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Jul 29, 2021 - 8:12:50 PM
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9 posts since 7/17/2021

I'm brand new to the banjo world. I have a new Deering Goodtime, how often should I check the screws and brackets for tightness?

Jul 29, 2021 - 8:15:55 PM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14462 posts since 8/30/2006
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Check them often and frequently. Banjos vibrate for a living.

Jul 29, 2021 - 8:21:57 PM

9 posts since 7/17/2021

Ok, good to know, thanks..

Jul 29, 2021 - 8:33:03 PM
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55 posts since 5/8/2021

And keep it in its case. I know we all want to display our instruments, but really, it should live in its case when you're not playing it.

Jul 29, 2021 - 9:05:15 PM
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jacot23

USA

219 posts since 12/13/2012

quote:
Originally posted by struggle_bus

And keep it in its case. I know we all want to display our instruments, but really, it should live in its case when you're not playing it.


May I ask why?

I'm much less likely to play it at all if I have to get it out of a case. I work from home though and leave my main one on a stand next to my desk so I can grab it and play 10 minutes here and there.

Jul 30, 2021 - 12:37:02 AM
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817 posts since 9/7/2005

I am with you Jason, a banjo hidden is a less played banjo. It will certainly need to be out of the way of traffic, and secured from dogs, kids, casual walk by's, excessive sunlight, heat and accidents like anything of value. I commonly get struck by a tune in my head that if I get right to it, I can secure it in my head. If I have to stop, get it out from where it is "safe" and take it out of its case, it generally just won't happen at all. I do "quicky tunes" throughout the day and time behind the strings adds up that way for me.

This might also be the slippery slope of BAS too, a "good banjo" for serious practice / play and a general purpose banjo that is always "handy, loaded, chambered, and ready to go".

Go ahead, get another one, I dare you!

Jul 30, 2021 - 2:17:50 AM
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jacot23

USA

219 posts since 12/13/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Dogfeathers

Go ahead, get another one, I dare you!


2 Stone Banjo Co., an Ome Wizard, a Nate Calkins,  and a Zach Hoyt. Don't need any more; actually the Ome and Hoyt are for sale if you need another laugh

Edited by - jacot23 on 07/30/2021 02:19:37

Jul 30, 2021 - 4:11:36 AM

1928 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by struggle_bus

And keep it in its case. I know we all want to display our instruments, but really, it should live in its case when you're not playing it.


Only do this if you pets and children in the house who may be a problem. Otherwise banjos should not live in cases. It's a good way to make sure they don't get played. Many instruments end up in cases which, being big, end up in cupboards never to see the light of day.

Jul 30, 2021 - 4:31:30 AM

2859 posts since 12/4/2009

Hello,

Cases are optional items when purchasing a banjo. Consigning it to be protected in a case depends on its existence. Next comes quality.

My original Saga case hinges failed. To me, its use might have contributed to my lower lag bolt breaking free. My next case had a cushion specific to the neck joint and headstock. When I bought my RB-12, I sought to preserve the Gibson case. Beside, the OEM case never seemed to fit properly. I replaced it with a Hoffe case specific to the RB-12 needs.

The new case for my Saga keeps a banjo pretty stable. With the Hoffe, I added an old cloth diaper placed under the neck joint to keep the assembly horizontal.

Invariably, case use requires realignment of the banjo before use. Bridges and tailpieces move when in their cases. It comes with case use.

I use a good stand when out only when using it. The case is where it stays when not playing it.

Jul 30, 2021 - 4:51:39 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

26297 posts since 8/3/2003

quote:
Originally posted by jacot23
quote:
Originally posted by struggle_bus

And keep it in its case. I know we all want to display our instruments, but really, it should live in its case when you're not playing it.


May I ask why?

I'm much less likely to play it at all if I have to get it out of a case. I work from home though and leave my main one on a stand next to my desk so I can grab it and play 10 minutes here and there.


I'm sure you'll get a lot of horror stories about banjos on stands that got knocked over by a dog's tail or a child/children playing and not paying attention.  That's the main reason!  But, as said above, if you don't have children to dogs, you'll probably be okay to leave it out on a stand.

