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Strings: .08, .10, nylon from CE Cammeyer set, 4th copper-wound with nylon silk core from Aquila, .09 for the 5th.
I've tried various 4th strings, with the copper-wound Aquila being the most sympathetic of the bunch, but it lacks the sustain the other strings have.
I've also tried various 3rd strings: CE varnished gut (which, sorry Clem, I really don't like), Bow Bran unvarnished gut, better but not great, and finally the CE nylon, which is not bad.
I also changed the original .09 and .11 1st and 2nds down to .08 and .10, and feel much happier having done so.
I dare say I'll try a few alternatives to all the above!
It's sounding good, Rob. What bridge are you using? Also the "D type" Aquila strings I use for the zb bass are copper wound on nylgut filaments not nylon "silk". Are we talking about the same string?
Yes, I think one of the keys to successful sound on a zither-banjo is to string it on the lighter side.
Cheers, Jody. I found the bridge in a drawer, and am not sure what it is made of, perhaps rosewood - and it gives what is to my tastes the best sound. I wish it were half a millimetre higher. I have a couple of regulation zb bridges, but I like this one the most.
Yes, we are talking the same D-type string. I was at a loss when describing it above. On a lute they sounded best when they were a year old, which made them more gut-like, but I think the opposite will be the case with the zb.
I'm enjoying playing the instrument, and love the compositions of Cammeyer. He had a really unique voice in the banjo world.
Sounding lovely, Rob. You are getting a good tone.
Cheers, Carrie. Glad you like it. Did you get the Houghton?
Hi Rob - just waiting to hear back from the seller. I won the bid (as only bidder) but I think he wanted more than 250.00. Fingers crossed. I am interested to hear more Cammeyer tunes - the one I really like is Ballad No1 but he also wrote some belters like Handy Jack and Chinese Patrol. Interesting composer.
Thankfully, quite a large number of his compositions survive. I recorded half a dozen or so on my Art of the Banjo album, but with a plectrum on a Deering banjo. I still think that sounded beautiful, but it's enjoyable to play them on a zither banjo.
Down Devon Way, and Dancer's Dream are great Camm mood pieces. On the rhythmic side also is Yeoman's Call.
Oh, Albumblat and A Fireside Idyll do it for me. Tonight I read the two Cornish dances for the first time - both very interesting.
In these pieces Cammeyer's compositions show a harmonic sense that seems to me to be more developed than the other banjo composers. That's not what I always want to hear in banjo music but he was so good at it.
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