hi there 

Can anyone tell the average classic banjo action on the 12 fret? Also i am wondering how to make my banjo sound more deep and with some more bass?

best regards 

Morten

Views: 232

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Morten,

Welcome to Classic Banjo Ning.  The normal action at the 12th is around 1/4" or 5-6 mm when using nylon strings. The bridge makes a big difference to the sound and a maple bridge (no ebony cap) is a good place to start. If the vellum/ head is "Too" tight it can make the sound a bit thin. You can try loosening and then slowly re-tightening until buzzes go away and you get the optimum sound. What banjo are you using and what sort of head/strings/bridge?


Hi Niceman


thereallyniceman said:

Hi Morten,

Welcome to Classic Banjo Ning.  The normal action at the 12th is around 1/4" or 5-6 mm when using nylon strings. The bridge makes a big difference to the sound and a maple bridge (no ebony cap) is a good place to start. If the vellum/ head is "Too" tight it can make the sound a bit thin. You can try loosening and then slowly re-tightening until buzzes go away and you get the optimum sound. What banjo are you using and what sort of head/strings/bridge?

I use a Joel Hooks brigde that i trimmed down to 4 mm wich i think was a mistake. I mean its easy'er to play but sounded better before.

The banjo is a clifford and essex called the popular. It is with a plastic skin and i have la bella strings on it. 

thereallyniceman said:

Hi Morten,

Welcome to Classic Banjo Ning.  The normal action at the 12th is around 1/4" or 5-6 mm when using nylon strings. The bridge makes a big difference to the sound and a maple bridge (no ebony cap) is a good place to start. If the vellum/ head is "Too" tight it can make the sound a bit thin. You can try loosening and then slowly re-tightening until buzzes go away and you get the optimum sound. What banjo are you using and what sort of head/strings/bridge?

Everyone has their own preferences so there is no "exact" answer.  On a CE banjo with 11" spun over metal hoop I would use a Remo "Renaissance" head and Clifford Essex Music Co medium gauge nylon classic banjo strings along with a Morley style maple bridge. To my ears, and to many other CB players, the Renaissance head gives a warmer and more mellow tone than a plain or frosted plastic head... but as I said before, don't tighten TOO much, only so much that you can still press your thumb on the head to just deflect it, not so tight that it is like a board!!

Okay thanks alot. 

I lossen the skin almost enterily and that made the sound more round and pleasent. I will try with the renasence head.

One last question, is it neccesary to have long nails to play classic banjo?

No, classic banjo is normally played with no nails at all. 

The "tone" depends on what you want.  If you are going for "historically informed" then it is bright and loud.  That bright tone gives all the power one needs for playing with dynamics and shading. 

The current trend, keeping with modern ideas of popular music or nostalgia, is doing away with the treble and focusing on the bass and midrange. This is reflected in the heavy strings people are using.  Unfotunelty this limits dynamic ranges. 

I will say that most of the tone comes from the right hand.  I would warn any tyro from developing ideas too early.  Get some practice time in.  Pay attention to making each note musical and the tone and power will come.

Read up on the time devoted to bow strokes by violinists.  While a good part of tone is in a quality instrument-- most of it comes from the bow (or with banjos the fingers).

I'll second what Joel wrote and add that heavy strings also reduce clarity. With a refined touch, a wide range of tones can be produced using period gauge strings. Those gauges are:

.017"

.019"

.023"

.024w

.017"

High action is a key part of the setup, as is a 1/2" or 3/8" bridge. 

Thanks thats what i was thinking but wanted  to be a little more sure. Can you recommend some strings?

Best regards

John Cohen said:

I'll second what Joel wrote and add that heavy strings also reduce clarity. With a refined touch, a wide range of tones can be produced using period gauge strings. Those gauges are:

.017"

.019"

.023"

.024w

.017"

High action is a key part of the setup, as is a 1/2" or 3/8" bridge. 

LaBella is the place to get them. They sell "early instrument" singles on their website. For the 4th string I like silver-wound nylon.

Okay of cause your are right, it is improving the more i play.

But still sounds a bit tin can like when i am picking hard. maybee i will try a renaissance head.



Joel Hooks said:

The "tone" depends on what you want.  If you are going for "historically informed" then it is bright and loud.  That bright tone gives all the power one needs for playing with dynamics and shading. 

The current trend, keeping with modern ideas of popular music or nostalgia, is doing away with the treble and focusing on the bass and midrange. This is reflected in the heavy strings people are using.  Unfotunelty this limits dynamic ranges. 

I will say that most of the tone comes from the right hand.  I would warn any tyro from developing ideas too early.  Get some practice time in.  Pay attention to making each note musical and the tone and power will come.

Read up on the time devoted to bow strokes by violinists.  While a good part of tone is in a quality instrument-- most of it comes from the bow (or with banjos the fingers).

Cool thanks alot

John Cohen said:

LaBella is the place to get them. They sell "early instrument" singles on their website. For the 4th string I like silver-wound nylon.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by thereallyniceman.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service