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Longneck banjo

Will Bakker 11 Nov 99 - 05:13 PM
Tony Burns 11 Nov 99 - 05:50 PM
DonMeixner 11 Nov 99 - 09:06 PM
Rick Fielding 11 Nov 99 - 09:21 PM
DonMeixner 12 Nov 99 - 12:00 AM
Rasta 12 Nov 99 - 03:24 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 12 Nov 99 - 03:38 AM
JedMarum 12 Nov 99 - 08:57 AM
Rick Fielding 12 Nov 99 - 01:46 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Nov 99 - 03:32 PM
JedMarum 12 Nov 99 - 03:39 PM
Herge 12 Nov 99 - 05:52 PM
Herge 12 Nov 99 - 05:52 PM
Will Bakker 13 Nov 99 - 07:25 AM
JedMarum 13 Nov 99 - 11:33 AM
Tony Burns 13 Nov 99 - 11:37 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Nov 99 - 11:54 AM
catspaw49 13 Nov 99 - 12:30 PM
Jon Freeman 13 Nov 99 - 12:52 PM
clansfolk 14 Nov 99 - 04:35 AM
clansfolk 14 Nov 99 - 05:05 AM
Arnie Naiman 14 Nov 99 - 11:12 AM
al 14 Nov 99 - 06:43 PM
JedMarum 15 Nov 99 - 12:20 PM
Jon W. 15 Nov 99 - 12:49 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM
pete 16 Nov 99 - 03:18 AM
Arnie Naiman 16 Nov 99 - 08:40 AM
tich99m@yahoo.com 16 Nov 99 - 05:47 PM
John in Brisbane 17 Nov 99 - 01:11 AM
Rick Fielding 17 Nov 99 - 01:29 AM
Pete Proctor 17 Nov 99 - 03:40 AM
John in Brisbane 17 Nov 99 - 05:10 AM
Jed at Work 08 Aug 00 - 11:28 AM
Margo 08 Aug 00 - 11:43 AM
Downeast Bob 08 Aug 00 - 12:03 PM
Little Neophyte 08 Aug 00 - 12:07 PM
Lady McMoo 08 Aug 00 - 12:23 PM
Jed at Work 08 Aug 00 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Les B at work 08 Aug 00 - 12:45 PM
GUEST 08 Aug 00 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Les B 08 Aug 00 - 03:29 PM
Jed at Work 08 Aug 00 - 03:57 PM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 08 Aug 00 - 04:46 PM
Downeast Bob 08 Aug 00 - 04:48 PM
Downeast Bob 08 Aug 00 - 04:48 PM
Jed at Work 08 Aug 00 - 04:50 PM
kendall 08 Aug 00 - 06:03 PM
Jed at Work 08 Aug 00 - 06:14 PM
Bud Savoie 08 Aug 00 - 09:16 PM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 08 Aug 00 - 09:26 PM
GUEST,Lyle 09 Aug 00 - 09:58 PM
Sailor Dan 09 Aug 00 - 10:31 PM
Rick Fielding 09 Aug 00 - 10:40 PM
Downeast Bob 10 Aug 00 - 07:35 AM
DougR 11 Aug 00 - 12:35 AM
JedMarum 11 Aug 00 - 09:21 AM
Little Neophyte 11 Aug 00 - 12:34 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 11 - 11:22 PM
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Subject: Longneck banjo
From: Will Bakker
Date: 11 Nov 99 - 05:13 PM

I am looking for a five string longneck banjo. I used to have a Framus in the sixties, but here in Holland it is very hard to find a good one. I don't know if Framus still exists, but what other brand should I look for and what are the prices?


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Tony Burns
Date: 11 Nov 99 - 05:50 PM

Hi Will, Here's some places to look.

HTM Bajno Catalog.

The 12th Fret has a Deering Longneck for $1849US.

Which brings us to Deering Banjos

Don't forget Mandolin Brothers and Elderly Music.

Lark In the Morning has a kit on this page that is avialable with a long neck.

