Let's Look at A Banjo

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Let's Look at A Banjo

Postby Bigshankhank » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:39 am

Not everyone is cool enough to play a guitar, so for those of you with a more bluegrassy side, let's take apart a banjo and add a neck shim
Place the banjo on a clean soft towel or blanket on a table in a well lit room.
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Remove the four screws holding the head to the resonator. Then, gently lift the head from the resonator, and set the resonator aside.
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Flip the banjo over, and loosen the setting nut on the tension bar. Some banjos have two tension bars, if yours does, then loosen both.
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Next, loosen the tension bar. This will release the neck from the banjo head.
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Gently flip the banjo onto its back again, and loosen the strings until the neck can be moved easily. Removal of the bridge will make this step easier, as well. With this done, the new shim will be placed between the face of the neck and the rim of the head (heh heh).
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Cut a new shim from whatever shim stock you have available. In my case, I like using aluminum cans. Thank you Robert Pirsig.
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Slip the shim into place, and re-tighten the tension bars.
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Then re-set the setting nut, replace the resonator, replace your bridge (if you removed it) and retune your banjo. I am learning in the key of G, so that's where I went.

What is the shim for? It will allow the neck to "lean" back a bit and place the strings closer to the frets, making for easier fretting and less stress on the left hand.
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Re: Let's Look at A Banjo

Postby Beemer Dan » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:35 am

I always wondered what was in there, cool stuff. The banjo always seemed a bit in the same realm as the accordion, in that it's kind of terrible but also has a strong pull. I'm sure somewhere out there is deep, soulful, slow banjo music. Any favorites?
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Re: Let's Look at A Banjo

Postby Pintgudge » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:22 am

Bela Fleck.
If man is fit to be governed, is any man fit to govern?

These are the days of miracles and wonder!

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Re: Let's Look at A Banjo

Postby Bigshankhank » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:47 am

Beemer Dan wrote:I always wondered what was in there, cool stuff. The banjo always seemed a bit in the same realm as the accordion, in that it's kind of terrible but also has a strong pull. I'm sure somewhere out there is deep, soulful, slow banjo music. Any favorites?

I'm a Kentuckian, so bluegrass is my jam. I am learning a Scruggs style picking. You can play some songs in a minor chord, but for the most part banjo is a high sounding instrument so no slow dirges or love song type melodies.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Let's Look at A Banjo

Postby guitargeek » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:50 pm

Here's mine...
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Re: Let's Look at A Banjo

Postby guitargeek » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:59 pm

You knew I'd have something to say about this, right?

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Elitist, arrogant, intolerant, self-absorbed.
Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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Re: Let's Look at A Banjo

Postby Bigshankhank » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:44 am

guitargeek wrote:You knew I'd have something to say about this, right?

I've been checking this thread on an almost daily basis waiting for you to chime in. And yeah, I figured you would know of far more and more modern music which would include slower stuff. So far, as I am still just learning the basics and my instructor is an old school bluegrass guy, I have spent more time on Flatt/Scruggs/Stanley type music. He wasn't even aware of Rainbow Connection, which in my opinion is probably the best banjo tune performed by a frog that you can find. Other than a little Wailin' Jennys and OCMS and whatever else comes across my Pandora bluegrass station, my modern library is pretty slim, so thank you for those.
It's time for Humankind to ditch the imaginary friends of our species' childhood and grow the fuck up.
-Davros

"Lasse mich deine Seele dem Herrscher der Finsternis opfern"

Let me sacrifice your soul to the ruler of darkness

Always carry a bottle of whiskey when you travel in case of a snakebite. Futhermore, always carry a small snake.
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Re: Let's Look at A Banjo

Postby guitargeek » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:28 am

Happy to help!

When I was younger, I despised banjo, mostly because of traditional bluegrass. It took a long time, but I was eventually able to at least understand the appeal, but it's still nothing I want to listen to all day.

More recently, I've developed a much greater appreciation for the texture and articulation that a banjo can bring to a recording.

Here's one in a more traditional vein...

phpBB [media]
Elitist, arrogant, intolerant, self-absorbed.
Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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