drawback is some folks will slag on you for having an electric banjo ignoring the fact that lots of people use pickups inside "acoustic" banjos.

I have heard some other electric models that are a little too guitar-like.

Apr 7, 2020 - 3:06:47 PM

Blackjaxe47

Canada

1497 posts since 6/20/2014

Listen to Buck Trent, he played with Porter Wagoner. Although it has never been confirmed it has been said he was the banjo player that did "Banjo's on Fire". You can find u-tube links to the songs from that LP, pretty amazing stuff that is next to impossible for a normal banjo to achieve. His banjo was highly modified to achieve the tone he was looking for.

Apr 7, 2020 - 3:33:12 PM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

24225 posts since 8/3/2003

The very few electric type banjos I've heard haven't sounded like a bluegrass banjo at all, just a hyped up electric guitar. I've heard Buck Trent play his electric banjo and I don't think it sounds much like a banjo at all. Just my take.

Apr 7, 2020 - 3:56:28 PM
like this

Blackjaxe47

Canada

1497 posts since 6/20/2014

Here is a link to who we all think is Buck Trent on banjo......youtube.com/watch?v=pLOEgHaApQk....They called themselves Homer and the Barn Stormers as they we all playing in other bands at the time.

Apr 7, 2020 - 4:22:25 PM

348 posts since 7/28/2016

sounds like banjo to me

Apr 8, 2020 - 1:55:50 PM

Alex Z

USA

3799 posts since 12/7/2006

The link to "Bluegrass Banjos on Fire" is Buck Trent on banjo.  But it is not his electric banjo sound, even though he uses some of the licks.

The whole point of an electric banjo is NOT to sound like a banjo -- why bother? -- but to sound like a pedal steel guitar.  smiley

Now here is the real Mr. Buck electric banjo sound:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIWdZgAX9Ms

Apr 8, 2020 - 2:50:53 PM

Tweelo

USA

115 posts since 4/14/2014

An electric guitar sounds like a guitar, not exactly like an acoustic guitar, but a guitar nonetheless. I feel the same way about electric banjos. They still sound like banjos, but a wee bit different. Would you honestly mistake them for anything different? Again, for a person who plays out and plays festivals and doesn't always know who is doing sound, there are benefits.

Edited by - Tweelo on 04/08/2020 14:53:27

Apr 8, 2020 - 3:26:47 PM

Alex Z

USA

3799 posts since 12/7/2006

Have to differentiate between the licks, style, and notes played and the tone of the instrument.  Similar licks and style on both instruments might identify both electric and acoustic as a "guitar."  Yet,  Jimi Hendrix "Star Spangled Banner" and Tony Rice "Faded Love" don't sound like they are playing the same instrument.

Have someone close their eyes and listen to this:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIWdZgAX9Ms and identify it as a 5 string banjo.  Could be a pedal steel imitating a banjo, or an electric banjo imitating a pedal steel.  When Mr. Buck really gets going on the electric, there's not much "banjo" left in it.  smiley

Apr 8, 2020 - 6:40:56 PM

Black Gold

Norway

8 posts since 11/11/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Blackjaxe47

Here is a link to who we all think is Buck Trent on banjo......youtube.com/watch?v=pLOEgHaApQk....They called themselves Homer and the Barn Stormers as they we all playing in other bands at the time.


is this electric banjo? 

Apr 8, 2020 - 6:56:56 PM

Blackjaxe47

Canada

1497 posts since 6/20/2014

It had a highly modified head with pick-ups, mic, separate pads for doing some special reverb stuff. With the exception of all the extra stuff on the head it looked like a regular flat head banjo. If you do a u-tube search you can find him doing sit-down stuff with a guitar player, in his own right a highly accomplished picker....a bit of a show-off ( which sort of puts me off, cannot stand anyone who does that sort of thing ).....I prefer people who are more down to earth and humble, that earns my respect for them right from the start. Not so special they put their pants on same way I do every damn morning.

Apr 9, 2020 - 6:03:37 AM

2598 posts since 9/12/2016

there are many variables ,it can be done and has been done both ways. picking up the strings or picking up a piece of metal fastened to the head another way that sounded banjoy an electric guitar pick up sitting on a piece of stretched plastic instead of sitting on wood

Apr 9, 2020 - 6:05:59 AM

2598 posts since 9/12/2016

Apr 9, 2020 - 7:00:35 AM

238 posts since 4/12/2005

Leo Fender came up with an electric banjo in 47... we call it a Telecaster ;0)

Apr 9, 2020 - 7:43:33 AM

Blackjaxe47

Canada

1497 posts since 6/20/2014

quote:
Originally posted by Tractor1

there are many variables ,it can be done and has been done both ways. picking up the strings or picking up a piece of metal fastened to the head another way that sounded banjoy an electric guitar pick up sitting on a piece of stretched plastic instead of sitting on wood


My problem is I am too much of a traditionalist if it doesn't sound like Earl or J.D. than it ain't bluegrass.....SO, that's my opinion and I am damn well sticking to it.wink

Apr 9, 2020 - 7:58:08 AM

2598 posts since 9/12/2016

I don't know why you quoted me,

Apr 9, 2020 - 8:14:37 AM

Mooooo

USA

7816 posts since 8/20/2016

"Whats your thoughts concerning Electric banjos?"

First, I will say that an electric banjo and a banjo with pickups are two entirely different things.

If someone gave me and electric banjo, I would not even play it. They sound like electric guitars. I have those already. The reason I play banjo is that I love the sound created by the strings ringing out over a banjo head, tightly stretched across an 11" pot with some sort of tone ring. It has a sound like a naturally distorted guitar with an unmistakable acoustic timbre.

6-string electric banjos are for guitarists who want to play the banjo and are unwilling to commit.

Apr 9, 2020 - 8:41:04 AM
likes this

2598 posts since 9/12/2016

Of course this can complicate matters

Apr 9, 2020 - 8:47:08 AM
likes this

Alex Z

USA

3799 posts since 12/7/2006

Classical Music:

 -- Been around 200 years, that's the real thing.

 -- Been around only 100 years, newfangled stuff.

Jazz:

 -- Been around 100 years, that's the real thing.

 -- Been around only 75 years, newfangled stuff.

Bluegrass:

 -- Been around 75 years, that's the real thing.

 -- Been around only 60 years, newfangled stuff.

Apr 9, 2020 - 9:45:33 AM

Alex Z

USA

3799 posts since 12/7/2006

"Of course this can complicate matters"

See!  See?  Even with Mr. Alan playing, I can close my eyes and tell it's an electric piano.  smiley

That's a great clip.  Thanks for posting.

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