Happy hunting.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: DonMeixner
Date: 11 Nov 99 - 09:06 PM

Hi Will,

I play an ODE Long Neck that was made about 1960 in Boulder Colo. in the US. Its an exceptionally well made instrument. Very plain and very clean in appearance. I got it several years back when long necks were really out of favor and it was comparitively dirt cheap. $225.00 in US currency. A man I know who is a banjo expert ( Contruction and st up wise.) Tells me that there are few as well made and only two that are argueably better. I assume that means Vegas and Gibsons.

If I had a complaint it is that it is quite heavy.

Regards

Don


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Nov 99 - 09:21 PM

Odes are great Don. Ten to one he DIDN'T mean Gibson. Their long necked banjos (from the sixties and 70s) are some of the worst built instruments in the universe. By that time Gibson had long since forgotten how to build banjos. Their acoustic guitars from the 70s were nuthin' to write home about either.
Rick


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: DonMeixner
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 12:00 AM

Rick,

I agree with you about the Gibson guitars. Sounded like they were braced with Lincoln Logs.

As to the Gibson Banjos, I can honestly say that I have never played one. Never touched a Mastertone. Or even a 5 string banjo with a rsonator.

I've always been an open back kinda guy. Vega's, SS Stewarts, Orpheums, Harmony Sovereigns, even the Bacon and Days that I've played were open backs. Except for the new Stellings, I know of no other Long Necks out and about.

So if you agree with Al's estimation of the Vegas', what was the other of the good ones he mentioned. Any idea?

Don


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Rasta
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 03:24 AM

wow don I love Ode long necks . my long neck Ode is from pretty much the same time. It has an Aluminium rim if I spelled that right and really loud. Ive since aquired a short neck Stelling belflower resonated . Now thats heavey and loud The Ode long neck has cracked by the headstock twice since I got it in summer of 63 but I had it glued and pinned but havent reststrung it in quit some time does anyone know where I could get brackets for those old Ode banjos. I honestly believe the aluminium rim sounded much better than the wodden rim long necks Great for playing those old KT songs thanx Rasttaaaaaa


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 03:38 AM

Dan Milner's partner Bob has a long neck Gibson that is a pretty nice instrument. My first five string was a long neck Bacon--I almost always had it capoed at the third fret or higher. Even with my long arms, the long neck was never comfortable.

Wildwood makes one, and Wyatt Fawley will build you a long neck if you send him a pot to attach it to. You can link to Fawley at Mugwumps.com. His standard and banjerine necks are about #350 installed, so if you find a good old pot (I have a banjerine with a Fawley neck on a 1920s Slingerland pot I bought from Michael Holmes at Mugwumps). Fawley did a good job of matching the neck wood to the curly maple of the pot, and it's an excellent, very playable neck.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: JedMarum
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 08:57 AM

Thanks for posting those great links, Tony. I am sure I'll spend too much time going throgh those sites!

I used to own an very old Fairbanks. It was late 1800's friction tuning pegs, skin head. I put modern tuners and head on it; sounded great! But it was lost in a move fro Boston to Houston in '86. I have seen a few similar vintage instruments at some of the guitar shows, but have purchased one yet. One show last year in Dallas a guy was selling hybirds - that is, he took some old tenors and placed old 5 string necks on them, modern tunes and heads. They did not have antique value any longer, but had some of the qualities I loved about by Fairbanks.

By the way, I was told Fairbanks was a forerunner to Vega. Anyone know if that's true?


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 01:46 PM

Don. 'Course not ALL the 60s and 70s Gibson banjos were awful. Likewise their guitars, but you're right about the bracing. They were getting sick of doing warranty work, so they just started making them like Mack Trucks. As far as I know, the good long necks over the last few years have been Deering, Stelling, Wildwood, Bart Reiter...but probably a host of small independants as well.
Rick


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 03:32 PM

Liam, who is this guy doing that to tenor banjos? - I don't mind the modern head or tuning pegs (I'd probably do the same) but a 5 string neck - he should be shot for that!

