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Oct 27, 2021 - 8:42:46 PM
32 posts since 9/11/2021

I was looking at We Banjo 3’s page and noticed that there is a lot of excess string at the pegs. I’ve seen others do this also. What is the point?  Is there more to it than just the way it looks?


 

Edited by - dkfighter on 10/27/2021 21:04:03

Oct 27, 2021 - 8:50:01 PM
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199 posts since 2/27/2009

People who don't have wire cutters?

Oct 27, 2021 - 9:00:46 PM
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100 posts since 5/8/2021

That implies that people actually think it looks good. My god...

Oct 28, 2021 - 1:32:39 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25395 posts since 6/25/2005

Maybe they’re seeking a particular kind of buzz to fill out their banjo’s sound. … I have run into folks who swear that cutting off excess string changes the tone. I tend to nod and walk away.

Oct 28, 2021 - 2:32:02 AM
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Bill H

USA

1763 posts since 11/7/2010

It's like having your front yard crammed full of rusted out junk cars.

Oct 28, 2021 - 3:52:08 AM
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4677 posts since 11/20/2004

40 years ago, it was a place to stick your cigarette. Today, I see no reason, if you have cutters and the time.

Oct 28, 2021 - 4:21:45 AM
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YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

456 posts since 5/11/2021

Maybe they like poking their eyes out?

Guitarist friend of mine had to wear an eye patch for 2 months after getting poked by excess string hanging off a peg at a concert.

Oct 28, 2021 - 4:46:50 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

26533 posts since 8/3/2003

Unless it's that way all the time, maybe he had to do a quick string change before a show and didn't have time to be neat?

Oct 28, 2021 - 4:57:59 AM
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Eric A

USA

1339 posts since 10/15/2019

I recently watched an episode of The Kruger Brothers Food Notes show, and they were explaining about how when they were young in Switzerland strings were so expensive and hard to get that they never cut off the excess. You kept it on there so that if you broke a string down near the tailpiece, you could slide the whole thing down, tie a new loop, and be back in business.

They were also quite happy to say that they didn't have to do that any more!

Food Notes #7 I think it was.

Personally, I leave an inch or two on there, and curl it up into a harmless springy thing. If I clip them off short, one way or another I end up drawing blood with it.

Oct 28, 2021 - 5:10:48 AM
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Jim_R

USA

236 posts since 7/14/2010

His truss rod cover is crooked, too. Maybe he's just not into aesthetics.

Oct 28, 2021 - 5:32:14 AM

6564 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

I recently watched an episode of The Kruger Brothers Food Notes show, and they were explaining about how when they were young in Switzerland strings were so expensive and hard to get that they never cut off the excess. You kept it on there so that if you broke a string down near the tailpiece, you could slide the whole thing down, tie a new loop, and be back in business.
 


This was common with gut strings too.  It can be seen in many "period" photographs. 

Oct 28, 2021 - 6:27:02 AM
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carlb

USA

2307 posts since 12/16/2007

I don't cut my strings, on purpose, but quickly slide them between my finger and a dull edge to let them coil. I've been stuck too many times by strings ends that are snip short, even when I may have bent the ends with a needle nose pliers.

Oct 28, 2021 - 6:43:43 AM
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1606 posts since 5/19/2018

That was actually a kind of look back in the 1970s among the NYC punk scene players (a previous musical life). It was a way to tell people “ I don’t give a F—-).

Maybe that aesthetic is getting carried down to traditional players decades later...

Oct 28, 2021 - 6:45:59 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

26533 posts since 8/3/2003

quote:
Originally posted by carlb

I don't cut my strings, on purpose, but quickly slide them between my finger and a dull edge to let them coil. I've been stuck too many times by strings ends that are snip short, even when I may have bent the ends with a needle nose pliers.


I take the extra string and run it back through the hole in the peg and then cut it off.  That way there's no little end sticking out to bite you.   

Oct 28, 2021 - 7:35:50 AM

2677 posts since 11/25/2003

There is no point. ( except that point at the end of those uncut strings)

Oct 28, 2021 - 8:28:06 AM
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68 posts since 2/8/2016

Judging from the "unique" camera angle, it may be some weird promotional piece. I have never seen him leave strings like that before, but who knows, maybe he it's his covid look.

Oct 28, 2021 - 10:46:45 AM
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4190 posts since 10/18/2007

Whenever I go to snip off the excess string at the peg I always have this dark thought that my winding might not work, that it will slip, and I’ll need more string to rewind it again. Of course they have never slipped even though I always clip them as short as I possibly can.

Oct 28, 2021 - 10:59:22 AM
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Emiel

Austria

9997 posts since 1/22/2003
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When the strings are cut very short, there is always the danger of wounding your fingers accidentally. You touch the sharp short end, and already your finger is bleeding. If you have the end of your strings like long curls, this cannot happen.

