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


5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?

The Sandman 08 Apr 10 - 07:45 AM
Dave Hanson 08 Apr 10 - 07:59 AM
theleveller 08 Apr 10 - 08:17 AM
Stringsinger 08 Apr 10 - 08:56 AM
dick greenhaus 08 Apr 10 - 09:55 AM
matt milton 08 Apr 10 - 10:32 AM
The Sandman 08 Apr 10 - 11:53 AM
beardedbruce 08 Apr 10 - 12:21 PM
PHJim 08 Apr 10 - 12:21 PM
The Sandman 08 Apr 10 - 12:32 PM
The Sandman 08 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM
Leadfingers 08 Apr 10 - 06:47 PM
The Sandman 09 Apr 10 - 05:52 AM
Melissa 09 Apr 10 - 06:16 AM
banjoman 09 Apr 10 - 06:17 AM
The Sandman 09 Apr 10 - 06:19 AM
Bernard 09 Apr 10 - 06:25 AM
matt milton 09 Apr 10 - 06:55 AM
The Sandman 09 Apr 10 - 07:59 AM
The Sandman 09 Apr 10 - 08:02 AM
The Sandman 09 Apr 10 - 08:15 AM
PHJim 09 Apr 10 - 12:53 PM
The Sandman 11 Apr 10 - 05:58 AM
Mavis Enderby 11 Apr 10 - 07:52 AM
Mavis Enderby 11 Apr 10 - 07:54 AM
Guy Wolff 11 Apr 10 - 08:24 AM
The Sandman 11 Apr 10 - 08:51 AM
The Sandman 11 Apr 10 - 10:02 AM
The Sandman 11 Apr 10 - 10:40 AM
matt milton 11 Apr 10 - 12:38 PM
The Sandman 11 Apr 10 - 12:56 PM
Murray MacLeod 11 Apr 10 - 05:40 PM
Mavis Enderby 12 Apr 10 - 03:48 AM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Apr 10 - 03:58 AM
Stringsinger 12 Apr 10 - 02:34 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Apr 10 - 11:32 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: 5 STRING BANJO
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:45 AM

Anyone ever come across a 5 string banjo,with the high g string on the opposite side?
I reckon it would make flatpicking with a plectrum much easier,you could bum ditty with ease,hitting the g string on an up


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 STRING BANJO
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:59 AM

Yeah, it's called ' a left handed one ' flat picking a 5 string eh ! seems to miss the point of the 5th string a bit to me.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 STRING BANJO
From: theleveller
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 08:17 AM

Hang on - it's not April 1st is it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 STRING BANJO
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 08:56 AM

It makes sense. Hit a bass note then a chord with a downstroke and an upstroke on the single first string (now tuned like a fifth string). Here's the problem. The high G then becomes part of the chord in the downstroke. It doesn't have the separation of the high G from the rest of the chord. It might work in a group where other instruments mask this.

The sound of a plectrum is markedly different from fingers hitting the strings. Not so much using fingerpicks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 STRING BANJO
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 09:55 AM

A giant step backwards. Look up plectrum 5-string banjos.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 STRING BANJO
From: matt milton
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 10:32 AM

hmmmm, you'd also not be really striking that "5th string" nearly as assertively as when you hit it with your thumb, becuase you'd be part-stopping your "chord", like a sort of hiccup, to hit that "5th string" with any kind of separation.

Also, it'd would be fairly un-ergonomic if the bass note of your bum-ditty was the lowest string - as it sometimes is. Every time you hit that high drone string, the return trip you have to make to that low bass note would be the same distance as if you had the 5th string in the conventional place.