Jon (A tenor banjo lover)


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: JedMarum
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 03:39 PM

Jon - it sounds like I better not tell you who this guy is!

Actually, I believe he is an antique banjo enthusiast, and he has found some old ones that had some good parts, no real value as an antique, but with a little work could be put back together as a good instrument. I played three of the ones he had rebuilt from old parts, and they were good instruments!

I think his was a craft based more upon opportunity than design!


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Herge
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 05:52 PM

I have an old 'John Grey' long neck 5-string. The 5th string starts at the 8th fret so I put a capo on the 3rd. Its handy for dropping down to F for singers.

Herge


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Herge
Date: 12 Nov 99 - 05:52 PM

I have an old 'John Grey' long neck 5-string. The 5th string starts at the 8th fret so I put a capo on the 3rd. Its handy for dropping down to F for singers.

Herge


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Will Bakker
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 07:25 AM

Thank you all for your reactions,but what about Framus?


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 11:33 AM

haven't seen Framus banjos much, in the US - it's been years since I've seen one


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Tony Burns
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 11:37 AM

My only experience with Framus was my first 12 string guitar. It turned out to be a terrible guitar.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 11:54 AM

Will, the only Framus banjo's I have come across have been tenors and I don't know if Framus are still going. All I do know is that Framus tenors have been popular with Irish players for many years.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 12:30 PM

We made a boatload of Framus jokes somewhere or another, but interestingly, a lot of us owned their stuff and it was pretty much OK too.....built like a tank, but not too terrible a sound.

A little bit of creep..........

When I went to Cincy to meet Mick, I listened to Frank Proffitt down and back, and a good bit since in the van. Now I've got a hard-on for a cheap, birch plywood, guitar and a fretless banjo!!! I gotta' start playing some other tapes or they won't let me back on that Rosewood thread anymore!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 12:52 PM

Just a thought on the sound of the Framus banjos. I have heard players making them sound superb (not just passable)played Irish tenor style but I could never imagine one making a bluegrass instrument... Strange beasts and I agree, built like a tank but I wouldn't mind owning one all the same.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: clansfolk
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 04:35 AM

I have been using a Framus 5 string Banjo (concert grand model - lots of gold plating!) since the late 60's early 70's and have not found a banjo I enjoyed playing as much in that many years.. I love the narrow neck and low jumbo frets and the sound is nice and bright for bluegrass whether acoustic or amplified.

I short time ago I was in Bristol - England, and Hobgoblin had a 5 string Framus (very basic but in good condition) I can't remember whether it was a long neck or standard (might be worth checking out their second hand pages)

Gibson 70's acoustics - no good? - I have two from the mk series - I'm not complaining! A lot better than some of the down market Martins coming over here (I do like their D15 mahogany model though - and its cheap...)

Good luck in finding a Framus - there must be loads out there.

Pete


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: clansfolk
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 05:05 AM

http://www.fyldefolk.freeserve.co.uk/fyldefolk/links/linkfra.html?http://www.hobgoblin.com/

Just checked the above web address (hobgoblin) and they do have a longneck Framus Banjo:-

39L1351 Framus 5 string banjo, long neck, very good condition, ca 250.00 (pounds UK)

have a look,

Pete


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 11:12 AM

I know that OME banjos make a longneck too - combined with their Silverspun tone ring (similar to a Tubaphone) it would make a great instrument. Their website is at www.omebanjos.com But why a longneck?


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: al
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 06:43 PM

Deering is now making "vega" banjos including a long neck. Try their web site (www.Deeringbanjos.com)

Al


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 12:20 PM

I've seen/played some nice Deering banjos, including their 6 string. I believe my next banjo will be the open backed type. I like what I have seen among the old refurbished instruments; good sound, good necks, although the tuners can be a bit funky. Since I am actually a guitar player who occasionally mascarades a banjo player, I think this is the best fit for me!

Kinda the same reason I don't wear a cowboy hat!


