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Fifty Year Wait is Over. My First and Only Banjo at the Age of 67.

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Jan 20, 2022 - 7:31:48 AM
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arlum

USA

33 posts since 1/19/2022

Hi,
My name's Rick. I've spent the last 2 to 3 weeks checking out Banjo Hangout and finally signed up yesterday. I've actually been researching everything I could about 5 string resonator banjos, brands, builders, lessons, cost to maintain, etc. at your forum and dozens of other websites as well as watching every YouTube video I could find on the subject. I turned 67 at the beginning of January and, after almost 50 years of my wife, Debi, saying "absolutely not" to my desire to own and play a banjo she, out of nowhere, said "if you want a banjo you should get one".
I've played guitar since 1961 and own many excellent acoustic and electric guitars, (especially Telecasters), tube amplifiers, etc. I own and play multiple other instruments as well. Yet ..... I've always wanted but never owned a 5 string Bluegrass Resonator Banjo. As soon as the wife gave the green light I dropped everything else and the quest began. Local stores + online. Because I've always listened to and been a fan of many banjo players and exactly what instruments they play I had that as a foothold to push up from.
I started with Deering, Gold Star, Recording King and Gold Tone. Going in I didn't know that 3 out of the 4 of those were made overseas. I know this is probably old fashioned but, I really wanted a banjo built in the U.S.A. I expanded my search and found many small shop builders around the country and focused on them. My goal was to find a true "forever" banjo. I'm to old to start at the bottom and upgrade every few years. I'd rather never have to upgrade at all. So I did everything I could to find the banjo I thought would hit my goal the first time out of the gate. I was surprised when I found myself down to 3 brands / builders I'd never heard of. All were working out of small shops in the U.S.A. and all had received great reviews as well as having at least a couple of videos on YouTube. I couldn't find any of their banjos locally so I decided to use the opinions of others X what I was able to learn from their websites as well as the websites of dealers.
My personal list of wants were a mahogany resonator, built much like the prewar Gibsons, no new tech, (pickups, etc.), and a nicely shaped head stock. Bling was not important. A high build quality and attention to detail were extremely important. The idea of having a banjo that's built in a limited amount, (not massed produced), was also high on the list. If I'm only going to have one I don't want to see a bunch of other players with the same model. I want it to feel special to me.
So I made my decision. I've purchased a banjo from a company named Davis. I bought the Davis Don Reno 5 string banjo. Although it was a bit expensive for a first banjo I just couldn't get past it. The quality and detail were excellent. The builders goal of researching and then creating the mahogany RB75 Don Reno acquired through a trade with Earl Scruggs added some historical magic to it. The worn look of some of the metal parts just added to the equation of what I wanted. Once I'd found it and then got to see and hear it played on YouTube and found a couple of excellent reviews it became the banjo I had to own. I purchased it at The Banjo Warehouse.

Jan 20, 2022 - 7:38:05 AM
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Players Union Member

Emiel

Austria

10114 posts since 1/22/2003

Looks like a great choice. Tim Davis banjos seem to be well respected here on the Banjo Hangout…

Jan 20, 2022 - 7:49:28 AM
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Eric A

USA

1467 posts since 10/15/2019

When the wife says you should get a banjo, then yes indeed you should get a banjo.

Many of us have a different problem: Trying to figure out if there's a way to have the FedEx truck stop by when she's not home.

Jan 20, 2022 - 7:50:53 AM

2724 posts since 11/25/2003

Love it for you, sir! Enjoy! Welcome to the hangout. p.s. They do sell banjo mutes.

Jan 20, 2022 - 7:56:46 AM
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2748 posts since 5/2/2012

Welcome to the Hangout. LIke you, I am a person who likes to do a lot of reading/watching/"researching" before leaping into something. Knowing that you've done your homework, you won't regret buying the banjo of your dreams. Enjoy the journey.

Jan 20, 2022 - 8:09:29 AM
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683 posts since 6/6/2007

Right, you won’t regret buying the banjo of your dreams, but like guitars there’s an addictive acquisition syndrome that came with it.

Jan 20, 2022 - 8:13:53 AM
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12141 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

When the wife says you should get a banjo, then yes indeed you should get a banjo.

Many of us have a different problem: Trying to figure out if there's a way to have the FedEx truck stop by when she's not home.


Can I get a Amen?

Jan 20, 2022 - 8:21:58 AM
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12141 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by arlum

Hi,
My name's Rick. …


Welcome to the BHO! I think that 67 is considered middle aged around here (my age, too) so here's hoping that you have plenty of years to enjoy your new banjo.

Please post pictures when you get the chance. We all want to see it.