It'd be much less effort to just use your fingers and thumb in the conventional way. I suspect you'd have more control using your fingers and thumb even if the banjo was upside down in the way you suggest, becuase you could brush down and then up-pick the "ty" of "bum ditty".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 STRING BANJO
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 11:53 AM

no,you are not understanding,it is not a left handed banjo,if the short string was on the far sideyoucan play with a plectrum,hit the bum dit then up for the ty.this is eaxactly what maybelle carter did on her guitar[except she playe the melody with her thumb,which of course is an alternative].
I bet none of you have tried taking a tenor banjo putting on light[cgda] gauge strings,tuning it dgdg or dgbg so your top string is your high g,well iam telling you it is very difficult to hear the diference between that and a 5 string banjo,go and check out pateks website.
by having a SHORT string on the opposite side it means you can play similiar to how PATEK suggests but with a flat pick it means your pick is resting after the dit,right where it wants to be to pluck the 5 string up.
the banjo is not upside down,but is speciaaly made so the short string is on the other side,so the head is still to the players left.
the reason I mention this is because,i cant grow nails to frail,and i find a metal pick cumbersome,i can already flatpick having played the tenor banjo and the guitar,so this would be easier for me,it is exactly the same principle as maybelle carter guitar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 STRING BANJO
From: beardedbruce
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 12:21 PM

I have a left handed 5 string banjo designed with the short string on the right ( looking at it with the head up) - it was at the last few Gewtaways.

Somebody want to buy it from me?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 STRING BANJO
From: PHJim
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 12:21 PM

A left handed banjo could easily be converted to what you desire. I've never seen them for sale, but one of my students has one, so they are available.

I'm assuming that you want to sound like a clawhammer or up-picking (Pete Seeger) style and not like a bluegrass banjo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 STRING BANJO
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 12:32 PM

correct, not like bluegrass.
so yes i was suggesting playing a lefthanded banjo right handed,what are the disadvantages of this/
string singer say,you would have an extra g in your dit chord but you would still have the high g seperate after it,i reckon it would be much easier to flat pick .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM

but can anyone tell me how the strings are laid out on a left handed banjo which is the one thats nearest to the 5 string,you see it would be easier to play if the nearest string was no 1 string but i suspect its no 4 string.
would it matter if the strings were changed round?I know you are not suposed to do this on fiddles because of the sound post position,but on a banjo you have a floating bridge?so could i change strings so that no 1 string was next to 5 string,would the banjo feel like a right handed banjo ergonomically or would the balance be wrong?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 06:47 PM

Left Handed Five String would be however you'd tune a Right handed Five String but Upside down ! So in open G , Short string G then D , G , B , D , working up ! If you want Seegers 'C' tuning the BOTTOM string AFTER the short G would be C . But I still dont see the point !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 05:52 AM

leadfingers ,
the point is that since I am having difficulty with a metal fingerpick for frailing and cant grow my nails,i can use a flatpick successfully,drop thumbing can be done easily with a flat pick,double thumbing or its equivalent can then be done easier with a flat pick,the bum ditty can be done more easily,[with a flat pick],plus I will have a unique sound because the dit of the bum ditty[could contain the high g of course it doesnt have to[with practice you could put a stop in] and it would be reversed so it would sound low to high [for the ty]then high g on an up]but the dit with a down stroke.
however, would it be possible to change the strings round so they were just like a normal 5 string,but with the high [g] string in a different place.
no one criticised libba cotten for playing guitar upside down.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: Melissa
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:16 AM

Wouldn't having the 5th string tuner on the other side be inconvenient for fretting?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: banjoman
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:17 AM

I have been making my own banjos for some time, and my son who is a fine guitar player asked me to make one for him in the way described in this thread. Although he gets a pretty good sound from it, it just doesn;t sound banjo (ish) to me despite trying it with a plectrum and picks. I suppose its everone to their own taste (as the woman said when she kissed a cow on the backside)
Keep on pickin'

Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:19 AM

i rather kiss women on their backsides,than cows.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: Bernard
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:25 AM

Dick, there's no problem at all in stringing a left-handed 5-string the way you want to. There's a chance you may need to replace the top nut and bridge if the string slots have been cut for specific strings, but you may well get away with it, especially if it has a 'zero fret'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: matt milton
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 06:55 AM

Personally I say, play any instrument however you want to play it. Whatever makes you happy; whatever gets you the results you want.

