Thank you for my admission in your forum. I hope you will excuse my english...

I own a 5 strings banjo since some weeks and very interested in classical banjo but I have a big problem : Classical guitarist since 30 years I have long nails and it's not negociable to cut them. Is this really incompatible to play classic banjo?

My other question is : my banjo has metallic strings, is it possible to change with nylon strings ?

Thank you for your answers and have a nice day.

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In fact, the banjo has already been bought (it was a present from my wife, as she wasn't sure - and neither was I - that I would persist, she didn't put a high price on it). Nevertheless, in the absence of a point of comparison, I find it sounds pretty good and it is right up (not sure of the word) to at least the 12th fret which is more than enough for me. Maybe later....

Chris Cioffi said:

My apologies, Marc, I hope you can see my intention to try to be considerate.

Obviously, your English is very good.  I've always tried to be a "when in Rome" kind of guy.

I didn't mean to de-rail Francis' topic for this thread, but since the discussion had gone toward strings and I had thoughts on it, I continued, but also in thinking to try to keep each thread on topic, made my suggestions to deal with the strings and set up subject a bit better for the future maybe.

On Francis' journey...there is a nice Windsor banjo with neck adjuster on banjohangout classifieds in UK now for $350....seems it may be a better option than the banjo Francis was thinking about.

The banjo Francis is thinking about....the cordier should be destined for the dust bin....it's totally worthless and not worth de-burring for nylon, though the Rickard "no knot" where you would loop tie the strings would be a cheaper and nice alternative should he buy the original banjo in the links.

Francis, to get on your banjo trek, maybe it's better to spend a bit more money to have a banjo that will serve you better as well as have some equity should you decide to sell it someday.....I'm supposing since you are an accomplished musician already and intrigued with this music, getting a "better" banjo with some re-sale value right off may be a better option????

I understand, Francis, and it's of not much consequence at this point as your first banjo, but I thought to mention it just in case.

When buying old banjos long distance, you never really know what work needs to be done anyway.

Let us know how the banjo does as you string it up......

LOL, even when I am playing daily/weekly, I have always been very 'easy' on strings. I don't do it intentionally...I think I am so insensitive to losses in tone that I just play on and on. I replaced a third once because I accidently discovered it was notched like a sawblade for nearly its full length. I think it had been on for 3 or 4, 4th replacements. Miz Diane walked past one time and noticed my 4th coming unwound and pulled it like a loose thread in a sweater...the whole thing came off in a spiral. Yup, time to change the 4th!

Joel Hooks said:

Gosh Marc S., I am lucky to get three months out of a 4th on a banjo I regularly play.  I just changed the 4th on my GFVE last weekend as it started to fray-- that is a record for me... 7 months on a daily player! 

next Friday I will meet Claude Burnevitch. I will ask her for her opinion on this banjo and maybe she will agree to lend me hers for 3 minutes to compare...

Chris Cioffi said:

I understand, Francis, and it's of not much consequence at this point as your first banjo, but I thought to mention it just in case.

When buying old banjos long distance, you never really know what work needs to be done anyway.

Let us know how the banjo does as you string it up......

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