Hi everybody,

I hope you're fine. As im a huge fan of ragtime/cakewalk/banjo music, trying to play some tunes on guitar sol, I want to ask a question. This is one of my dream to possess a banjo allowing me to play my guitar transcriptions on it. Indeed, your marvelous instrument is very specific, powerful and beautiful sounding, in any style. And I heard that Oakley was playing a ziter banjo, while I heard tht a ziter banjo was tuned like a guitar. So in my mind it's quiete possible to play the guitar on banjo, but I dont get the difference between Ziter and casuel banjo guitar

+  My question is : if I have enough ressources to offer to me such instrument one day : where can I find such instrument allowing me to play fingerstyle ragtime guitar arrangements with it ? Is there strings instrument maker or some casual brand which can propose that product ?

Thank you very much to those who read and maybe will answer some interesting advices.

Have a good day/evening.

Rem

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Hi Remi,

The Zither Banjo has only 5 strings, just like a normal banjo, and is tuned the same way, gCGBD. If you look at the peg head on a zither banjo you will see 6 "guitar type"  tuning pegs BUT only 5 are used !!

The octave, or 5th string goes through a hole drilled inside the neck to reappear at the 5th fret, just as it does on a standard banjo!

I think that you would need a Guitar Banjo or Banjitar that has 6 strings and is tuned the same as a guitar.  I don't know what maker to recommend. maybe some else  on here can please?

Good explanation Ian, except generally it is the top tuner on the right which is omitted on the bottom one.

I have a number of zither-banjos in full working order around £250 mark - available direct from me or at Rallies.

However, I think our friend here has got the "wrong end of the stick" and should be looking at guitar-banjos - outside of our remit on this site.

Dave

www,zither-banjo.org.uk 

Dave, I concur that the bottom right tuner is used whenever possible. It just wouldn't feel right to omit  it and send the first string elsewhere. As for which tuner is used for the third string I'd say "it depends",  although I know you have seen many more zither-banjos than I have. What I have found is that by the end of the 20th century many zither-banjos have had one of the six tuners damaged beyond usability. The odd thing is that it seems to always be one the tuners at the end of the headstock that has got a bent post or a stripped gear or some other disability caused by an accident somewhere in the banjo's long life. 
David Wade said:

Good explanation Ian, except generally it is the top tuner on the right which is omitted on the bottom one.

I have a number of zither-banjos in full working order around £250 mark - available direct from me or at Rallies.

However, I think our friend here has got the "wrong end of the stick" and should be looking at guitar-banjos - outside of our remit on this site.

Dave

www,zither-banjo.org.uk 

Thank you very much to all you 3 for your unique and useful explanations.

So it's sur that it's a banjo-guitar that I look for. But I hope it's not too much a "fake banjo" in your eyes of pur classic fingerstyle banjoist. I will look into more détails of makers or brands, when the day will come. The only authentique banjoist playing such instrumement (banjo guitar 6strings) is Johnny St Cyr, who recorded some very short samples of his fingerstyle playing on "the Jelly roll blues" and maybe other tunes. Of course, Django Reinhardt used it until ~1932 beofre his officials recordings, but it was with a plectrum, which is a total another story.

I take the opportunity to share here the new recording that I did today : a medley of 2 compositions by William Christopher O'hare.

ps: sepcial mention to Steve Harrison, who I think is the banjoist administrator sharing a huge quantity of arranegement/transcription for banjo of the exact same kind of tune that I love (and transcribe as well everyday, I vae done plenty these last days (Percy wenrich, james scott, and some other less known composers!).

Have a good evening, and thank you very much for answers.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKacRJqJil4&feature=youtu.be

Thanks Remi, Dave and Jody,

I am not 100% familiar with the Zither Banjo, despite having owned one, eh Jody? I was far too heavy handed to play one.

I agree that Remi needs a guitar banjo, but I have no objection to ragtime, and particularly Morley, on Guitar banjo even though not 100% Classic Style..... maybe Remi will buy a "real" banjo and try Classic Style as I am sure that he would be an excellent player on the banjo as he is on the guitar.

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