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

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


Longneck Banjos

The Lighthouse 27 Oct 00 - 10:11 PM
JamesJim 28 Oct 00 - 12:09 AM
DonMeixner 28 Oct 00 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,Uncle Jaque 28 Oct 00 - 01:11 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 28 Oct 00 - 05:34 AM
John in Brisbane 28 Oct 00 - 05:46 AM
Mooh 28 Oct 00 - 07:38 AM
Little Neophyte 28 Oct 00 - 08:05 AM
Bud Savoie 28 Oct 00 - 08:26 AM
Bud Savoie 28 Oct 00 - 08:28 AM
Little Neophyte 28 Oct 00 - 08:43 AM
Frankham 28 Oct 00 - 09:18 AM
Jon Freeman 28 Oct 00 - 09:53 AM
Superdad 28 Oct 00 - 10:24 AM
DonMeixner 28 Oct 00 - 12:05 PM
Jon Freeman 28 Oct 00 - 12:23 PM
DonMeixner 28 Oct 00 - 12:43 PM
Jon Freeman 28 Oct 00 - 12:54 PM
JedMarum 28 Oct 00 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Pete peterson 28 Oct 00 - 03:16 PM
Superdad 28 Oct 00 - 10:45 PM
JedMarum 29 Oct 00 - 12:36 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Longneck Banjos
From: The Lighthouse
Date: 27 Oct 00 - 10:11 PM

Is there any difference in a longneck banjo than with a 4 or 5 string? Is the sound much different and is this used with certain music styles?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: JamesJim
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 12:09 AM

Lighthouse, I don't have one, but have a friend who does. It sounds and plays like any other banjo (according to her), but is has a lot more range/versatility.

Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: DonMeixner
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 12:28 AM

They are like El Caminos, not really a car and not much of a truck. Thrie sound has no big difference with other 5 strings, and they are played the same way. I like the Ode long neck that I own a lot, great sound, great playability, very well made but heavy as a 30 year mortgage. Also a nightmare to replace a case on. Otherwise it a great machine.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: GUEST,Uncle Jaque
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 01:11 AM

I had a major woodie for a longneck banjo (as far as I know these are only bred in the 5-string species) as a youth back in the '60s. they are made to be tuned a couple of steps lower than a standard banjo, and were reputed to be easier to tune to guitar accompaniment. If you wanted to play with "normal" banjos, fiddles etc, you had to capo up about 3 frets. Remember, that capoing up with a 5-string means futzing around with that 5th string seperately. Alas, I found the price of "stretch" banjos to be prohibitive - especially these days, as they are about 30 years out of fasion and getting rather scarce - and settled for a used garden-variety Vega Folk-Ranger which, at $150, didn't seem to be all that bad a deal and meets my banjer-pickin' needs quite sufficiently. The longnecks were a distinctive and often beautifully crafted instrument, well suited to the "folk Revival" era, but I think that only players of considerable virtuosity would realize any significant advantage with one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 05:34 AM

As far as I know, the longneck was an invention of Pete Seeger. He, of course, a player with considerable vertuosity. I suppose the one Seeger owned was custom made for him. You can see it if you look at a "Rainbow Quest" video. I've never seen him capo below the tuner for the fifth string and I can't see how a capo on the third fret would interfere with the fifth string.

Five string banjos here in Australia are rare. I envy you Uncle Jaque for finding one so cheap.

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 05:46 AM

I've only ever been a part-time 5 string player and had to swap with other instruments and play in a huge variety of keys. The Kalamazoo Epiphone I used to play in the 70's was ideal in many ways. The extra frets gave tremendous versatility in changing key quickly and it was extremely stable for such a long thin neck. That meant that swapping instruments and changing key during a tightly scripted bracket necessitated a changeover within (say) 30 seconds. If you've got all the time in the world there are lots of other banjos, but for a working muso playing lots of different genres and wishing to be slick on stage then I'd recommend a good stable long neck every time. Regards, John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Mooh
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 07:38 AM

Aren't they kinda like the baritone of the banjo world? Deering still makes one and I understand it's very nice. I seems to me that with the additional frets and scale length below the 5th string tuner that playing in E and F would be easier than with a normal 5 string tuned in open G. Given my usual penchant for tuning down, a long neck would likely be my choice, if I can ever afford a banjo.

Mooh. (Gear acquisition syndrome victim.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 08:05 AM

Lighthouse, there is a thread on long neck banjos you might want to take a look at.
Click here
I find my long neck banjo difficult to keep in tune.
Also, the spacing between the frets is greater making it more difficult to stretch my left hand fingers into position. My banjo is Vega without the tubaphone tone ring. Even though I am not too thrilled about many aspects of this banjo, I do like the tone.

Bonnie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 08:26 AM

I've been playing my Gibson long-neck archtop since 1964. I like it, but it is unwieldy and hazardous to other musicians. It is also peghead-heavy, and if not held up, the neck will drop toward the floor. That said, it plays fine and allows you to play three half-steps lower than standard tuning without tuning all of your strings slack.

There is a website on the long-necker, (and I'm going to try my newfound skill at blue clickies)
click here


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 08:28 AM

Hey, it worked! I await your congratulations and applause.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 08:43 AM

Yes Bud, it is definitely a hazardous instrument to the other musicians. I was going to put a sign on my peg head.....
Danger This Instrument Makes Wide Turns

Little Neo


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Frankham
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 09:18 AM

The difference is that the long-necked banjo of Pete Seeger is a five-string and the long-necked four string banjo is also called a plectrum banjo which is tuned like the five string but without the fifth string. Both are referred to as long-neck banjos but they serve a different function. 5-string long neck was invented by Pete Seeger who added two additional frets so that the lower register of the instrument could be used. The Eddie Peabody style long-necked plectrum four-string banjo was popular in Vaudeville and in 1920's jazz bands.

