This Article is About
new skin
liking
Building My First 5 - String Banjo
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Building My First 5  -  string Banjo

When I first started playing the 5-string, I bought a cheap $150 banjo. It was terrible but it gave me the basics to learn how to finger pick ( Scruggs Style ) and play a few tunes… it also taught me how the banjo is basically constructed. I started to research the more major brands of banjos ( Gibson, Fender, Deering, etc. ) and see how they were priced and constructed. From this I decided to look for either kits or old used affordable banjos that I could upgrade and/or repair.

I found that the older the Gibson banjo was the more expensive it was… so I limited my search for slightly off brand banjos.. even the Japanese copies… I soon found and old Washburn that had been neglected for years for about $250… the neck and body was still solid so I decided that I would purchase that one and rebuild it to my liking.

I found a source for banjo parts so I ordered a new skin ( there are many kinds and quality of skins ), a new bell bronze tone ring, new tail piece, bridge, body trust rods and replacement Keith-Scruggs tuners. After I took the original Washburn apart I kept the body ring since it was a quality made component, the neck, the back shell and the supporting hardware.

The neck I took to a local luthier and had him custom inlay a “Gibson style bowtie” inlay along the fretboad and replace the headstock veneer and inlay with my design. He also refretted and trued the frets and fretboard for me. When I got all the parts back, I proceded to rebuild my “new” banjo.

I installed a 5th string sliding capo on the neck to aid in playing in different keys and tunings. I replaced the old tone ring with the new one and installed the new skin to the body. I found that if I tap tuned the skin to a “D” note that the resonance of the body was greater and the strings projected better. The bell bronze tone ring also helped with the projection and resonance of the banjo. The trust rods helped align the neck to the body and set the proper playing angle to the bridge. The new tailpiece also helps keep the strings at a constant pressure. I opted to not go with the individual string tailpiece because of the cost at the time. After I had the banjo back together and strung with Gibson strings (medium gauge) I had to reset the neck tension, the body trust rods, the bridge and tailpiece as I tightened the strings and tuned the banjo.

After all was done, I had spend a total of $500 on the cost of the banjo, replacement parts and custom upgrades. The result was a banjo that played excellently to my feel and was worth every bit as much to me as any banjo worth thousands of dollars more… It’s a custom and personalized instrument to me and the sound it produces is one of the best out there and to me, it is the easiest playing banjo I’ve ever picked up…

So… If you are intimidated by the cost of the higher quality banjos out there… do you’re self a treat and think about building one for yourself from an old banjo or from a kit. You’ll learn a lot about how the banjo is put together, how it creates different sounds and how to customize it to your personal tastes. Hope this little post helped you some. If you would like to read or contribute to the 5-String Banjo knowledge base, feel free to come to my blogsite listed in my profile and leave a comment or two.


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Information About Different Modern Marching Bands
For hundreds of years, marching bands have been in existence and in the UK they were usually connected to the military. Drummers, buglers or pipers lead the troop into battles. Signals were given for retreating, etc. using these instruments. Indeed, even during WWII, platoons of fighting troops were led off…
By: Judy Crystal in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Jun 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Different Types Of Musical Bands And Instruments Used for Each Category
Music is produced by singers and harmonized musical instruments. It is an artistic form of auditory communication prepared by a music band for a wide array of audience. When group of two or more music experts perform instrumental or vocal music, it is basically known as a music band. This…
By: Judy Crystal in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Jun 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Dance Studios In Houston Teach You Etiquette Of Dance
Dance studios in Houston offer classes at very affordable rates. You can learn from various styles within your budget. These days, life is very boring. Everyone is busy with the 9-5 jobs and the only time we have for friends is on the weekends. After a hectic week at work…
By: Brenda Amy in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   May 31, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Basics Of Marching Bands for Your Knowledge
The marching band is a term given to musicians, dance teams, or color guard members that play woodwinds, percussion or brass instruments while adding marching with their performance. They wear costumes consisting of the school's or organization name or symbols as part of the uniform are worn. Size, function, and…
By: Judy Crystal in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   May 21, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Roxette And their XXX Years Musical Journey, Keeps London Singing All Night
I have been waiting to see Roxette live for more then 15 years, and last night I have finally lived my dream. And boy what a night it was. I got my tickets bought from November, paid a small fortune, as they where front seats, but it was worth every…
By: danyel in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   May 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

What is Required to Be A Music Producer?
Being a music producer is not an easy task. It takes a lot of efforts and knowledge about the music. The main work of a music producer is to write, arrange, produce and record songs. Either they are helping in shaping the sound of an artist album or creating beats…
By: Steven A Williams in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Feb 26, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Buying Cheap Events Tickets Online - The Complete Guide
Millions of avid music lovers across the globe follow their favorite music artists on social media. When a live concert/tour is announced – there is only thing a fan can think of! Getting their hands on cheap tickets online to enjoy every minute of the event. It starts with enthusiasm…
By: Jeffrey-Massey in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Feb 22, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Trend Of Comedy Nights In California is Gaining Importance Day By Day
The aim of your life is to be happy and glad. As a kid, your objective was entertaining and pleasure and always try to give music auditions. Joy and gladness depend on where you place your consciousness. Consideration and a creative practice can become an expressive anchor to center and…
By: rohny in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Feb 16, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Warning- There's a D.J.on the gig'
Don't panic! Despite what has happened to many live bands, it doesn't necessarily have to happen to yours. In this article, I am going to discuss what could happen to a band that has the fluff blown out of it because of a lack of entertainment etticate when performing along…
By: Romell Wilson in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Aug 05, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

How Breathtaking Is Your Voice? Does It Matter?
Many people dream about a music career and they wish they had ideal vocal makings. Some people are born with a great voice while others are searching their destiny to improve the chances they possess. However, even if you have a gift of singing you need to make it really…
By: calvin6 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Aug 19, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Before You Buy the Fender Frontman 212r 100w Guitar Combo Amp, You Gotta Read This
The Fender Frontman 212R Guitar Combo Amplifier packs loads of oomph into a small unit and is Fenders best selling amplifier. Whether you are just learning to play the guitar, or a seasoned player, you are provided with a beautiful tone and enough power to play ensembles or live gigs.…
By: Steampunk Sound in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Jun 04, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Dont Buy A Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar Till You Read This Review
This article will tell you all you need to know about the Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar, so you can make an informed decision before you buy one. It comes packed with usual features such as the classic Fender body shape which is double cut away with a bolt on…
By: Steampunk Sound in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Jun 07, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Is Your Friend Your Best Music Manager?
A flight to your dream, especially if it is a professional ambition will never spare your precious time, nerves and challenges. Usually it is a tough decision to become a professional musician. Many people wonder whether music is a key way to creative thinking. Their experience of practicing music reflects…
By: calvin6 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Aug 19, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Love The Music And The Music Will Love You
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche maintained: “Life without music would be a mistake”. It is not surprising when people find common things in life and art, art in general and music as the most peculiar of its manifestations. It is never too late to make mistakes and equally it is never too…
By: calvin6 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Aug 19, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

What Do You Love About Your Music Performance?
What do you want in your life? Once an American author of the bestselling book “The Greatest Salesman in the world” responded: “Do not aspire for wealth and labor not only to be rich. Strive instead for happiness, to be loved and to love, and most important to acquire peace…
By: calvin6 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music Industry   Aug 19, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1538    Report this Article