Eight of January

May 1, 2010 2:47 PM

(Jackson's Victory). Played on my fretless bowlback banjo, in double A.

posted by tmcw (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Sounds great. I love the sound of the fretless banjo. Wooden bowl? Gourd? Is the head tacked on? How many strings? Any pictures of it online?

I'd love to hear more, beyond this little oh-so-short snippet! :)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:51 PM on May 1, 2010

i like how the, er, fretlessness of it only becomes apparent at maybe one point in the tune, where it suddenly sounds like something else other than a banjo; a bit oud-like. would love to hear some improvised stuff on it. lovely!
posted by peterkins at 5:09 PM on May 1, 2010

Hey flapjax - it's a pretty cool-looking thing, wooden bowl with really cool cut-outs, and a tackhead - here's my getting-the-banjo Flickr set :)

peterkins: glad the fretlessness isn't too apparent, correct intonation is a challenge that guitar just doesn't prepare you for...
posted by tmcw at 11:09 AM on May 2, 2010

Wow. I love the sound of that banjo. The slightly quicker decay caused by the lack of frets, and the occasional note that's a little "off" from "correct" intonation really makes it sound very Fourth World-y. It's really lovely.

I'd love to see some things celebrating "incorrect" intonation, maybe in an improvised setting.

17-TET banjo? Yes, please!
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 1:46 PM on May 2, 2010

Ah, beautiful, and a beautiful instrument too. (Thanks for the pix.) I would love to hear MUCH more of this great stuff. Your banjo has a really warm, round sound, and that might be a clue to the star and crescent.

The very first Gibson instruments...they were known for their very warm sound, all had the star and crescent inlays on the head stocks. Here's a link, just scroll down.
posted by snsranch at 2:21 PM on May 2, 2010

Thanks for the link to pix, tmcw. that is one handsome instrument! Now I'm curious as to the price tag.

BTW, I just added you as a flickr contact.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:34 PM on May 2, 2010

Oh my god, that instrument is beautiful. I really hope you post more of this. Is it just me, or are the strings on this banjo a little larger than what I imagine? Maybe it's just the really full sound on this recording playing tricks on my brain.
posted by Corduroy at 11:15 PM on May 2, 2010

Yeah, that's super. I've been trying, lately, to actually learn to play the banjo I've owned for a few years, but I feel stiff. You've got a really great sound, here.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:32 AM on May 3, 2010

flapjax: it'd kill you to hear how little it cost. Banjos of this type are such an unusual bit of the world, almost entirely handmade but not inflicted with the inflation of other instruments. Prust banjos are still super-cheap and pretty awesome (although I think mine's prettier).

The strings on this guy are quite a bit thicker than on my other banjo - a lot of times they make them larger because old-time music is played low. Banjos really change your ideas about tuning - for this one I tuned down until it felt right and then just tuned to that key.
posted by tmcw at 9:14 AM on May 3, 2010

Your banjo is nice, but not as nice as your music. Anyway, it's been a fine moment looking at the first while listening to the other. Thanks !
posted by nicolin at 6:19 AM on May 5, 2010

This is great. Like a little snippet of a Lomax field recording. Nice warm sound.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:08 AM on May 11, 2010

Man, did I stumble upon this late. This is spectacularly gorgeous.
posted by ORthey at 8:03 PM on June 25, 2011

« Older Kylie vs. The Ex   |   trio no 6 Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

On Playlists