Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Calling all banjoists... long-neck query

Sing-Along Steve 21 Dec 08 - 12:49 AM
Farley Buckwheat 21 Dec 08 - 01:13 AM
catspaw49 21 Dec 08 - 01:15 AM
Acorn4 21 Dec 08 - 04:47 AM
The Sandman 21 Dec 08 - 04:50 AM
oombanjo 21 Dec 08 - 05:37 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Dec 08 - 06:16 AM
banjoman 21 Dec 08 - 07:08 AM
kendall 21 Dec 08 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 21 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM
Leadfingers 21 Dec 08 - 08:14 AM
Dave Hanson 21 Dec 08 - 09:54 AM
Stringsinger 21 Dec 08 - 11:45 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: Sing-Along Steve
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 12:49 AM

Hi there... I'm ready to purchase a banjo, and I am drawn to the long-neck variety first because I am a huge Seeger admirer. Actually, at 6'2" and 300 pounds, I'm a huge everything.

Any advantages to a long-neck banjo as opposed to the regular length, other than the lower open pitch? I have a fairly wide vocal range, so I don't NEED to tune down...

Anyway, if I am going to buy a banjo (mostly frailing but the odd bluegrass-ish thing now and then), what is good to get in the $300 neighborhood?

Appreciation in advance for your kind assistance, folks.

Sing along,

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: Farley Buckwheat
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 01:13 AM

.

As far as I can tell, the only player who actually uses the extra length of the Seeger model is Pete hisself - and he uses it very rarely.

There are many disadvantages to the longer neck. They cost a LOT more. I know of only one available model, unless you are ready to spend 3-5K on a custom instrument. Strings can be a problem. All banjo necks are difficult to adjust and subject to warping, and the Seeger neck is more so. Add on a few hundred more for the custom case.

Do you have an actual need for those few extra notes?

.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 01:15 AM

Welcome to the 'Cat! Some folks will be around to give some other opinions I'm sure but one of the neat things about this place is that every damn thing we talk about is archived and readily searchable. So while you're waiting for some current views on the subject, go back and take a look at what's been said before!

And once again, WELCOME......even if you are a banjo player. Now follow the blue clicky links below:


CLICK HERE

and HERE

HERE too

and some general info HERE as well


Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: Acorn4
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:47 AM

I had a long neck for some time, and was always having problems with strings going out of tune quickly, so changed to a shortneck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:50 AM

contact, andy banjo,or halshaw music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: oombanjo
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 05:37 AM

Wish I'd never got rid of mine. No problems at all tuned into F, skin onto mahogany pot, stayed in tune capoed right up to the 7th and the guy that bought it 5 years ago still owes me £100 quid


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 06:16 AM

I had one of those cheap-o Harmony long necks which I got back in the 60s, and I don't remember having tuning problems with it - it always behaved fine, and with that steel-rod of a backbone, would have made a useful defense weapon if burglars ever broke in.

I see that a "modified" Harmony has just sold for $300 from a secondhand website. You can hunt down better-quality instruments if you Google around, but as Buckwheat says, they're pricey. My own reason for getting a long-neck was purely personal taste: I like the sound of the lower-pitched strings, and the singing keys it offers you. If you're not too concerned about those things, you can probably get better value for money on a standard size. You'll certainly get a wider choice.

Let us know what you decide on, and how you like it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: banjoman
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 07:08 AM

Hi - I have been playing and making my own banjos for a long time and currently have two long necks. The better of the 2 is a Gold Tone which was bought as a present for my 60th birthday several years ago and cost almost £1000. Never had trouble with the neck or holding its tune or finding strings. I use its full length for all sorts of music including solo tunes. The resonance in its lower register is phenominal. The other one is a no namer which I bought for £25 on ebay and renovated with a new fyberskin head and planetary tuners. Action is a bit higher than the gold tone but still a great banjo.I would recomend a long neck to anyone interested in exploring the potential of the instrument but urge caution if you just want to play "normal" things, or only have limited funds. I also have a couple of small (picolo)banjos tuned to A & C respectively. Again worth looking at as they are the other end of the scale
good hunting
Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: kendall
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:08 AM

Tommy Makem played a long neck.
One advantage is being able to play in the key of F if you want, and a capo in the second fret brings you up to standard G.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM

Pete Seeger's own justification of a longneck's advantages, if I recall, was that the picker could play readily in ensembles with guitarists (often capoing) and others who were playing in keys like F, F#, Bb and B -- some of which are commonly found with woodwind and horn players, etc. but did not want to be stuck barring up the neck.

