Thursday, January 12, 2012


I rarely finish anything cleanly; there is always some sort of edit involved. On the gourd banjo I had to make a new nut, and tweak a few other things over the last month or so. After a few weeks of playing I started to crave some sort of position markers when I realized that flying up for what would be a 12th-fret or 17th-fret note was never going to be anything other than a gamble if I didn't get a visual cue. So, I added little rosewood position dots today.

This is the current bridge design. There is a rosewood cap, with a break between the 4th and 5th strings, and a bone inlay for the 4th string. There is a bit of inspiration from the work of physicist Michael Kasha with guitar design in the difference in the two feet, the top one meant to spread the bass frequencies and the bottom one to focus the treble. I think the brace (see previous posts) acts like a fulcrum for the movement of the two different feet. I may separate out the foot of the 5th string from the bass foot and lighten the treble foot somewhat...we'll see...

This is such a lovely instrument to get to know. Much more of a voice comes out of this than any banjo I have heard. I'm starting to get comfortable with it.