But you might also want to look into Alaska fingerpicks before you give up on the idea of fingerpicks full stop.

http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/details1.asp/ProductID/4163/sid/195/alaska-pik-plastic-or-brass.htm

I used to think I simply couldn't use fingerpicks until I discovered these. I've never been able to use any other kind. These are the only ones I know that are like "fingernail extensions". All other fingerpicks seem to sit on your fingerpad; these sit on the nail.

It took me a while to get used to them, but now they're fine.

Irrespective of where you put the strings on a banjo, there are certain things you just can't do flatpicking. On another recent thread, we've been talking about Pete Seeger's playing: he couldn't have played what he played if he'd been flatpicking.

There are plenty of chords in which you wouldn't be able to play all the notes simultaneously without having to stop the unwanted in-between strings (which you wouldn't have to do if you were using fingers) Also your notes in a chord are never quite 'simultaneous' with flatpicking the way they are with fingers.

Rapid movements across larger intervals - say two or three frets from your 1st string to your 4th string - require so much more arm movement using a flatpick than they would using fingers.

One great thing about the banjo's layout is that you can do super-fast movements between the first string and the 5th string (using your middle finger and thumb). To do the same thing on the kind of banjo you're describing would mean rapid alternation between two consecutive strings. Doing that using a flatpick is much less fluid and requires a good deal more practice. There's a good reason flamenco guitarists don't use flatpicks.

I appreciate what you're saying about Maybelle Carter's style of guitar playing, but she didn't play half as fast as banjo bum-dittying sometimes gets. Speaking for myself, I would have to put in a lot of practice to be able to be able to do what you're suggesting cleanly and at speed; and in terms of hand and arm-movements it's always going to be an energy-inefficient way of playing.

Do you have a link to PATEK's website? I'd be interested to hear his/her stuff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 07:59 AM

actually Iam starting to get on better with the fingerpick this very morning i spent an hour on the banjo,fraiuling dolwn with fingerpick 20 minutes,doing standard up picking without picks and 120 minutes on flat picking with a reverse bumditty,melody then up strum with flat pick,then down with top 5 string ,i had no problem stopping theup dit before i hit top string [even double thumbing equivalent wasnt too difficult]easier hitting top string up then still hitting g string down,its agreat way to improve flat picking.
then i do the same thing on guitar,for i have one of my guitars in dgdgbd.
but i still think left handed banjo would offer something different,i reckon with practise,you could stop the pick brefore you hit the short string,it doesnt seem to be difficultstoipping it on an up strum.Iam going to continue with conventioinal methods ,but i reckon the flat pick offers a little variety whether with a right handed banjo or aleft strung differently ,also a left handed banjo strung differently would give more options on thumb melody too.
an interesting point[melissa] was made about would it interfere with fretting the other string,wht are peoples views on that one,does it make a difference if the left handed banjo is strung differently?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 08:02 AM

sorry i never spent 120 minutes on it.
just google patek banjo,it comes up.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 08:15 AM

matt, thanks for the mention of the alaska picks
you have a point about finger picking and plectrum,but Idont entirely agree with you,if we analyze the bum ditty,it is done the dit,with one finger down or occasionally up[lunsford]that can be done the same on a plectrum,drop thumbing[as it is often the adjacent string] or its equivalent is actually easier with a plectrum,plucking two notes together is more difficult unless they are adjacent stringsthen itseasy to a double stop with a flat pick [i agree it will sound slightly different tonally],and it doesnt happen simultaneously,yes it is limted in comparison to finger picking ,but my idea was to use it as well as fingerpicking,as i do with guitar.
anyway thanks evertyone for their thoughts


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 12:53 PM

I have very weak fingernails, a form of psoriasis, and can't seem to get the hang of using a fingerpick for clawhammering, so I get acrylic gel nails on my index, middle and ring fingers at the local nail salon. I use these for finger-style guitar playing as well as clawhammer and other old time styles of banjo picking. I use finger picks only for bluegrass banjo and Autoharp.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 05:58 AM

one other point about plectrum or flat picking it is possible to add a new dimension to 5 string banjo playing,by utilising some of the tenor banjo techniques for triplets and also using mandolin techniques such as tremolo,so while it has limitations it also can bring a couple of new dimensions to existing 5 string banjo playing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 07:52 AM

GSS - with the short 5th string moved to the other side, this would give the tuning DGBDg

The intervals are the same as ADF#Ad

Which is essentially the same as open D on a guitar (D)ADF#Ad

Before committing to a converted left-hand 5 string, why not tune your guitar to open D and try the approach you've described on it - might at least see whether you like it or not? You could always take the first string off if it's getting in the way to give 5 strings...

