Banjo mandolin group

  1. Tezzerh
    I've just acquired a new banjo mandolin and I love it, despite the somewhat scornful response any mention of the word "banjo" receives on the Forum. FatBear, who started this group, tells me he has sold his banjo mandolin and has invited me to revive the group. Is anyone still interested in swopping views and opinions on the bm? I hope so. Tell us why you like your banjo mandolin - or why you got rid of it! Lol
  2. FatBear
    I was just going to introduce Tezzerh as the new group owner/manager, but he beat me to it. With that kind of go-gettum he'll have this group full and busy in no time! Good luck to you all and have a good time.
  3. LazyRiver
    Just in time. I didn't realize this group was here. My mando-banjo has been on consignment for the last 7 months, but I got it back on Saturday just in time for a rehearsal of a new group we may be forming (initially it's just for my community band Christmas party). It includes a tenor sax and a baritone horn (doubles on trombone). My manjo has the horsepower to hold its own as a kind of jazz banjo. Actually better than a jazz banjo IMHO because it is pitched higher.

    I discovered also a side benefit. I had been looking for a travel mando - one that could fit inside a 22" carry-on backpack. I have a travolin on order (since May) and was tinkering with restringing a soprano ukulele. Much to my surprise my manjo fits the bag. Whoopee!!!!

    ~ Al
  4. Tezzerh
    Thanks for your encouragement, FatBear. You'll always be welcome here - you might be inspired to get another bm!
    Welcome, LazyRiver. I love your use of the word 'manjo', by the way.
  5. David L
    David L
    I didn't know about this group, either. I have a beautiful birds-eye maple no-name (although I think it might be a Slingerland) with a calfskin head. The skin head really adds to the funk and complexity of the overtones. I use it a lot for Irish sessions, but it makes a great lead instrument in many genres.

    When people ask about it, I always call it a banjolin. I don't care if some guy in England in 1885 used the name for a four string instrument. "Banjolin" is more appropriate for an eight string instrument. And it matches "banjolele" and "banjotar".
  6. Namder
    You can of course call it whatever you want but as it's a banjo in a mandolin style then the English language convention is for the noun (Banjo)to be preceded by the adjective (mandolin)

    Apologies for the English lesson but mandolin banjo can not be misunderstood, unlike some other suggestions in this thread.

  7. Tezzerh
    Sorry, Namder, but 'banjo' and 'mandolin' are both nouns. I prefer banjo mandolin, but the people who made mine call it a mandolin banjo.
  8. FatBear
    Just some thoughts here.

    This naming discussion goes around from time to time, though I'm not sure it has taken place in this group.

    Here's the thing. These instruments are banjos in every way. They were created and named in the days when banjos and banjo orchestras were really big. There were and are many kinds of banjos: Tenor banjos, bass banjos, 5-string banjos, frailing banjos, etc., and mandolin banjos. But everyone recognizes them as banjos. "What kind of banjo you got there, Zeke?" "Why it's a mandolin banjo, Clem!" (Grammatically, you take the noun "banjo" and modifiy it with the noun-converted-to-adjective "mandolin" to describe what kind of banjo it is. English is like that: confusing. Words can be converted all over the place.)

    Speaking of conversion, some people even take the neck off of certain very desirable models of mandolin banjos and put longer necks on and convert them to 5 string banjos. You don't ever see anyone taking the pot off of a mandolin banjo and adding a mandolin body to the neck to create a mandolin. (One of those necks keeps popping up on eBay if anyone is interested...)

    The same naming goes for other instrument families like the guitar. You've got parlor guitars and classical guitars and baritone guitars and 12 string guitars and bass guitars and 6 string guitars, but they're all guitars.

    (Mandolin naming is different. It follows the Italian violin conventions: mandolino (standard mandolin), mandola, mandocello, mandobass.)

