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5 string banjo question

The Sandman 07 Feb 09 - 04:33 PM
Guy Wolff 07 Feb 09 - 08:25 PM
Leadfingers 07 Feb 09 - 08:37 PM
Charley Noble 07 Feb 09 - 08:49 PM
oombanjo 08 Feb 09 - 04:19 AM
The Sandman 08 Feb 09 - 04:56 AM
Leadfingers 08 Feb 09 - 07:15 AM
The Sandman 08 Feb 09 - 07:20 AM
Doug Chadwick 08 Feb 09 - 09:49 AM
The Sandman 08 Feb 09 - 09:59 AM
Charley Noble 08 Feb 09 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 08 Feb 09 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,Banjo Bob 08 Feb 09 - 03:22 PM
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Subject: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 04:33 PM

A friend of mine showed me a 5 string banjo[a Windsor]with a pecuilarity.
the second fret seemed to be staggered,so was in a slightly different position,for the top string,than for strings 4,3,2,I cant conceive the reason for doing this ,can anyone enlighten me,Thanks.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 08:25 PM

I have never seen that . Ever .. Interesting ,   I will keep an eye on this thread . I like the sound of the few Windsors I ever tried . All the best , guy


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 08:37 PM

Aby chance of a Picture Dick ??


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Feb 09 - 08:49 PM

Dick-

Windsors are generally very well made banjos. It sounds like a custom adaptation and I haven't a clue why it was ordered. Perhaps the banjo-maker was distracted or inebriated.

Love to see a picture as well.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: oombanjo
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 04:19 AM

A thought, is that if it is a half fret it could have been left out for slide within the fret length?


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 04:56 AM

Here is a link to two pictures of the banjo,
http://picasaweb.google.com/Coorapics/OldBanjo?authkey=B1i_7aJ284s&feat=directlink


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 07:15 AM

Thanks Dick - Never seen anything lke that before !


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 07:20 AM

it is a windsor artiste no 3,it has had a truss rod ,put in by somebody,but the action is still high,I have just put an 11 ml bridge,on instead of a 12.5,but it could probably take a 10 ml bridge.
it has a vellum skin ,and a mellow sound .
I cant find a serial no ,I am guessing that it was tuned gcgbd,and that the player wanted a blue third on his/her c chord,and had it specially made .


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 09:49 AM

Not only does it have a staggered fret, but it also has all 5 pegs beyond the nut, only four of which seem to have a string attached.

DC


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 09:59 AM

correct,the owner wants to play it as a tenor,there is no accounting for taste.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 10:17 AM

Dick-

I think you've got it figured out. It's one of them blues tenor banjo players who wanted some custom work to facilitate what he liked to do.

One wonders how he modified the instrument they gave him to play in Hell!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 03:09 PM

One very likely reason for the odd split fret is as a customisation to fine-tune a particular note of the scale.

If you play in double C tuning: gCGCD, the note on string 1, fret 2, would be an E, making the major third of a C chord. In equal temperament this is much sharper than a "just", or harmonic third, which would tend to sound smoother in a chord. By having a split fret, that one note could be "fine-tuned" without affecting any others. A big drawback though is that it would only work in the one key.

However, if you were playing with an instrument that was just-tuned, you'd almost certainly hear the difference on that one note. I recently ran into exactly that problem recording a song with banjo and harmonica. Harmonicas are often tuned in just intonation because chords sound smoother (and as there are only really two of them on a diatonic harp, that doesn't create too many problems)

I've seen pictures of guitars (and occasionally bouzoukis) with split frets and/or extra frets to accomodate some pretty wild and wonderful tuning schemes, but never a banjo. A fretless banjo would allow you to play any note as sharp or flat as you like, but would really mess with your chords.


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Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: GUEST,Banjo Bob
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 03:22 PM

http://www.zither-banjo.org/pages/split.htm


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