Lloyd was a wonderful player. No personal info here; have to rely on secondary sources :
* 1953 Lewistown rally pic : plain, vega-ish banjo; could be a 1920's WL2.
* 1970's 5 Stringer Rally pics ;…"
"Took off them Clifford Essex zitherbanjo regular set, left the 3rd string nylon on and put my martin strings back on for the moment aside from that 3rd string. Its coming out with a neat tone to it having that third string nylon. Not sure if I…"
"Hey there, I popped the regular set of zitherbanjo strings on this reilybaker banjo and it sounded extremely muted and dull. Not really in a good way at all and i'm someone that uses fishingline for banjo strings on my aluminium merlin…"
"Yep I bought some of them thimbles off you 29/08/2022 @joelHooks. Can't quite find them but I'm interested in seeing if it keeps any different.
Always had abit of a preference to playing with back of my nail. Just feels easiest to…"
"Hey there @Joel Hooks. Slow down there with the accusations my friend, Making me sound devious or like i'm withholding essential information on purpose. i'm not intending to cover anything intentionally, I was highlighting above the stick…"
"I believe that if the page is reposted with whatever is held covering text removed it would reveal something about playing with a mandolin pick on wire strings. For some reason Cana wanted to cover that part up. "
"Your bridge appears to be just the top of a modern (post 1930s) wire string bridge. It likely had the rest of it chopped off to make it lower.
It is possible that the neck or rim has sprung forward causing you to have to use a very low…"
Hey there, appreciate the comment. I only use my nails for banjo :) I typically play in a clawhammer style as its easier on my joints. What you are seeing on my fingers are just splint rings, a medical device for those of us with weak hypermobile joints, they correct that issue.
I'm all for experiementation swapping bridges around but this bridge is indeed correct. I have another 1800's-1920 zitherbanjo (a george houghton reliance) with a similar bridge but without the ebony cap. Both feature a bridge of similar width and height with no legs. I'm not certain if you already know this or not but my banjo is made entirely of aluminium, with a maple top over the aluminium neck then ebony top over that. There is steel bracing inside the neck every few inches. It can withdstand medium strings just fine. The nut is also made from steel. If ever there was an instrument worthy of experiementing stringwise would be this one. I'm all for seeing what the clifford essex zitherbanjo string set will sound like on it. I did swap over the 5th string to nylon as a small experiment while I wait for the strings to come in, and the result was quite plunky ended up swapping back to the martin. Current gauges are .010, .012, .016, .023, and 5th is .010.The Martin strings are what this banjo was setup with about a week ago when I bought it from previous owner. The sound is quite something in person. I am however waiting on shipment of zitherbanjo strings from clfiford essex; I do have zither banjo strings from clifford essex on my george houghton zitherbanjo. If I recall correctly these legless bridges were designed to be resistant to tipping. This is probably the third banjo from this time period that I aquired with this style of bridge with a continous foot. I definitely think this is a period correct bridge. Maybe its not the most popular but I do like this bridge. Its got wider string spacing than other bridges. I did order a 2 foot bridge but the string spacing was considerably smaller, I like this wider spacing.
Ebony capped bridges are a product of the 1920s. Even then, they were not used on zither banjos. The mixed stinging of the zither banjo is essential to its sound and the compositions written for it. As for Ellis' book, he's writing about the regular 5-string banjo, not the ZB. He's correct that some players uses steel strings, but they did this because of the significant cost of gut strings. Professional and other serious players used gut or silk strings on the regular 5-string.
I believe that if the page is reposted with whatever is held covering text removed it would reveal something about playing with a mandolin pick on wire strings. For some reason Cana wanted to cover that part up.
Hey there @Joel Hooks. Slow down there with the accusations my friend, Making me sound devious or like i'm withholding essential information on purpose. i'm not intending to cover anything intentionally, I was highlighting above the stick I was holding that it is mentioned that playing with the back of the nail and thumb was used back then just as John Cohen stated before. Always found it neat that this book mentions that style and its uses. Yes this is the revised version of his book, it cost a few cents more than the original one did I assume inflation happened back then.
I notice there is no revised PDF version of the book I have on the forum yet. Might be something to look into in future. Quite a few of the pages are different to the original unrevised one.
My banjo's neck is very straight, no fretbuzz anywhere. I can't reall comment where the bridge came from all I know is that I've had several zitherbanjos so far and all have had no leg bridges. This one is definitely my first with a two piece legless bridge. I typically prefer a 2 foot bridge with ebony top but this one is a perfect height for me at 0.5/ 0.6 feels just right for clawhammer especially with this string spacing. Finding it really easy to play. Especially since this banjo only weights 5.6lbs in total weight.
I've only really been playing off and on for about 14 years though. Let me know if you guys have a particular page you guys want to see, I've posted a picture of the table of contents, feel free to pick some pages and ill try and get round to taking good pictures of them. Quite difficult to upload pictures on here one at a time with such a tiny window to view to see if I posted the same one or not already haha.
Anyway let me know if you wanna see any particular page and ill try and get round to taking a clear picture for yeah. I aint here to hide info or argue with anyone at all.
Ah! So the nails on wire picking is in reference to zither banjo playing.
Regarding the down stroke or "clawhammer"-- in period sources this is called "banjo style", "stroke style" or "thimble style" (as a banjo thimble was often employed over the fingernail) and is considered to be the "original" banjo style.
For further reading on stroke style I recommend Frank Converse's "Analytical Banjo Method", or any American book printed before about 1870.
I would be interested in learning how common stroke style was in England, in the late 1890s, on a zither banjo.