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jon W.
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 12:49 PM

Jon Freeman, I'm currently converting a tenor (cheap, old, shot, no historic or antique value) to a 5-string, and I'm doing it because I play 5-string. But if it makes you feel any better, I was looking at my first five-string (the one the conversion is supposed to replace) last night and wondering what it would take to convert it to a tenor. I think I could cut it off at the fifth fret, scarf-joint on a peghead, replace the bridge, and reinstall the tuners. Will that appease your anger?

Seriously, I've been wondering lately about tenor banjos. Could you describe (at the risk of thread creep) the method of playing them. That is, do you use a pick to play single string melodies or do you finger pick or what?

Thanks, The other Jon (W.)


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM

Jon, Liam, and anybody else, I think I should have ended my post re the conversion with a -;) or is it a *BG* or something here? I'm not that serious about it and to be honest, if I found the right bit's, I would make them into a tenor or whatever regardless of what they might have come from and even if I was in the fortunate position of finding an antique and having the money, I would consider putting a tenor neck on a 5 string etc, alhough I would make sure it kept the original parts. I joke about 5 string v tenor quite often but I like them both and too me, the most important thing with instruments is that they are played - not hidden away in a cupboard or part of a collection for show...

Jon, Tenor banjo is normaly played with a pick (I don't know of any finger pickers). There are 2 tunings in common use. The "standard" tuning used by jazz players is CGDA. Most "Irish" players keep to this interval but tune a bit lower to GDAE (an octave below the fiddle and mandolin). I think that the jazz type playing involves a lot of chords and playing up the neck wheras the Iish style is mostly playing sinlge note melodies in the first position. As the Irish style involves playing in the open position and faily long stetches of the left hand compared to fiddle and mandolin, there are a number of players (myself included) who prefer the 17 fret model to the 19 fret model (which gives a bit more space up the neck).

Jon


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: pete
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 03:18 AM

Hi will, reading your message on the mudcat site about you having a Framus banjo in the sixties. I bought one in the sixties as well and I am still playing it! It has taken some 'mods' over the years(a few small brackets and a plate inside the drum to keep it true and it is still playing well. I had the machine heads renewed and replaced the direct drive fifth peg with a machine head, much better! Looking at some of the other messages on the thread I have to say that I am an 'open back' player and that the only complaint I have is that it can be a bit heavy. I actualy tune the thing to open D to give me the option of keys that suit the band that I am playing in. It gives it a somewhat mellow tone which I really like. I play with a band called 'Hobsons Choice' We are based in Perth Western Australia and are an Anglo/Celtic outfit also playing original stuff about W.A. and the U.K. Perhaps you would like to visit our website at hobsons.perthwa.com and have a listen!

Regards,

Pete Proctor


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 08:40 AM

You can read in depth all about Deerings new Vega banjos in the last edition of The Banjo Newsletter - an informative monthly magazine for all of us banjo nerds.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: tich99m@yahoo.com
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 05:47 PM

Friends, i have a Framus long neck banjo... I already owned a Fender artist bluegrass model but i want a folk type to play the KT3 songs... So i bought a Framus...i had seen many in the sixties but i never consider to buy one since i thought they were not good enough... Lately i discovered they can work... they are loud..not a great tone but you can play them wel enough... The fifth peg isn't that good but i don't dare to change it with a recent one... Long live the long neck banjos! Ciao


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 01:11 AM

I'm not too good on models and such but until a little while ago I owned an Epiphone (Kalamazoo) long neck, open back that was made some time in the 60's. It had been sitting in a warehouse in Melbourne for a number of years before I bought it circa 1970. It's the most stable instrument I've ever owned, with an incredibly slick action. While the experts may disagree I can't tell the difference between it and the known population of 3 Gibson long-necks in Australia. I have never seen another Epiphone of its type in this country, but I don't travel in banjo circles much these days. (I swapped it for a Lowden cedar top guitar - a decision that I've never regretted. An old friend still has the banjo). Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 01:29 AM