    But you know, 5 syllables for one stubby little instrument is quite a lot and we live in a society where everyone is in a mad rush to the grave, so people give them shorter names. And that's fine. Banjolin, mandobanjo ... does anyone say banjolino? That would be kind of cool. Just so you realize that you are giving it a nickname that you personally like and choose. We all do things like that every day. My vehicle is a "2002 Toyota Tundra SR-5" and there's probably even more to it than that. But I don't refer to it that way. I just say "the truck" (or sometimes I give it other names that would get me kicked out of here) and everyone knows what I mean. That's what's really important, that we all know what you mean.

    Some modern luthiers like to make their own variations of things and give them their own names. That's marketing. Most of them are marginally popular (harp guitar), but once in a great while one will come along that really changes music. (Think about Les Paul.) So banjolele comes along, for example, and adds confusion to the naming, but who cares if it's fun to play?

    So I think we should all know that these are "mandolin banjos" and have been so for a hundred years or more, but we should also agree that there are many popular nicknames for them which are perfectly legitimate - as long as we all know what you're talking about. The important thing is that you play them and have fun. That's why I sold mine. I liked it, but I didn't play it much because it was really loud. Maybe I should have got a banjolele, it might not have been so loud.
  9. mandroid
    Have had a Vega 'little Wonder' for 25 years .. got another one ( not a brand name )
    gifted by a housemate back then ..
    It got a rim stick repair to make it solid again then re strung ,nut,bridge for a 4 string , Remo head..

    to use like a high irish tenor .. that set up also called a Melody banjo..

    90's I (& luthier)rescued a Slingerland may Bell Uke banjo , it got a spruce 'head' *, and restrung to use nylon strings

    GDAE a Bit too tight but FCGD is OK ..

    this week I replaced the friction tuners with Gotoh's new UPT, planetary 4:1 tuners for Ukes .
    a lot smaller than the prior banjo planetaries and a bit smaller than the Grover champion stay-tite s I was using .

    FWIW, 1:1 friction pegs and steel strings on such a short scale are a massive PITA to get in tune ,
    elastic nylon is significantly more workable..

    * I , now, call it 'Kaw Lija' Ref:
  10. Tezzerh
    Get a banjolele, FatBear, and you can start a new group! Ha. You're right - who cares, as long as it's fun to play. I'm hooked on my mandolin banjo, banjo mandolin or whatever. Think I might just call it Fred...
    Kaw-Liga evokes memories of Hank Williams, Mandroid. I still love listening to him. Reckon I might have to come up with a more exotic name than Fred.
  11. mandroid
    by the way "put a sock in it" can be taken literally .. a pad between the head under the bridge and the rim stick

    Does a lot to dampen some of the loudness and it a use for those old boot sox you wore the toes out of ..

    Yes, the name was from the song , and that it Now has a Wooden Head.
  12. Tezzerh
    Gotcha, Mandroid. Good tip re the sock, but my mandolin banjo is nowhere near as loud as the old G banjo I had some years ago. I stuffed old towels in the open back but it was still about 800 decibels! Missus said it had to go, so it did. Missed the banjo sound, though, which is why I got my new mandolin banjo, which she thinks sounds fine. Mind you, I play it at the far end of the house from where she spends her evenings!
  13. Namder
    Tezzerh said Sorry, Namder, but 'banjo' and 'mandolin' are both nouns. I prefer banjo mandolin, but the people who made mine call it a mandolin banjo.

    Sorry Tezzerh, many English words can be nouns and adjectives and in this context the word mandolin is describing the word banjo and is therefore an adjective.

  14. Tezzerh
    How did we get arguing about grammar on a mandolin website? I accept that nouns can act as adjectives...

    But they remain nouns (see OED). Let's call it a draw!
  15. FatBear
    Once again, welcome to Tezzerh and thanks for taking over the group. I'm going to leave it now, since I no longer have my instrument. I'll point the lady who bought it from me here in case she is interested.
  16. Tezzerh
    Thanks, FatBear. Look in on us now and then to see how we are going. Cheers!
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