Just my 2C

Pete.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 07:54 AM

...and incidentally, that's why a lot of open D blues works great on a 5 string banjo....

Pete


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 08:24 AM

As a kid I was trained by Austrian style skiers for GS racing .. Those guys had your shoulders pointing down hill so you can imagine my first reaction to seeing Snow Boarders who twist in all sorts of directions away from gravity . It makes me crazy to watch but I know they are having a great time.. Funny I am having the same reaction here..

I think its great your trying out new things to do with a left handed banjo ..really . Just to say weather left handed or right the banjo was designed for the hand doing the rolls or clawhammer hits to have the thumb of that hand nearest the fifth string . Its the nature of the beast . Good luck in your endeavors !!HAve fun anyways !!! Your Guy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 08:51 AM

Burton,I have been using dgdgbd on guitar for sometime,so i can flatpick banjo tunes on a guitar using bum ditty when required,but i do the ty of the ditty on the top 1 string similar to maybelle carter guitar style,now with a left handed banjo[with strings changed so 2 string is next to short g stringand 4 string is the one nearest you everything can be transferred from guitar back to the banjo,BUT YOUR BUM DITTY WILL NOW CONTAIN THE HIGH G STRING.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 10:02 AM

Burton,have reread your post,thanks for your suggestion will try


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 10:40 AM

yes burtons sugetion is interesting it seems to work well with a flatpick,but,stopping the dit,before you hit the top string,the top string can be hit on an up or down,the main problem is any strings that were barred with the left hand have to be approached differently,there are definite possibilites to it,still i must go and do some concertina practice now in readiness for gigs tomorrow.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 12:38 PM

Just for the record, tremolo isn't alien to 5-string banjo. You hear, to name one example, Pete Seeger using it from time to time; iit's described in both his book and Peggy's book, with reference to song accompaniment where the song requires something free and unmetered.

I've also heard it in Classic Banjo tunes a few times. I've never really listened to much of their stuff, but I'd be surprised if the much-lauded banjo whizkids like Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka didn't employ it from time to time.

Those Irish-style single-note triplets you don't tend to hear so much in 5-string banjo.

Mainly I guess because there tend to be strictures about the 'correct' way of playing certain banjo styles i.e. knock-brush-thumb for clawhammer; or 'minimizing playing consecutive notes on the same string' for Melodic style). But that's not to say you don't hear them. I play them using fingernails or fingerpicks, and I don't find it any more tricky than I would using a plectrum on a mandolin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 12:56 PM

fair enough ,Matt,I am just used to doing tremolo with a pick,obviously when it is done with fingers it has to use different fingers,but since I cant grow fingernails i pick with my flesh,result different tonal quality,so i do tremolo with a pick becuse that what i like.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 05:40 PM

I don't play the banjo, but I would love to see the lyrics (and hear the tune if possible) of this "Bum Ditty" I keep seeing mentioned.

I hope it's about hobos, rather than fundaments ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 03:48 AM

Maybe it's this one?

I've always known the basic frailing strum as bum titty though - much more fun!

Pete.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 03:58 AM

Murray...


Does this help?



UU OO UU OO UU UU UU























Bum Titty Bum Titty Bum Bum Bum!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 02:34 PM

I think we need to hear an example of what this sounds like as applied.
If it works, it works.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 5 String Banjo - with high G on opposite side?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Apr 10 - 11:32 PM

Don't blame me - blame Benny Hill!

:-)


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: 21 February 1:05 PM EST

[ 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.