Folks, sometimes I've been quick to categorize "good and bad periods" for instrument companies. It's something that obsessive instrument "nurds" like myself tend to do ad nauseum. I think generally the information is accurate, cause it's based not only on personally playing thousands of different instruments, and hanging out a lot at the stores, whether at home or on the road, but also anecdotal stuff from other players and tons of articles. BUT..BUT it doesn't take into consideration that all of these companies made some superb instruments even during their "bad" periods. Some of Gibson's J-45s from the sixties have mellowed beautifully and because of their over-bracing, have weathered the years well. Likewise some Martins from the seventies. The real barometer is the prices charged by knowledgable dealers. They know what the traffic will bear and price accordingly. I've scored some wonderful instruments that were priced low because of a bad "vintage". For what it's worth, most Martins made in the last 4 years strike me as virtually similar to the Collings and Santa Cruz instruments that almost took the high end market away from them. (Taylor also scared the pants off CF the third as well). Even Gibson are back in the market seriously with their bluegrass five stringers now, and for them it's been a long long time!
Rick


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Pete Proctor
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 03:40 AM

Jon, Did your estimation of 'three long neck Banjos' in Oz include the one owned by Sean Roache in Perth which was stolen from the home of Phil Beck who plays with Hobsons Choice here in Perth. If it did he wants it back! This website is fun!

Pete


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 05:10 AM

Pete, this was a statement made at Woodford last New Year when Alex Hood (one owner) introduced another player from a band from somewhere else (he was tallish, dark hair and a beard - I think?) The third owner was mentioned but I don't recall who. I inspected one of the 2 Gibsons, and every nut and bolt seemed identical to the Epiphone. I'll look up last year's programme and see if Hobson's Choice were there. That degree of rarity should make it easu to fing - eventually. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jed at Work
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 11:28 AM

just a follow up on this thread ... after reading this info and following the links posted, I took the "plunge" and bought a new Vega long neck from Deering. I gotta say it is a sweet instrument. It has a great sound, and a fine neck. I have also been impressed with with its great low end sound when playing down in E or F. Its an almost 'baritone' banjo - but still crisp, clean and bright. I love it. Now, if I could just learn to play the dam* thing well!


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Margo
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 11:43 AM

Arnie: thanks for the tip about the newsletter. I am going to read about the Deering Vegas because I bought one. They call this one the "little wonder". It is very nice! My only other comparison, however, it to my other banjo which is the Deering Goodtime, the entry level instrument. The Deering Vega has a lower action (just right to my liking) than the Goodtime. It also has a resonator ring, and has a nice mellow sound that carries. I am playing clawhammer style, and it suits me well. Margo


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:03 PM

Jed asked if Fairbanks was a forerunner of Vega. Not exactly, but in sense, yes. The A.C. Fairbanks Co. in Boston manufactured some of the finest open back 5-string banjos ever made, especially in the 1880s. On March 4, 1904 a fire devastated the Fairbanks factory on Washington Street. After the fire, Vega, which had been making banjos in Boston since 1881, bought the company and the rights to produce the patented Fairbanks models.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:07 PM

Jed, my biggest issue with my Vega Longneck is not wacking people in the face with it when I turn to acknowledge them. Or not knocking off the other instruments hanging on Rick's wall. Or not knocking off someone's expensive artwork off their wall.
I think I am going to put a warning sign on mine longneck.......
'Danger, keep your distance, this instrument makes wide turns'

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:23 PM

For those who are interested in Framus, the company has a very interesting history but unfortunately went out of business in 1975. You can read more about it here

Peace

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jed at Work
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:29 PM

Bonnie - yerright about the weapon-like characteristics of that loooong neck! I have bopped a band member or two on the head, once or twice.

Luckily, didn't damage the banjo, though!


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: GUEST,Les B at work
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 12:45 PM

I saw a fine cowboy singer, Sid Hauseman, playing a long-necked Epiphone about three weeks ago. I didn't get a chance to play it myself, but from the audience side it sounded real good.

