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Thread: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

  1. #1
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Hard to sleep after this one. I'll leave a light on.
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    Last edited by Elliot Luber; Sep-26-2019 at 11:52am. Reason: left a word out
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Wow! That's a new (and scary) one - a bass banjo!

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    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    Wow! That's a new (and scary) one - a bass banjo!
    Yeah,I wonder what kind of case you put that thing in,or do you lug it around as it is?....

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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    That vid was from the early jazz period, plectrum and tenor banjos with a banjo bass...

    But before then, when nearly all banjos had gut strings and played marches and orchestral pieces - known today as the "classic banjo" period from shortly after the Civil war until the Jazz period -- mandolins and classical guitars were very comfortable with the banjos of that day.
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Personally I thought it was a GREAT old video demo! Love anything old like that with any instrument! The times were sure different-I was born in the wrong era!

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Frank Ford posted a video recently about making one, although not that big. Some of the Gryphon staff have a banjo group and the bass banjo player moved and took his banjo with him. Not growing on trees, Frank just built one and documented the process. Probably on Frets.com by now.
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    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    Wow! That's a new (and scary) one - a bass banjo!
    I think Gold Tone once had a banjo bass.It wasn't as large as that one.

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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Could be worse. This one’s only a four string.
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Bela has one. When I heard him play play with Abigail a couple of years ago he brought it along and it is on their first duo cd on at least one cut. When I heard him and Abigail they played 2 1/2 hours of nothing but banjo and vocal. It did not get annoying or tiresome and was really good music.

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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    I don't know what's more cheesy - the instrument, or the guy playing it . . .

    and - I can't help but wonder where that thing is now? Can you imagine walking into a Guitar Center or pawn shop and seeing that monster?

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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    One of my prouder moments as an upright bass player was being told they couldn't hear the banjo over the bass. BTW no amplification was used.

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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    Bela has one. When I heard him play play with Abigail a couple of years ago he brought it along and it is on their first duo cd on at least one cut.
    ...
    Are you sure it wasn't a 14-inch rim cello banjo, tuned an octave lower than standard banjo? (In this tuning the two low strings are tuned the same as the first two strings on a double bass.) Bela is known to have and play a cello banjo, as is Abigail.
    -- Don

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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Five years or so ago Jake Wildwood built a banjo bass. Not as big as that one but I was impressed. Another project for some day when I retire.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    I may have told this story before here. A guy once came to our Scottish/Irish trad session at a local restaurant, with a banjo double bass. I think he made it himself. The shell was a bass drum a couple feet across and at least a foot deep with a single head, the neck was full-size. He was welcomed (it's a friendly group), although I'm sure I wasn't the only wondering how the heck that was going to work.

    It turned out that his only experience was in OldTime jams, so he proceeded to loudly thump away on alternating I and V, completely out of sync with the rhythm of the session, and usually missing the mode changes in the tunes. That banjo bass was loud! Louder than any upright acoustic bass I've ever heard.

    After a few tunes with everyone grimacing, we eventually told him it just wasn't working. We recommended he spend some time studying up on the music. I think I mentioned Trevor Hutchinson, the acoustic bass player in the Lúnasa band.

    It was one of the very few times I've ever heard of someone actually asked to stop playing at a local trad session. I later heard he was also dis-invited to another Irish session in a nearby town. We never saw him again, so I guess he just continued inflicting that sound on the local OldTime jams (not that I think it wouldn't be appropriate, but the guy was just not good at playing the blasted thing).

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Someone had a banjo bass at Winfield this year. Saw at least one photo of it.
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    Are you sure it wasn't a 14-inch rim cello banjo, tuned an octave lower than standard banjo? (In this tuning the two low strings are tuned the same as the first two strings on a double bass.) Bela is known to have and play a cello banjo, as is Abigail.
    In the booklet with the cd it says they have a Gold Tone Bass Banjo, as well as the Cello Banjo, and used it on one cut. I am not positive in the concert.

  25. #17

    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    It actually sounds quite good (to my ears).
    I was thinking that this bass banjo would be ok in a session, great even, if the music was varied, some songs etc. It would have to be played maybe just ten to twenty percent of the time.

    Might be difficult to design a device that would control the playing time.
    Some sort of choke hold maybe.

    Or maybe let him lose at last orders?


    Problem is that if he’s there all evening in the pub with a huge banjo, threatening to play, it might upset the customers.
    It’s the fear.
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinstew View Post
    I think Gold Tone once had a banjo bass.It wasn't as large as that one.
    Not sure about the bass, but I “played” one of the banjo-cellos at Harry and Jeanie West’s store, way back before Harry passed away. DIDN’T buy it, lol...
    Chuck

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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Gold tone definitely had a banjo bass, but not upright. More like a bass guitar with a banjo body
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Someone had a banjo bass at Winfield this year. Saw at least one photo of it.
    It was at the Tuesday night dance, but nobody played it.

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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    Not sure about the bass, but I “played” one of the banjo-cellos at Harry and Jeanie West’s store, way back before Harry passed away. DIDN’T buy it, lol...
    I've got a GT CEB-5 and really like it. It's a different sound (and tuning) than a bass (octave gDGBd vs EADG), although in the "classic banjo" days it wasn't unusual for cello banjos to also be called bass banjos.

    GT originally targeted the CEB-5 line at "classic banjo" and clawhammer players. Mine was originally strung with nylon, but I went through the strings within a week of playing. I'm using flatwound steel on it now...

    The bass banjo is played mostly like a double bass would be played, a live, harmonic metronme. A cello banjo sound is more of a melodic accessory.

    Here's me playing my CEB-5 with our band way back in 2010:

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  31. #22
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Here are some historic bass banjos from my files. The only five-string is the Fairbanks that was at Bernunzio's a few years back. And note that John is not a small person.
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Here are some historic bass banjos from my files. The only five-string is the Fairbanks that was at Bernunzio's a few years back. And note that John is not a small person.
    Nice. John’s contraption would be pretty good if the tempo was very slow and it would probably a good idea to warn him plenty of time in advance when you want to start a tune.
    -it’s going to take him 5 minutes to walk down to 1st position.
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  34. #24
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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    I look up World Instruments and see the obukano, "a large bowl-shaped lyre... the double-bass of East Africa" and I think, this and the banjar differ only by a membrane and neck. Both look easier to schlep-along than a washtub or bass fiddle, too. What other bass chordophones might appear at jams?

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    Default Re: Now HERE's a mandolinist's worst nightmare:

    Quote Originally Posted by Hypoxia View Post
    I look up World Instruments and see the obukano, "a large bowl-shaped lyre... the double-bass of East Africa" and I think, this and the banjar differ only by a membrane and neck. Both look easier to schlep-along than a washtub or bass fiddle, too. What other bass chordophones might appear at jams?
    Yup, basses do come in all shapes, sizes, colors and materials...

    (This one is mine, a ca. 1930 Alcoa Aluminum double bass. It sees lots of jamming.)
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    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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