The plectrum long-neck was also designed to play with tenor banjos in a duo. The two compliment each other. As far as I know, the plectrum has not. . been used in Irish music. The tenor banjo with a dropped tuning, GDAE instead of CGDA is used instead. GDAE would correspond with the mandolin tuning although it is one octave lower. The CGDA matches the viola tuning.

The additional two frets added by Pete helps the banjo to accompany singing, giving a guitar-like support to the voice unlike the bluegrass banjo which requires other instruments to carry it.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 09:53 AM

Frank, re the use of banjos in Irish music, check this extract written by Mick Maloney that I posted in another thread. It indicates that the "standardisation" of tuning and the dominance of the tenor banjo did not happen until the 1960s. It also mentions a variety of 4 string banjos. Although it does not specifically mention the plectrum, it would be reasonable to assume has been used in Irish music.

As for its current use, as you point out, GDAE is the favoured tuning and while a plectrum banjo can be tuned this way (with suitable strings)the scale length makes it hard work for the left hand. Perhaps some day someone will start playing plecrum in its standard tuning in Irish music (or perhaps there already is) and a new "Irish style" will emerge - who knows?

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Superdad
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 10:24 AM

Didn't Pete Seeger recently have his banjo stolen from his vehicle?

Does anyone have an estimate on what a 1965 Vega 5 string would be worth? Requires some refinishing on the neck.

David aka superdad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: DonMeixner
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 12:05 PM

David,

Depends on the model and condtion. generally outside this forum long necks aen't as valuable as their quality wiuld demand. Lacking a resonator bluegrassers will avoid them. The long neck makes them tough for groups in small places as Bonnie points out.

If I had a Vega with a Tubaphone or whyte Laydie pot I'd have a new standard length neck made for it and play it a standard banjo. Keep the long neck safe for completeness sake.

I play mine with two capos. One at the third fret all the time and I leave it in G tuning. I just capo all over the place to change keys. This is easier with a Shubb fifth string capo. Bonnie is again correct about the fret spacing. Far too wide for my fingers in the lower spaces. I'm more at home up the neck.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 12:23 PM

Don, isn't it a shame that the quality of an instrument does not necessarily reflect its value. I have (jokingly) moaned about tenors getting converted to 5 strings before (and there are people who would go the other way). Another example I have heard of is banjolins getting converted to ukele-banjos.

Please don't get me wrong, I have nothing against a musician having an instrument converted and to be honest, if I came accross a suitable 5 string Tubaphone and had money at the time, I would get it made into a tenor (saving the old neck) but I feel that it is a shame that market foreces and the popularity of an instrument at a given time/place can count more in financial/marketing terms than the quality of build.

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: DonMeixner
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 12:43 PM

Jon,

I have found Vega Whyte Laydie tenors and sold them to a friend who makes historically correct 5 string reproductions. $175.00 - $250.00 depending on the model. When he sells them he sells the old neck with the rest and offers a re conversion for $25.00. He is a realist when it comes to business. And a lover of original consruction and purpose.

I cinverted a nice old Vega Banjlin to a small frailer once. Great instrument to play. I ofcourse kept the neck.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 12:54 PM

I like that Don!

Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: JedMarum
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 01:19 PM

Pete Seegar's missing banjo? Turned up within a week or two. It seems he left on top of the car or soemthing, it fell off someone found it, gladly returned when they figured out who lost it.

The longneck by Deering? They make a couple. Go here and click on the "long neck" link on the home page. The Black Diamond and The Folk Era banjos look beautiful, in fact I love the high end Deering banjos - and I don't think tehy make a bad banjo at any price range. They are also making the long neck Vega banjos. I bought one of these beauties recently, and have been thrilled to death every time I play it! It is a fine instrument with a great sound.

While I believe the long neck was invented to accommodate those odd keys below G, and still use G tuning - it definately does, as someone's already said, lend a 'baritone' quality to the sound. My Vega sounds great capoed at the 5th fret and higher, has tonal qualities like many of the fine banjos we're used to hearing, but it has a surprising deep, rich quality when played in F or E with G tunings. It's almost a different instrument sound.

Do I sound like a long neck Vega fan?? I guess I am! It's a better instrument then I am a player ... but I'm workin' on that!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: GUEST,Pete peterson
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 03:16 PM

Longnecks are fun! I don't have one any more but my first was an ODE which I bought summer of 1961 and sold summer of 1966 to acquire my Vega (which started life as a tenor & had a std. length made for it) I remember playing it & having my arm fall off as i reached out all that distance. Almost NEVER used those three extra fets, which was one of the reasons I got rid of it. That having been said, taking the capo off and playing "Miller's Reel" and other A tunes out of "C" position it lots of fun! If you're an instrument collector, get one, but you won't use the three extra frets very often IMHO.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: Superdad
Date: 28 Oct 00 - 10:45 PM

Thanks for the replies and info.

My model is 1965 Folk Model serial # A124194.

the neck needs refinishing. I guess I'll keep it another 20 years.

David aka superdad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Longneck Banjos
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Oct 00 - 12:36 AM

I actually bought the long neck becuase the band likes to sing in F. Being a guitar player, I figured that was the best way to get there! Actually I do a few below G, though I can't say we do any in E, yet.


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: 29 September 4:57 PM 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.