He'd taken the resonator off and stuffed a sock in the backside to give the plunky old-time sound, but played it in a rag-timey three-finger style. He had a version of "Over the Rainbow" (not your typical cowboy song, I know) that was a killer piece !

He also did a version of "Dueling Banjos" with the 'response' part being done up an octave - something that a normal lengthed banjo neck won't let you accomplish.

I came away wanting a long-necked beauty pretty badly. Speaking of that, I wonder why no one marketed a 'Neferttiti' (the long necked Egyptian queen) version of a banjo ??


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 03:11 PM

Ok- I have enjoyed this thread immensely. BUT would someone please take a moment and in words or one sylable or less. Please explain to me what is the differance sound wise between a long neck and a standard neck.

I am fairly new to music, even though I am older then dirt and I am attempting to play a Deering GDL that to me sounds absolutely great (especially after the japanese beginning banjo I had) But dont let that fool you I have stone ears and a limited knowledge.

Sailor DAn


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 03:29 PM

I may be soundly refuted by the experts on this, but here's my take on the sound. Like every banjo, each long-neck has it own individual sound, some twangy, some bright, some brassy, some tinny.

The difference is that you can go to a lower key in the open tuning. That is, instead of the standard open G tuning, you are actually in E or F (I think) and have to capo up those extra frets to get up to the standard G of other banjos.

Therefore the sound difference is that of being able to play "open" strings/chord postions in a lower key - plus the individual characteristics of the banjo itself.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jed at Work
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 03:57 PM

I think you're right on, Les. As far as I know, the long neck banjo was developed not for tonal qualities (as I suppose I hited at in my commnets above regarding the 'baritone' qualities) but for playing those hard to reach sort of keys; E, F, F#. There are different tonal qualities due to the design of the instrument, not just related to the length of the neck - BUT, the long neck, when played in the lower keys (E, F, F#) does impact the overall tone of the instrumnet. My Deering/Vega has a strong, warm low end when played down there, that gives it an almost baritone quality - but the wonderful thing to me is that it does not loose its bright edge (hence my comment above).

By the way, I bought the long neck, because I am primarily a guitar player and my early experience with the banjo in those E/F keys was difficult ... now that I've played a while, I find the neck less limiting with alternate tunings, chord voicings and a well placed capo! Still - the long neck has some wonderful advantages all its own, as I've mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 04:46 PM

For the sake of Sailor Dan & others new to banjos, we should be a bit more accurate here. The long-neck can play the lower keys, not because the neck is longer, but because the strings are longer.

Now you can take an ordinary G-tuned banjo and slack it down to E, but you lose the string tension and the sound goes dull. With a "long STRING" banjo you keep the tension high and get that good ringing sound even in E.

Most banjo strings are just barely long enough to reach the pegs on a long neck instrument. == Johnny


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 04:48 PM

By the way, the long-neck banjo was invented by Pete Seeger in the late 40s or early 50s. He actually lengthened a standard neck by adding a piece of wood to it and refinishing it. The early editions of his "How to Play the 5-string Banjo" showed diagrams of how to do it because long neck banjos weren't being manufactured until sometime in the late 50s or early 60s. I've never used one but every time someone wants me to play in E, I wish I had one. The alternative is to put the sucker in C tuning, and capo to the fourth fret, losing any semblance of a bass note, or go to a D tuning with the capo at the 2nd fret. In either case, you still have to frig around with the 5th string. I usually just refuse to play in E. For many years, I looked down on long-necks because the "real, southern folk" didn't play them even if Pete did. I was pretty snobbish and narrow-minded.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 04:48 PM