Jan 20, 2022 - 8:29:42 AM

heavy5

USA

2244 posts since 11/3/2016

Welcome Richard , I'm 83 & still pickin ! From all I know , I believe you made a good choice .

Jan 20, 2022 - 8:31:14 AM

roydsjr

USA

795 posts since 5/17/2007

Definitely Amen, It's hard to not want another banjo for sure! Always looking to see what's out there for sale!

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Jan 20, 2022 - 8:38:53 AM
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12 posts since 6/19/2021

FedEX or UPS delivery timing problem? Have it held for pick up, many problems solved.

Jan 20, 2022 - 8:40:26 AM
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doryman

USA

1192 posts since 11/26/2012

Excellent. I hope your journey is such that one day, far in the future, you look back at this post and laugh at yourself when see that you wrote that this would be your only banjo.

Jan 20, 2022 - 8:45:08 AM
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13165 posts since 6/2/2008
Online Now

Congratulation on the excellent purchase. And welcome to the Hangout.

Tim Davis is a long-time and well-respected member of the Hangout. We all got to watch his transition from inlay and fretboards to full-scale banjo production.

At 67, three years ago, I purchased what may be the last of my banjos -- except for the one I'm trying to build! My wife even said I deserved to spend more than I did. But I was attracted to the idea of buying a mangled rescue mutt for cheap and seeing if I could bring it back. Which I did.

Your decades of guitar playing should help you tremendously in learning banjo. You'll discover that the basic major and minor triads and the 7th 4-note chords are only one note location different from their corresponding shapes on the first 4 strings of a guitar.  Main thing that takes getting used to is the highest string being where a guitar player expects the lowest string to be. Calls for entirely different picking patterns.

You can do it! We're here to help and cheer you on.

Jan 20, 2022 - 9:10:17 AM

5077 posts since 5/9/2007

yes

Good luck with your "only" banjo. laugh

Jan 20, 2022 - 9:14:03 AM

1158 posts since 1/26/2011

That’s a really nice banjo! Congratulations!!

Jan 20, 2022 - 10:18:23 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15431 posts since 8/30/2006

!


 

Jan 20, 2022 - 10:27:47 AM

337 posts since 11/9/2021

Congrats! Like you, I started my banjo journey at 67,but going towards clawhammer. Also a guitar plater, and fiddler too. Let's enjoy the trip together!

Jan 20, 2022 - 10:47:20 AM

seanray

USA

1664 posts since 9/11/2004

You chose well.
That's a solid banjo that will inspire you to play.

Jan 20, 2022 - 11:35:23 AM

BobbyE

USA

3102 posts since 11/29/2007

Great choice.

Bobby

Jan 20, 2022 - 12:09:42 PM
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KatB

USA

237 posts since 9/3/2018

angel Welcome and congratulations

67 is pretty young around here. I'm 50 so I feel like a youngster which is kind of fun because in the rest of my life I'm So Old. 
Learning an instrument does great things for our brains. Keeps the neurons firing. Enjoy.  

Jan 20, 2022 - 2:26:30 PM

4365 posts since 10/13/2005

"Honey it's not a banjo. It is a new kind of guitar with a round body. A lot of people are getting them lately so I thought I'd give it a try too.... " (Or whatever else you might think would work...) banjered

Jan 20, 2022 - 6:31:38 PM
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Players Union Member

arlum

USA

33 posts since 1/19/2022

Thank you all. Your support is appreciated. I'm really feeling good about this.

Jan 20, 2022 - 6:57:35 PM

48 posts since 5/20/2012

Enjoy the journey, Rick!

Jan 20, 2022 - 8:27:13 PM
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41 posts since 11/16/2019

Congratulations on your new banjo. It sounds like you did the research and now will enjoy the fruits of you labor. I am 69, been playing since I bought my first banjo when I was 21. I only recently sold my original, it served me well for over 45 years. A good banjo will do that.
My wife also played into my recent banjo purchase in a surprising way. When I finally got up the nerve to tell her I was thinking of buying a Gibson Mastertone from the 70's she started to do a bit of research. She happened to read a bit about Gibson banjo builders and said I should spend more and buy a banjo made during the short duration of Greg Rich's time at Gibson. So in the end, I'm daily playing a 1989 Gibson RB250 with a Kulesh tone ring and I can't imagine anything sounding better.
Enjoy playing your banjo, it's a gas!

Jan 21, 2022 - 7:53:23 AM
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7895 posts since 9/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

!


 

billy has a home with 4 wheels now,,,  well according to his wife he does

Edited by - 1935tb-11 on 01/21/2022 07:54:21

Jan 21, 2022 - 9:54:10 PM

143 posts since 1/2/2019

LOL!

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