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Any multi stringed intrument people here?

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Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 111

I've been playing the guitar for about 20 yrs, just inherited a banjo. It's kind of old, the top tuning peg is painful to turn and buzzes and the thing is as heavy as lead, but I'm digging it.

Anyone want to discuss?

Sounds like you've inherited a quality instrument that needs to be adjusted and possibly needs the head replaced. NOT a big deal. A quality banjo has a very heavy resonator ring where cheap ones do not. The head (as in drum) is the equivilant of the soundboard on a guitar. They don't last forever and should be replaced every 25 years or so. Take it to a shop that sells to the country/bluegrass crowd and they should be able to help you out.

I'm more of a banjo picker than a guitarist. You will find that freting a banjo is easier than a guitar. They are a little rougher on the left hand fingers because of the very light guage strings.

What you will find difficult is the picking. You have strums like you do with a guitar. Then you will have a pinch where you pull out on the strings with a grab pull motion. Finaly there are rolls where you pick with your thumb then fingers one at a time or alternate between thumb and fingers. If you have ever seen Linsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac) play guitar he uses banjo rolls to give him that unique sound on the guitar.

Visit Lots of good stuff!

I may be going to hell in a bucket but at least I'm enjoying the ride. (Jerry Garcea)

Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4338

Yep....... 12-strings and 6-strings (and the occasional 11-string or 5-string!) Am considering a dulcimer..............

Just acquired a mandolin (8-strings), to go with my pink 12- string electric, my blue 6-string electric, my Fender acoustic 6-string, my Lucero 6-string classical and my Paracho 1/2 sized 6-string classical............. I do believe that brings me up to 44 strings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL! :D

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"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"

Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2167

I played mandolin years ago and want another one now. Especially since there are 'actual' lefty models available nowadays. Never tried a banjo though; the sound never really appealed to me. I used to love it when Larry McNeely would stand up in the audience and play during the opening to the Glen Campbell show though!

If I'd been a righty I think I would've taken up the cello as well as keeping up with electric bass. After I read the Jack Bruce played one I though "Hey, that's for me!" and then realized I'd be skewering people if I played in a section :)

And...lefty sitars! Never tried one, always wanted one except I'd break my fingers trying to get around all those drone string tuning pegs. Finally they have lefties but then I though - "Okay, I have enough trouble doing open tunings on the 12 string - do I REALLY need to start worrying about 16-18 string. Especially with friction pegs?"

Plus you have to move the frets. I think that's why they say it takes 7 lifetimes to learn the sitar - 6.75 are probably spent tuning.

I play ukes and actually started out on one in PreCambrian times and I remember making a washtub bass once; when Willy and the Poorboys was out.

Oh, that's right!!!! I kept thinking 'violin?' No. but I just remembered that in college, as an extra credit course, I was part of a beginner's early music class in which we played a Viol d'Gamba consort! That was fun come to think of it. I had to play it righty of course but since everyone else had never played these things we were all 'equal' and it was terrific fun to do. For those who don't know, the Gambas are related to the Viol family with 'sloped' shoulders like the modern upright bass, rather than the straight shoulders of the violin family. The viols predate the violins by a..century or so.

Anyhow, you play them upright like a cello but the cool thing is, they have frets. The frets are made of gut or nylon and are just wrapped around the neck (like a sitar come to think of it) and you bow it. Fun stuff. They were 5 or 6 string I think I remember. Mine was one of the middle registers; the teacher played the lead on the soprano and then there were 2-3 middle register ones and then a 'bass' one which was still smaller than a standard cello.

Man I haven't thought of that in years. :)

Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 759

I play orchestral bass in school. It's kinda cool to be a guitarist and a bassist at the same time.

Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 268

you give me anything with strings and i will learn it. When i start on something, i always finish it... and stringed instruments are my thing.

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