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6-String Banjo Group


6-String Banjo Group

For guitarists who love the banjo sound and play 6-string banjos.

Members: 32
Latest Activity: Jul 4

Discussion Forum


Started by henry b Oct 26, 2010.

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Comment by Paul Race on July 4, 2015 at 9:02pm

Follow up to my note below about getting a left-strung Deering D-6.  After cleaning it up, I investigated several options for getting a "right-handed" nut and bridge. All of them would require extensive custom work - Deering says that the D-6 engineering has changed so just ordering D-6 parts wouldn't work.  My local guitar guy pointed out that the clearcoat went on after the nut was glued down, so prying the nut up could ruin the finish on the peg head.  So I followed his suggestion and used a triangular file VERY GENTLY to widen the slots for the fifth and string slightly an restrung the thing.  The bridge worked just fine turned around.  Haven't had enough time to really get used to it - it has a longer neck than all but one of my guitars and a wider nut than all of my banjos, including my other 6-strings. 

Still it is a FANTASTIC instrument with a sound that is ALL Banjo.

Comment by Paul Race on April 23, 2015 at 8:29am
Today I hope to sell my first 6-string banjo, a Dean Backwoods 6 pop-top version. Because I'm trying to make room for a "new" old 6-string, a Deering Deluxe 6 circa 1999. It was set up for left-handed playing but that's a WHOLE lot easier to fix on 6-string than it is on 5-string. Trying to find a new nut I like or have one built. Then I'll try turning the bridge around and seeing how I like it. It's "compensated," but it's more or less a shallow "S" shape so it may work fine "backwards." The big problem is that corrosion has etched the previous owner's grimy fingerprint into the nickel plating, especially on the flange. One thing's for sure, it's LOUD. So I may need to keep my black "acoustic/electric" Dean Backwoods 6 just so I can practice without setting off the neighbor's burglar alarms.

More to follow, I hope. :-)

Photo here:

The dull gold look is from the tarnish.
Comment by Paul Race on October 16, 2014 at 7:36pm

BTW, I have added a 5-string Samick to my 5-string arsenal, one i can afford to leave in the car all the time.  I play it open-backed.  I've been going back and forth between 5-string and 6-string a lot lately, practicing the same songs on both, Which is interesting - I've learned tricks on one that I have subsequently used on the other and vice versa.  And they're BOTH BANJOS.  :-)  I also play guitar, so I do know the difference.  :-)

Fun, fun, fun.  :-)

Comment by Paul Race on October 16, 2014 at 7:28pm

Just bought the Dean Electric/acoustic 6-string banjo (the black one).  Summary - the "bottom line" Backwoods 6 is louder unamplified and, with an add-on piezo system sounds more like a banjo through a good amp than the mag pickup on the electric-acoustic one.  That said, it had too much ring for most of the kind of music I use 6-string banjo for, so after a long shootout period, I am keeping the black one and have found good homes for the "base' unit and the Rogue both. 

Here's a description of the "shootout"

Comment by Paul Race on August 21, 2014 at 9:15am
A friend has sent this note to the Creek Don't Rise forums:

My 6 string banjo. (temporarily strung righty) specs: Washburn electric neck. Shortened at the peghead (I totally regret that now) and at the screwed end for better placement of the bridge. Layered Cherry outer ring, 12” tone ring from hobby lobby, maple stick mount for neck through to the tailpiece. 12” pot made from 12” tom dumpster find. Pot has Birdseye maple laminated on the outside by a friend. Free tailpiece from dumpster guitar. Roadside Piano lid top cut and shaped for supports for head bolts. Single coil under the head near the bridge works well and brings out the lows for finger plucking bass lines with treble chording. 12” Remo banjo head which came with an invisible cut in the head – hence the offset placement of head marker. Some day Plans: replace cheapo bridge, replace head with 12” Fyberskyn or renaissance, and install GHS white phosphor strings.

For some reason I can't add a photo here. If you want to see the photo, the original forum page is visible here:
Comment by Paul Race on August 19, 2014 at 5:14am

Since my last post here, I bought a Rogue 6-string banjo to have a "beach version."  Because it has a wooden pot instead of that pointed aluminum flange I can take the resonator off without endangering anybody.  At any rate, lacking a resonator and tone ring, the sustain is reduced to the point where I can strum it like a guitar (all six strings) and it sounds good.   The DOWN side is that the neck is way narrow, almost like they put a 6-string head on a 4-string neck, so it's hard for me to do my fancy picking patterns - the stubby fingers on my left hand keep deadening adjacent strings.  But the "lesson learned" part here is that an acoustic guitar player who wants to go onto a 6-string banjo without adjusting his playing style may be better off with a backless, wooden pot banjo.  Yes, they all come with resonators, but those come off easily. 

Comment by henry b on September 24, 2013 at 9:20am

Hi Guys , just found this section on here and find it really good . I,ve had my six stringer for a couple of years now and enjoying playing it . Strings are Elixir 10s P/bronze .  hb

Comment by Michael Neverisky on August 25, 2013 at 5:43pm

Norman Blake did some fine flatpicking and fingerpicking on a couple of albums a few years ago.  Old Gibson guitar-banjo sounds great in his hands.

Comment by TheValleyGirl on August 25, 2013 at 4:01pm
I just bought some Alaska Piks to try!
Comment by fred davis on August 25, 2013 at 3:48pm

Harvey Reid plays with a flat pick as does Taylor Swift.  ^ string jo ARE not going to sound exacly like a banjo


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