OK ... Another go ...

At first its a little hard to put the ego aside ... but feedback taken on board.

Bridge Adjusted, hand position moved, grace notes beefed up a little.

Yes the bridge was kinda wacky, but that was me experimenting trying to get the notes correct up the neck and then forgetting about it. I do prefer the hand closer to the neck, but looking at Illustrations from 'Cultivation of the Hands" I was possibly too close ... still experimenting.

@ Rob No B&W video this time :)

  • Currently 5/5 stars.

Views: 104

Comment by Jody Stecher on June 3, 2019 at 2:21

Ego Schmeego,  this is all about the beautiful sounds a zither-banjo can make.  You are getting the sounds now!  You are also playing better than in the first video, which was already plenty good. In my opinion, (backed up by a bit of historical research, but still only an opinion)  Zither-banjo is all about shimmer and tonal contrasts. It was designed for this. The light gauge steel strings unavoidably will be brighter than gut, nylon or other synthetics. The third string is meant to be mellow.  The kind of tone you were getting (on the steel strings) when playing near the neck/pot confluence will automatically come with a gut or nylon or nylgut unwound string at the spot where you are now sounding the strings. Round and deep.  Then there is the bass, which is a wound string.This should never be strident so you should not pick near the bridge and you'll be fine.   Zither-banjo has an awful reputation for being clanging and strident and harsh. But that is because people don't know how to play it even when set up well.  Anyway I find the small adjustment you made to be very effective. The characteristic shimmer is now very much in evidence.  Also in evidence is the tonal contrast between the three types of strings.  Quite a  different aesthetic from regular banjo where the sound tends to be  uniform in all registers.

Comment by carrie horgan on June 3, 2019 at 6:35

Well played Pip.  I like the silvery, delicate tone you are getting from your zither banjo (or as Jody puts it 'the shimmer')

Comment by thereallyniceman on June 3, 2019 at 6:45

You should be really pleased as Great Granddad's banjo is now producing that lovely silvery tone as it should.

Jody's description of "shimmer" is perfect and I am sure that you can hear that.  What model is it? Does it have a plate on the peghead? 

Comment by Pip on June 3, 2019 at 7:17

Thanks Jody, Carrie and Ian,

Shimmer is definitely the sound that I have fallen in love with ... thanks for helping me along with your ideas and encouragement.

@Ian ... I think its the Artiste 2 as it is a hollow neck but it was heavily restored 10-15 years ago and I can't see a model number on it now.

It has a set of Clifford Essex Zither strings (light 008) and one of their zither Bridges.

Comment by thereallyniceman on June 3, 2019 at 7:29


To set the bridge correctly check out a video I made a few years ago. I hope it helps.

Comment by Trapdoor2 on June 3, 2019 at 14:29

Well done, Pip!

Can't say much more than what has already been said. Nice tone, more confidence in your strokes, etc.

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