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help to identify a Banjo

GUEST,Bryan 08 Nov 09 - 06:00 PM
Dan Schatz 08 Nov 09 - 06:34 PM
Dan Schatz 08 Nov 09 - 08:04 PM
GUEST 08 Nov 09 - 08:31 PM
Charley Noble 08 Nov 09 - 08:49 PM
deadfrett 08 Nov 09 - 09:53 PM
Rapparee 08 Nov 09 - 10:00 PM
Tim Leaning 08 Nov 09 - 10:13 PM
DonMeixner 08 Nov 09 - 10:46 PM
alex s 09 Nov 09 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,BanjoRay 09 Nov 09 - 07:13 AM
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Subject: help to identify a Banjo
From: GUEST,Bryan
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 06:00 PM

Can any one tell anything about this Banjo. I picked it up at an estate auction this weekend.
It has no name or markings on it that I can see. The pot(?) is about 7 inches and the head is about 5 inches. It is 1.5 inches deep.
The back is a closed back with wood which has a 1.5 hole in the middle. This banjo is all wood. Frets seem to be sanded down, like a fretlees neck. It is a five string and tuners are the friction type and made of some sort of black wood.
Banjo appears to be very very old and is in poor shape{missing 2 tuners, head is split and no bridge)

Any ideas about this one. I have pics but can figure out how to post.

Thanks
Bryan


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 06:34 PM

I imagined it looked something like the banjo pictured on this page. This type of banjo is called a mountain banjo - yours either was made originally to be a fretless, which is very common, or has become fretless through the playing of the years. They enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the 19602 after a Foxfire article gave instructions from Stanley Hicks on how to build them. The most well known purveyor was Frank Proffitt, who was a master of the instrument and built many - although some that were built with his name were actually by Clifford Glenn, whose link is above.

I imagine it would be very difficult to determine the actual origin of yours - could be very old, as you say, or could be from a kit and treated badly.

To hear a master play, you can go to the Frank Proffitt page on the
Folk Legacy Records website and click on the mp3 - that will give you clips of three of Frank Proffitt's songs. Then buy the album; you won't regret it.

I hope this helps!

Dan


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 08:04 PM

That is, they enjoyed a resurgence during the 1960s. Not 19602, which is the zip code for Reading, Pennsylvania. Although they might have resurged there too, I really don't know.

Dan


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 08:31 PM

Thanks Dan

Thanks for the quick response That is the banjo that i got. Now I have a place to start researching.

Thanks
Bryan


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 08:49 PM

Bryan-

Not bad for posting a question without a picture.

The Frank Proffitt style banjo is a classic, one favored by Frank Warner, collector and singer of Appalachian ballads.

There was a time when I lusted for one myself.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: deadfrett
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 09:53 PM

Bryan- I heard that one of Frank's banjos sold on EBay recently for close to a thousand dollars. Can this be true? Dave


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 10:00 PM

I was going to say that it had a round end and a neck with four or five strings, but that wasn't what was wanted. Oh well.


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 10:13 PM

Just had to giggle when I saw the thread title.
Banjos get a lot of stick on here,so I was expecting to see
"Police published cctv footage of a masked banjo ,that was at the scene of ......"
Well ok it seemed funny before I read the thread.
sounds like a good find and just shows how much free advice you can get on the cat.


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Nov 09 - 10:46 PM

I have made a number of small fretless banjos similar to this one. I have also made wooden top banjos with an octagon body which are my favorites to play. I have strung them with wire, fish line, used harp strings but my favorite was weed eater chord.

Bryan will have fun with this banjo.

Don


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: alex s
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 07:00 AM

For us Brits, tell me what weed eater chord is, Don!
Nice website, by the way.
Alex


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Subject: RE: help to identify a Banjo
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 09 Nov 09 - 07:13 AM

I assume Weed Eaters are what we brits call Strimmers.
Ray


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