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5 string banjo question

07 Feb 09 - 04:33 PM (#2560293)
Subject: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman

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.


07 Feb 09 - 08:25 PM (#2560473)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Guy Wolff

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


07 Feb 09 - 08:37 PM (#2560484)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Leadfingers

Aby chance of a Picture Dick ??


07 Feb 09 - 08:49 PM (#2560488)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Charley Noble

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


08 Feb 09 - 04:19 AM (#2560631)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: oombanjo

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


08 Feb 09 - 04:56 AM (#2560647)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman

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


08 Feb 09 - 07:15 AM (#2560702)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Leadfingers

Thanks Dick - Never seen anything lke that before !


08 Feb 09 - 07:20 AM (#2560703)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman

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 .


08 Feb 09 - 09:49 AM (#2560801)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Doug Chadwick

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


08 Feb 09 - 09:59 AM (#2560810)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: The Sandman

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


08 Feb 09 - 10:17 AM (#2560822)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: Charley Noble

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


08 Feb 09 - 03:09 PM (#2561087)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine

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.


08 Feb 09 - 03:22 PM (#2561095)
Subject: RE: 5 string banjo question
From: GUEST,Banjo Bob

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