web analytics



At the stroke of midnight I made my deadline! I hate to take on freelance work and never solicit it, but when I get axed I don’t know how to say no. Particularly as it’s a display for a local charity.

Charities. Making you feel guilty since…forever.

Anyhoo, in the comments to the previous post, the question came up — why does that banjo have four strings, but six tuners? See, this is why I love British banjos. They’re so gosh-darned weird.

That is actually a five-string banjo, and it’s strung typically for a zither banjo. Observe the headstock in the picture above (a banjo of mine, and one that I’m convinced was made out of a piano stool).

Four strings go directly from the headstock, across the nut to the bridge. One goes into a little hole (indicated by the arrow), under the fingerboard in a tube, and pops out at the fifth fret. That’s called a ‘tunneled fifth.’

And the sixth peg? Just for show. Some British banjo makers claimed that three pegs on one side and two on the other just wouldn’t look aesthetically pleasing, so they made the tuners pointlessly symmetrical.

I once suspected that this was boolsheet and they did it because standard three-on-a-side tuners were mass produced and cheaper, but you sometimes see this arrangement on the fanciest and most expensive of zither banjos. So…artard, I guess.

Sorry I gave you short shrift this week. What the hell is shrift, come to think of it? Oh. Google says it’s confession, like to a priest. If you give shrift, you are shriven. Okay. Back here tomorrow, 6pm WBT — DEAD POOL ROUND 86!


Comment from Nina
Time: June 10, 2016, 3:37 am

Banjos and chikkens. Way better than politics!

Comment from caseyreno
Time: June 10, 2016, 10:06 am

Chooks playing banjos – best!

Film at 11?

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: June 10, 2016, 11:55 am

What they said.

Comment from Janna
Time: June 10, 2016, 4:02 pm

How many banjos do you have and does Uncle Badger play an instrument?

Comment from LesterIII
Time: June 10, 2016, 5:34 pm

I lost my favorite uncle in a divorce (my aunt divorced him ‘cuz he was holding her responsible for her spending habits). He played banjo like a fiend (in a good way), and was always making bastardized versions of used banjos he found. He referred to himself as a mutherpluckin’ tinker-strummer.

Miss that guy…

Comment from MikeW
Time: June 10, 2016, 7:25 pm

Whatever gave you the idea that your banjo headstock was made from a piano stool? I mean, that’s pretty specific. What, does it smell like ass?

Comment from LordFlashHeart
Time: June 12, 2016, 5:16 am

I smell … Hippy

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny