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Aug 2, 2021 - 7:19:16 AM
76 posts since 2/14/2021

My wife, who is a experienced OT musician (fiddle, guitar, uke) , expressed interest in learning clawhammer banjo. I play clawhammer banjo and can help her learn (to the extent any husband can help his wife without a threat of divorce). But she wants a well made lightweight banjo preferably with a shortened neck (though not required). Any off the shelf banjo recommendations? I don't think a custom banjo is in the cards. The important thing here is well made and LIGHTWEIGHT.

Thanks for your advice.

Aug 2, 2021 - 8:17:13 AM

4738 posts since 5/9/2007

I highly recommend an Enoch, “Tradesman”

Another very good choice are J.Mogi banjers. He had a fir banjo that still may be for sale.

Edited by - mrphysics55 on 08/02/2021 08:19:31

Aug 2, 2021 - 8:26:58 AM

jacot23

USA

224 posts since 12/13/2012

What's your budget?

Zach Hoyt has an A Scale and a C Scale available.

Several other good builders that can make you one for around $1K

Aug 2, 2021 - 8:35:53 AM

17 posts since 7/5/2021

Not at the same level as what other ones have mentioned but there's always the Goodtime Jr. 23" scale and about 4 lbs.

Aug 2, 2021 - 9:02:01 AM

2724 posts since 4/7/2010

Professor Jive

Hi Les!

I'll recommend an Enoch Tradesman with an 11" rim. The current production has the 11" rim models with a 25" scale. The 12" rim banjos (and all pre 2020 production Tradesmans) have a 25-1/2" scale.

Enoch Tradesman banjos weigh about 4-1/2 pounds, giving everything you want in a new banjo; light, well made and great sounding. Every time I pick up an Enoch banjo I say "nice". I do not have the same impression of all other modern makers.

Some of the older Tradesman banjos may have higher string height than we like, but that is what was popular in the 1990's when Kevin Enoch first introduced the design.

The bad news is that currently the Enoch production staff can not keep up with orders. So it might take 6 months to get one.

I do have two fretless Tradesman banjos in stock, but I am guessing fretted is the way you want to go.

Best regards from across the ridge of your former Randolph County residence,


Bob Smakula

Aug 2, 2021 - 9:44:47 AM

4156 posts since 10/13/2005

Besides Enoch (I have one) in the classifieds right now there is an 11" Ome Tupelo and an 11" Stone Banjo Co. banjered

Aug 2, 2021 - 12:02:49 PM

76 posts since 2/14/2021

Hi Bob,

Good to hear from you. Mary (my Mary that is) has expressed a couple of times an interesting picking up OT banjo. I'd love to buy her an Enoch banjo if her interest proves to be sustainable. If so, I'll certainly recommend to her a Tradesman. I gave her my old fretless last night and am looking to see if she takes me up on lessons. I'll be visiting Elkins for OT Week at Augusta in October. I'll drop in and check out your fretless and say hello.
Les

Aug 2, 2021 - 12:22:46 PM

339 posts since 1/26/2020

I started with a Gold Tone AC-1 as my starter. It is very light and sounds fine. It's definitely made to a price point. They make a shorter scale version called the "Traveler." It's even lighter and has the shorter scale. There's also a Deering "parlor," model which is of similar dimension.
You could also go for a Mini banjo, which several manufacturers produce. I believe they're only a little bigger than an Ukulele.

Blaine

Aug 2, 2021 - 1:45:46 PM
like this

1574 posts since 2/9/2007

I'll agree on the AC-1 and the Tradesman, but for something in between those two, I'd suggest the Recording King Madison over the Goodtime. May be heavier, but not by much.

Aug 2, 2021 - 1:48:08 PM

240 posts since 12/10/2008

There's a really cool SS Stewart American Princess for sale in the classifieds for just $700.  It would be lightweight and it has a short scale plus it is a beautiful old banjo. 

Edited by - Austin Stovall on 08/02/2021 13:51:34

Aug 8, 2021 - 10:57:24 AM

1166 posts since 11/22/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Professor Jive

My wife, who is a experienced OT musician (fiddle, guitar, uke) , expressed interest in learning clawhammer banjo. I play clawhammer banjo and can help her learn (to the extent any husband can help his wife without a threat of divorce). But she wants a well made lightweight banjo preferably with a shortened neck (though not required). Any off the shelf banjo recommendations? I don't think a custom banjo is in the cards. The important thing here is well made and LIGHTWEIGHT.

Thanks for your advice.


I'd look into Ute Banjos, if I was looking.

https://www.utebanjos.com/

Aug 13, 2021 - 12:07:38 PM

splunge

USA

391 posts since 6/8/2009

Turtle Hill Woody? Light and great sound. Never played one myself but have to plug them as a loyal Marylander

Aug 13, 2021 - 6:33:41 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14496 posts since 8/30/2006

Here’s a few ideas

There is bamboo Jackrabbit #006 available with the Maple kit neck

It weighs 6 lbs.

The intermediates are $777


 

Edited by - Helix on 08/13/2021 18:34:13

Aug 13, 2021 - 11:38:52 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25143 posts since 6/25/2005

Charles Waldman banjos. No heavy metal parts; remarkable sound. This one’s at Gryphon. Elderly may have some too. Once in a while one shows up in the BHO Classifieds.  Note the weight.

https://www.gryphonstrings.com/products/waldman-chromatic-step-5-string-open-back-banjo-new#

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