I remember one time my granddaughter was visiting and she and my poodle were playing and they got a little close to the banjo and it slipped off the stand, but didn't fall and it didn't hurt it.  After that, if the grandkid(s) were coming over, the banjo got put up.     The little poodle never bothered the banjo except that one time, so I l didn't put the banjo in a case.  Now, if I'd had a german shepard, it might have been a different story.

Jul 30, 2021 - 5:19:20 AM
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hbick2

USA

419 posts since 6/26/2004

Get one of these. They are almost impossible to knock over. Plus, they give you an excuse to buy two more banjos.


Jul 30, 2021 - 6:18:32 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14462 posts since 8/30/2006
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What is the banjo worth when it's broken?

Jul 30, 2021 - 6:38:56 AM
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8893 posts since 8/28/2013

To answer the first question (the one about checking screws and such for tightness) The answer is "very frequently." I've had things loosen up while playing the darned thing.

Whether or not you choose to use a case or a stand, that is entirely up to you. I am somewhat ambivalent about it. Kids and pets can really do damage, but I've had near disasters with stands that were entirely my own d***ed fault. Although cases may be restrictive to the urge to play, they can also prevent damage from some very unexpected places, such as one's own clumsy hand or foot (although a clumsy hand can also be a problem with a case). Cases can also help keep an instrument clean, and when the weather changes, it's usually easier to weather-proof a case than an entire room or office.

If a case is the choice, though, get a good one. I once had a case latch fail, which dumped a very good banjo onto the floor. 

Jul 30, 2021 - 6:41:41 AM

YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

328 posts since 5/11/2021

Just get a string swing instead of a stand. No case, no worry about a broken banjo. And it's a great wall decoration.

As far as setup, I run through a standard list of things twice a year when the season changes. Head tension checked, strings changed, fretboard/nut cleaned thoroughly, neck and resonator polished, metal parts polished, co-rod tension and neck relief checked. I typically don't need to adjust the co-rods or neck relief but I still check twice a year to make sure it's in the right spot.

Jul 30, 2021 - 6:59:55 AM

817 posts since 9/7/2005

As a side note to my comment above, I do not use stands, but I have solidly mounted “String Swings” all over the place. Pretty safe from rambunctious animals and kids, not going to bump into them and dislodge them very easily and well chosen spots away from heaters and direct sun. I have all relatively light open backs so weight is not a issue. Stands have their place on the stage, but otherwise too many horror stories if not chosen well or in the right environment.

Jul 30, 2021 - 5:10:10 PM

9 posts since 7/17/2021

Thanks for all the advice...

Jul 31, 2021 - 5:29:47 AM
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143 posts since 12/4/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

What is the banjo worth when it's broken?


2 or 3 accordians...

Jul 31, 2021 - 6:02:42 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14462 posts since 8/30/2006
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That's the ticket.

I was on tour in another country when I thought to check my tailpiece nut. It was close to falling off.

Jul 31, 2021 - 6:28:49 PM

14172 posts since 10/30/2008
Online Now

I check tightness fairly frequently by "finger tight". No need for tools unless you find something "finger loose".

Aug 1, 2021 - 8:00:45 AM

1190 posts since 1/9/2012

Steve Mizar :

I bought a new Goodtime soon after they first came out and another one used, a few years later -- to convert to partial fretless. I acquired four more (new) during the past decade. The purpose of this seeming extravagance is explained at its.caltech.edu/~politzer/. Heads got swapped out, tensions readjusted, monitored carefully with a DrumDial. Except for a little initial stretching and settling in after re-adjusting, head tension was always very stable -- without any re-tightening of the hooks.

The contrast with other people's experience is interesting. Indeed, I've played 19th Century instruments with mismatched hardware that is funky. But maybe Deering & Co. know a thing or two about banjo construction and produce quality instruments, irrespective of the level of decoration and other design variations.

Aug 1, 2021 - 9:19:48 AM

8893 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by davidppp

Steve Mizar :

I bought a new Goodtime soon after they first came out and another one used, a few years later -- to convert to partial fretless. I acquired four more (new) during the past decade. The purpose of this seeming extravagance is explained at its.caltech.edu/~politzer/. Heads got swapped out, tensions readjusted, monitored carefully with a DrumDial. Except for a little initial stretching and settling in after re-adjusting, head tension was always very stable -- without any re-tightening of the hooks.