When I was starting out I found this appealing because I loved to "play in" constantly with any jammers at songfest or campout -- particularly useful, for some reason, with players camping, who were always zinging up into those unreachable ranges. I did buy a Vega longneck 5-string, nicely converted from a plectrum neck by Sid Locker of Philadelphia in 1958. But this coincided with the slacking off of my musical jamming (nor did I like the tone -- odd for a Vega, because they are usually so mellow), and I sold the instrument after a year or two.

I found no advantages to the longneck other than the occasional virtue of playing F# etc., which I soon learned to cover adequately by barring.

I do love the tone of a banjo tuned a whole tone or whole-and-a-half tone low, but can do this rather nicely with a standard 5-string. (Good quality ordinary strings tuned low sound gorgeous.) So, no, sadly I found nothing about a longneck that induced me to keep the one I had.   Bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 08:14 AM

I play an Open G tuned Standard Five String in F - I tune the fifth string diwn and capo UP for G etc !
rthricF chords are not difficult , though bottom end Dminor is an Arthritic sort of shape !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 09:54 AM

Pete Coe is another ' long neck ' player.

eric


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Calling all banjoists... long-neck query
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 11:45 AM

I am always exploring new banjo sounds and styles. Here's what I think about the long neck. It is Pete Seeger's innovation. The best sound he gets is from three factors.
The Tuba-fone pot which has that special "ring" to it. The wider neck that he has fashioned recently from one of the hardest woods available, lignum vitae. The next, is the Stu Jamieson bridge that is generally wider than the standard to accommodate the wider neck. The length, weight and strength of the neck is a variable in the depth of tone.

Pete gets his sound from these elements which makes it different than from the standard
five-string banjos. Last I heard from him is that he uses a no-knot tailpiece.

Pete used to fashion his own neck extension and has directions for doing this in his
banjo book.

I believe that from what I've heard, the long-neck sounds overall different from the standard banjo. Erik Darling and Pete Seeger got a different sound out of it that contrasts
from what I've heard by the bluegrassers or Bela Fleck. Long-neck is particularly good for vocal accompaniment.

Now here's the drawback. The frets are wider at the base so if you want to play technically harder pieces in clawhammer or bluegrass, you have to work harder.
I find the frets too wide for fancy arrangements.

My favorite sound which would be enhanced by a longneck outside of the Tuba-fone
would be an old Orpheum. It had a special "ring" to it.

Banjo players in general tend to be fuss-budgets when it comes to finding the right
sound. I love the sound of a banjo and am always trying to be Quixotic in my search
for my ideal.

I have a RB175 long-neck with a Rich and Taylor tone ring dropped into it. It is very
serviceable and records well.

Another thing about Pete. Over the years he has used metal picks; the index finger used a curved pick and he straightened the other ones faced in the opposite direction for
frailing and brushing downward. He was also able to use the pick on the middle finger
and the ring fingers facing the opposite direction to pick which takes some real adjustment. The metal picks were part of the Seeger sound.

Erik Darling modified this by using standard curved metal picks ala bluegrass and using
his ring finger with the opposite straight pick for frailing.

George Grove of the Kingston Trio applies a simulation of this effect by brushing upward with a standard bluegrass curved pick which he calls fake frailing. His Homespun Tapes instructional video explains this thoroughly.

I think the Pete Seeger style is becoming a lost art. I encourage those who like this sound
to continue it.

Frank Hamilton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 July 2:59 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.