By the way, the long-neck banjo was invented by Pete Seeger in the late 40s or early 50s. He actually lengthened a standard neck by adding a piece of wood to it and refinishing it. The early editions of his "How to Play the 5-string Banjo" showed diagrams of how to do it because long neck banjos weren't being manufactured until sometime in the late 50s or early 60s. I've never used one but every time someone wants me to play in E, I wish I had one. The alternative is to put the sucker in C tuning, and capo to the fourth fret, losing any semblance of a bass note, or go to a D tuning with the capo at the 2nd fret. In either case, you still have to frig around with the 5th string. I usually just refuse to play in E. For many years, I looked down on long-necks because the "real, southern folk" didn't play them even if Pete did. I was pretty snobbish and narrow-minded.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jed at Work
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 04:50 PM

Ah - good point, Banjo Johnny. The neck is longer but the scale is the same. The neck si longer becasue three onre frets have been added, below the standard tuning postion (sort of a reverse capo, if that were possible). In truth, if you were to play the long jsut like a regular 5 string, you would capo at the third fret.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: kendall
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 06:03 PM

The 4 string banjo was invented by a fella who couldn't play the 5 string banjo. (Granpa Jones)


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Jed at Work
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 06:14 PM

ah, and what about the the balalaika (please forgive the spelling)?


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 09:16 PM

Well, Rick, you saved yourself from vitriolic rejoinder by your subsequent waffling posts. The second banjo I ever owned is still the one I play. It is a Gibson long-necker bought in the early 60s. I thought it sounded pretty good then. It has gotten better and better with age and use, and now sounds superb.

The negative about a long-necked banjo is that it is unbalanced. Hang it on your shoulder and the neck will drop to the floor. Pete Seeger--saw him two weekends ago--still has the problem. You just get used to supporting the neck with your left hand.


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 08 Aug 00 - 09:26 PM

You're just kidding, right Kendall? I think the 4-string was around long before Grandpa Jones. However I still prefer the 5-string.

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that string!

== Johnny in OKC


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 09:58 PM

Interesting thread, and I hope this isn't thread creep, but I am "banjo challenged" and wonder if there is any preference for standard or long neck of brand or setup as a function of the style played (clawhammer, finger pick, etc)?

Lyle


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Sailor Dan
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 10:31 PM

Hey guys;

Thanks for the info on the Long Neck. At least now I have some understanding of the differences and why. But I bought this GDL and do like the sound of it so I think until I learn some more I am going to stick with this and the scruggs style pickin.

Thats what I like about the cat. Ask a question and you get many answers and great explanations.

Thanks again

Sailor DAn


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Aug 00 - 10:40 PM

Lyle, I wouldn't want to do bluegrass on a longneck (just wouldn't sound right) but everything else works fine.

As long as you've got a capo!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Downeast Bob
Date: 10 Aug 00 - 07:35 AM

One other observation: Although I've seen lots of old-time southern pickers using resonator banjos for frailing and clawhammer, I've never seen any of them using a long-neck banjo. As a result, I've always associated the long neck with folkniks from up nawth. Of course, I'm a folknik from up nawth, but I've never owned a long-neck. I suspect it's a deep-seated desire to look and sound "authentic."


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: DougR
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 12:35 AM

What a great Thread! Never played a banjo in my life, but now, I think I'd like to give it a try. Thanks to all of you. Really interesting. DougR


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: JedMarum
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 09:21 AM

never too late to start, Doug! I'll bet you'd make a fine banjo player!


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 12:34 PM

Right now I am mostly playing on my Goodtime Deering because I find it easier to learn to frail on.
Although I have currently put my Longneck aside, I know soon I will pick it up again too. I love how Pete Seeger plays the banjo and when I listen to his tunes it is quite meaningful for me to learn those same tunes on the longneck that Pete would have played.
I think eventually I would like to reassemble my bluegrass banjo. I took the resonator off it to give it that old time open back sound. Right now my resonator is being used as a serving dish. But eventually I would like all three banjos by my side so that I can play different styles of music and appreciate them on appropriate banjos.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Longneck banjo
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 11 - 11:22 PM

i have a john grey an sons longeck i dont play its in mint condition it as 26 frets its a 5 string its got the metal tag on head stock and on back it got RM made in england can anyone help me with year and value its forsale call ron at 705-222-0117


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