The contrast with other people's experience is interesting. Indeed, I've played 19th Century instruments with mismatched hardware that is funky. But maybe Deering & Co. know a thing or two about banjo construction and produce quality instruments, irrespective of the level of decoration and other design variations.


Your history with maintenance sounds like really good luck to me. Generally, nuts are nuts and hooks are hooks.

Perhaps if you'd spent less time changing things (which would involve tightening everything when changes were made, you may have had more maintenance issues.

Aug 1, 2021 - 2:00:48 PM

Alex Z

USA

4479 posts since 12/7/2006

"I have a new Deering Goodtime, how often should I check the screws and brackets for tightness?"

A.  When you change the strings -- the quick "walkaround."

B.  If  you hear a rattle.

C.  1 day, 2 days, 1 week, 1 month, and 1 year after  you change the head, and then yearly thereafter -- bracket nuts only.

D.  If you pick up the banjo, and it plain doesn't sound good -- another quick "walkaround."

E.  The 100,000 mile overhaul.  smiley

Aug 11, 2021 - 6:45:29 PM
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1264 posts since 8/7/2017

I keep my 3 in their cases. Montana is so dry in the winter that instruments left out dry out and crack (guitars) or hardware gets loose (banjos). The case stabilizes humidity somewhat (storing banjo in a big black clean garbage bag works the best, but offers no instrument protection against accidents). I also use small homemade humidifiers in the case in the dry season. I would imagine a seaside town's humidity is more stable than Bozeman's humidity.

If your banjo changes tone or brightness, check the hangers and their nuts. Or if you get a rattle, may be loose hanger/nut. Another test is whether the banjo goes out of tune relative to your electronic tuner: when mine get dry, they get flat (neck shrinks, loosening strings).

Hope this helps.

Aug 12, 2021 - 4:18:41 PM

522 posts since 10/23/2003

quote: The banjo you have is the best one you got keep it with care.  My first was a goodtime too right when they started out, and it has changed my life.  LOL sitting in a room full of banjos now with friends in the banjo all over the world.  One thing I would advise, is try to get to know other banjo players locally as much as you can.  I was 51 when I got my first banjo.  I had been playing guitar since I was 13 but though  I knew some fine guitar people,  I continue to be surprised how friendly, and helpful banjo pickers have been to me especially when I was stupid, and filled with wrong ideas about banjo.  I was surprised how banjo players both local people and even top notch people were friendly, and generous and helpful, even with the stupid wrong ideas I have.  Go out to a bluegrass or old time music jam  either online or in person and get to know people.  If you can take lessons with someone who plays banjo in the style you want to play.  Do not be shy about being a starter or a beginner.  Realize it takes a lot of work to learn to play any instrument, though I think a banjo can be more fun for most when you are just learning.  But go find some people either virtually or locally that you can pick with
 
Originally posted by Steve Mizar

I'm brand new to the banjo world. I have a new Deering Goodtime, how often should I check the screws and brackets for tightness?


Aug 12, 2021 - 4:22:42 PM

522 posts since 10/23/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Mizar

I'm brand new to the banjo world. I have a new Deering Goodtime, how often should I check the screws and brackets for tightness?


The brackets need to be kept tight and occasionally tightened otherwise they will eventually fall off.   If you do not have a wrench or socket that fits the size of the bracket nuts on your banjo, you buy a wrench designed for the multiple size brackets on different banjos that you can use when you move up from your Good time.    I would also suggest you go on the web site of banjo companies that have good maintenance suggestions.  I know Deering has one with a number of videos.  Even though I have not had a Deering banjo since my original Goodtime got stolen in 2002,  I have most of the Deering Banjo maintenance videos down;oaded on my computer.   Pay attention to what they say about setting the bridge also.

Aug 12, 2021 - 4:25:54 PM
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522 posts since 10/23/2003

quote:  A banjo in a case is a banjo unplayed.  It is worth the money to have a good stand or instrument holder.  Keep your banjo where yu can pick it up in your spare time.   I am retired, but do a lot of writing (a lot about banjos), so I usually keep at least one banjo where I can pick it up in a lull in my work in my office.  Especially as a bigger, the more you can grab spare time to work on the banjo or just to pl;ay it the better. 
Originally posted by struggle_bus

And keep it in its case. I know we all want to display our instruments, but really, it should live in its case when you're not playing it.


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