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KaBar2

Anybody here play the Banjo?

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I bought a used cheap-ass banjo. It's a no-name beater that looks a lot like an old Harmony banjo. It has a bakelite rim and resonator, and no tone ring. Cheap. I'm trying to learn how to play it, but learning to pick a banjo is very difficult.

 

I want a better banjo now. I've been looking for one on eBay and through the zillion-and-one musical instruments-for-sale websites. Can anybody make any reccommendations for an good quality, low cost banjo? I already know about the Deering Goodtime and Goodtime II. How about a Johnson banjo? Or Gold Tone? Any good?

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banjos are awesome. i just sold mine. i inhereted it after my uncle died. i always indended on picking it up one day but never did. i figured hes rather someone had it who would use it, so i sold it to my film teacher.

 

let me know how it works out for you or youre methods of leaning. im sure hes be interested to know.

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A friend of mine plays banjo. I swear he is one of the best guitar/banjo/whatever players in the world. I haven't talked to him since I was in michigan though. Sorry.

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Originally posted by ARCEL

no, but i would like to learn to play bass

 

good choice. bands are ALWAYS looking for bassists. i dont really know why this is, but the greatest decision ive ever made was to borrow my cousins bass and never give it back. now im know for playing bass so when people need one they know who to call.

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I watched Trapper playing a banjo on an episode of MASH the other day and i decided i wanted to learn how to play. Wonder if i'll ever go through with it?

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Originally posted by $360

good choice. bands are ALWAYS looking for bassists. i dont really know why this is, but the greatest decision ive ever made was to borrow my cousins bass and never give it back. now im know for playing bass so when people need one they know who to call.

 

yeah, i got the idea after watching sid vicious slapping his bass after he killed his girlfreind in Sid and Nancy, and i love the bassline in god save the queen, it reminds me of the good times i had during the period after i got that cd, fuck im getting all nostalgic now

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Guest willy.wonka

my great grandfather was a banjo legend..i dont know his name though..gota ask my moms. he used to break in wild horses adn lost some fingers...somehow, he became a legend and said, "them nigga boys taught me how to play".he wasnt a racist or anyhting, but thats how it used to be back then i guess.he used ot travel all around the south fighting chickens

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I can play a little bit. Mediocre at best. Yes, the picking can be kind of difficult. If you can play classical guitar its not as hard. I dont own one but play one whenever I get the chance.

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I've spent several hours researching it

 

And I'm getting more familiar with the various brands, where they stand in the ratings, how much they cost, etc. A serious banjo costs around $2,500, similar to a really first-class guitar (like a Martin, etc.) Seems to me that the top-rated banjos are custom made by a handfull of independent banjo makers, and are generally inlaid, made of rare wood, and have gold-plated hardware. I'm not into that. I don't care if Earl Scruggs did own one, that's too much money for a banjo.

 

I really like the older instruments that are being resurrected. There are a lot of banjo collectors out there, and even the older dirt-simple instruments are going for serious money if they are playable. Some of the picker-collectors have their collections illustrated on the net. Lots and lots of banjos from the turn of the century up through the 1920's (this was the early Jazz Age, when banjo playing was at it's zenith.) I saw a couple from 1910 that I would have loved to own.

 

Gibson, Deering, Fender, Gold Tone, Ibanez, Vega, Vega-Deering, Blueridge, Crafters of Tennesee, Johnson, Morgan Monroe, Stelling, Wildwood, Saga, Hohner, Imperial and a bunch of others I can't remember.

 

The best quality, low-cost banjos seem to be the Deering Goodtimes and Goodtimes II, Vega Little Wonder, Johnson, and Gold Tone.

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I just kind of drifted away from it when I sold my overalls...

 

but Deering is maybe the biggest banjo manufacturer, their models run the gamut from 'cheap but decent' to 'made from the jawbone of Lester Scruggs'... Fender has recently introduced a couple cheaper ($400ish) models...

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Funny you should mention overalls

 

I love 'em, and I've been wearing them off and on since the late 1960's. The best brand I ever found is called "Liberty" brand overalls. They are easily available up north, and I heard they are actually made in Alabama. They are the only make of overalls I've ever seen with a zipper pocket on the bib (it's a distinctive green color.) Iowa Blackie turned me on to them. He uses them because he keeps his notebook in the overalls bib, and he's worried about losing or misplacing it when he's hopping.

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Originally posted by ARCEL

yeah, i got the idea after watching sid vicious slapping his bass after he killed his girlfreind in Sid and Nancy, and i love the bassline in god save the queen, it reminds me of the good times i had during the period after i got that cd, fuck im getting all nostalgic now

 

That bass line is actually Glen Matlock. Sid Vicious didn't join until later and was actually a really shitty bass player. But the guy used his bass as a weapon to bust open the skulls of cowboys, so, I mean, he can be forgiven.....

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ahh the banjo

when i was a litte youngun i had a neighbor that was from the backwoods of texas

and he was amazing at playing the banjo

i would sit with my friends and listen to him for hours

good choice of instrument kabar and best of luck

 

note: deliverance scared the shit out of me

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Re: I've spent several hours researching it

 

Originally posted by KaBar2

The best quality, low-cost banjos seem to be the Deering Goodtimes and Goodtimes II, Vega Little Wonder, Johnson, and Gold Tone.

 

Well, I play guitar and I have for a goodly portion or YOUR life, but I don't know shit from banjos really... Vega has made some SHITTY guitars... granted, the ones I saw were all 'entry level' lines but, it seemed like they hung around the low end of the level, quality-wise...

 

It's a tough call because sometimes companies who are really good at making one stringed instrument try to diversify by incorporating a few others in the mix but they dont' always... apply themselves as adeptly.

 

I wouldn't be afraid of a used Ibanez, they were underated for 20 years (until about 1990) and they still have quality products in their entry level...try to get something old and used in a pawn shop, seriously, a days worth of shopping is bette than anything off the shelf for the same price...

 

there are things to look for such as fret wear, stringbuzz (you want none) at each fret, straight neck, taught face, smooth tuning keys and a nice sound... don't be afriad to front on some music store salesman type to learn the tricks on how to spot what you need, then buy used...

 

later, as you get better you will either blossom and just 'know' you need to spend $1000 or more for a n instrument or you'll settle in and have an inexpensive diversion.

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No musical talent whatsoever

 

I'm one of those people that has absolutely no natural musical ability. It really pisses me off, because my three sisters are all very gifted musicians. Both the older girls play bluegrass guitar like angels from Nashville, and the middle sister plays guitar, mandolin and cello, and has a beautiful voice. I must have got shorted on the bluegrass gene or something. Sucks.

 

However, I'm determined (this time) to learn to play a banjo.

 

I've got too many interests (trainhopping, indie filmmaking, firearms, banjo pickin', etc.) There's only so many hours in the day.

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Scored an Iida on eBay

 

Just sent my Paypal payment to the former owner of my new (used) Iida banjo. Iida banjos are made in Japan, I think this one is from the late-'60s, early '70s.

 

The only thing worse than paying too much for something on eBay is getting burned because the item was misrepresented. I hope this guy is on the level.

 

Used Iida 5-string= $93

 

Same model new= wholesale $379.

 

Not getting fucked on eBay--.priceless.

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have you been shopping pawn shops? I hope so... If you're really concerned about it once you get it, take it to the most musically oriented shop and try to PAWN it for more than you bought it... (act like it's 'still not enough')... Then try the same at the least musically oriented and if you can do it both places you got a great deal.

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