Oct 28, 2021 - 11:55:03 AM
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jbalch

USA

8795 posts since 11/28/2003

My friend, the late Jim McLellan, was a truly amazing plectrum banjo player in the style of Perry Bechtel.  Jim always curled the ends of one or two strings on his 1927 B&D Silver Bell #1.  He just like the way it looked. I think Jim had done so since the 1960s.

I do it in his memory ... and because I like it!


 

Oct 28, 2021 - 1:57:16 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

60459 posts since 10/5/2013
Online Now

I coiled them with a quarter. When I busked I’d break strings and have the extra length if it broke near the bridge, as was mentioned. One time I broke a string in the middle,, I tied the two ends together with a reef knot,, once settled in it was fine,, just had to watch the sliding at those frets tho,,,,lol

Oct 28, 2021 - 4:46:05 PM

727 posts since 2/15/2015

quote:
Originally posted by chuckv97

I coiled them with a quarter. When I busked I’d break strings and have the extra length if it broke near the bridge, as was mentioned. One time I broke a string in the middle,, I tied the two ends together with a reef knot,, once settled in it was fine,, just had to watch the sliding at those frets tho,,,,lol


I saw string quartet from Eastern Europe one night at an old church, and a cellist broke a string, I'm pretty sure it was his D,  right before the downbeat and he didn't have a spare. I was aghast you just have to keep a spare around... but that's another story anyway... He tied a knot and it worked because he had enough strength left over.

BB King  said they used to use of all their string wound up on the post because it was said to increase mass on the post and fatten up the tone.   Personally I like locking machines, they're great... bing bang boom... strings are swapped out.

Clip' em and carry a few spare sets in ye gig bag.

Edited by - geoB on 10/28/2021 16:49:23

Oct 30, 2021 - 8:19:40 AM
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727 posts since 2/15/2015

As the divas entered stage left one brushed by my slotted head tuning machines (Stratocaster) and the knit on her mohair sweater caught a string end and plucked it out of the slotted capstan! Downbeat in 5-4-3...?

I scrambled and got the string back in place and tuned up in a pretty decent amount of time... I couldn't believe it.

Nov 5, 2021 - 11:31:57 PM
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MxFlow

USA

5 posts since 3/3/2021

I do it because it’s a thing in punk music. Aesthetics. But I hold them back with the capo I keep on the headstock.

Nov 6, 2021 - 12:12:04 AM

Paul R

Canada

15149 posts since 1/28/2010

I did it on an acoustic guitar - in the early Seventies. This was with D'Arco New Yorker strings that had the chenille wrapping on the string ends, do it looked kind of good. When strings were no longer wrapped, out came the wire cutters.

What's worse is/was the guys who put the strings on and neither wound nor clipped the ends.

I had a guitar playing friend who consistently broke strings at the pegs, and would tie them back together - a U of Toronto professor with three PhDs. Go figure.

Nov 6, 2021 - 1:57:23 PM

13 posts since 3/6/2006

Reminiscent of the Kruger Brothers explanation: around 1973-74, the New Grass Revival kept all the extra lengths of their strings coiled at the headstocks, on all their instruments. It wasn't a reference to the "I don't cut my hair, why should I cut my strings?" attitude of some 60's - 70's musicians, it was because they all played with such energy that they broke strings quite frequently. At the back of the stage at their shows sat Hazel Dahlgleish Johnson (Courtney's wife), herself both a skilled musician and skilled luthier, at a large table with clippers, pliers, and whatever other tools might be needed, plus a jar full of ball-ends, plus multiple packets of spare strings, with spare instruments on stands in front of the table. Whenever one of the band, say Sam, would break a string in the middle of a song, Hazel would grab the spare instrument from the stand, swap it to Sam for his mandolin with the broken string, get back to the table, unreel, from the headstock, enough of the coiled string to cover the length as needed, and tie the broken end into a ball-end from the jar, attach the string to the tailpiece, and get it tuned up to pitch, all in about 25 seconds; just in time for Curtis to break a string, and start the process all over again. I think that it was Courtney who once told me, "Last weekend, we broke the Guiness book of records entry for most strings broken by one band: 40 in one night." (might have been one set; my memory is foggy....) Curtis broke 8 strings in one song (ok, it was a long song). Butch Robins actually broke 2 electric bass strings that night (and electric bass strings are rather robust)! Hazel's take on that night: "They kept me busy that night."

Nov 7, 2021 - 5:07:45 AM

15355 posts since 12/2/2005

I cut mine about an inch from the peghead and turn them out so they're perpendicular to the peghead. I started doing this at the recommendation of the banjo teacher I was working with about 12 years ago. He said it was the best method he'd found to ward off dobro players. wink

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