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Electric Banjo Build #1: Intro

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Blog entry by CartersWhittling posted 234 days ago 1484 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Hello.

It has been a while since I last had a project build on this site, but I think my next build will make up for the silence. I am currently planning and ordering hardware for an electric banjo.

A few months back I started playing the banjo and have really been enjoying it. I have also wanted to make a musical instrument for some time now. After jamming with some folks on my banjo playing along to pop, rock and folk music I thought an electric banjo might make a nice fit. So I began looking around…

There really aren’t many options for electric banjos because not many are made. On top of that most look like weird guitar/banjo hybrids.

But after some searching I came across these videos on youtube…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AdU0QnyAX4&list=FL6RUw1NtwJL0P9C86W54keg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqHi5-Io4Uo&list=FL6RUw1NtwJL0P9C86W54keg

Once I heard these banjos I loved the clean bright sound and simple look of the instrument. The sound was electric, but still resembled a 5 string banjo. Even the body design was unique and didn’t look like the deformed offspring of a guitar and banjo.

So after seeing those banjos I was inspired to make an instrument similar to it.

I am currently looking at and buying the hardware for the banjo so I can begin making some final plans and dimensions for it. My current ideas are to make an instrument similar to the banjo in the videos but with mahogany and a rosewood fretboard and possibly a solid body instead of hollow. I am thinking of a look similar to this Les Paul, but with a body shape similar to the banjo in the videos…

Until I get pictures of my final plans you will just have to use your imagination.

When I get the all the hardware and the design is finalized I will put up my next post with pictures and better design details. I will also do some videos throughout the build and when the banjo is done I will be sure to post some videos of how it sounds!

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23



5 comments so far

View FreddyS's profile

FreddyS

193 posts in 1276 days


#1 posted 234 days ago

Hi there!, can’t wait to see your progress, I have a banjo build in my long queue list ;)

-- Learning one thing at a time

View Brit's profile

Brit

4924 posts in 1345 days


#2 posted 233 days ago

Looking forward to this one Carter, although I’m not sure what you’re proposing will sound like a banjo. The banjo gets much of its sound and sustain from the skin and the tone ring. If you leave those elements out and make a solid body, it might sound more like a tinny guitar than a banjo. I know you want to build one, but if you want a louder banjo I think you would be better amplifying a traditional banjo. Either way, I’m sure it will look great with your skills.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View Roger's profile

Roger

13062 posts in 1307 days


#3 posted 233 days ago

Look forward to it

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View CartersWhittling's profile

CartersWhittling

450 posts in 1177 days


#4 posted 233 days ago

@Brit Thanks for the comment and suggestion. I understand the instrument I am proposing will not sound like a traditional banjo, I am not going for a louder applified banjo. If I want that good ol’ banjo sound I will just play my banjo. I am going for a clear bright electric sound, it’s just with a 5 string banjo neck I can play it like a banjo.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View Ed_Wilcox's profile

Ed_Wilcox

15 posts in 401 days


#5 posted 232 days ago

I have always enjoyed the McNally Strumstick. The sound is a mix between banjo and dulcimer – very fun to play.

http://youtu.be/5VrQpnYXhyo

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