Monday, 5 September 2011

For Sale - Fretless open back tenor travel banjo


This is a short scale tenor banjo, with a scale length a smidge over 19 1/2 inches from nut to bridge. Tuned to Irish tenor tuning GDAE, or ADAE, GDAD etc. It's what I call my Hobo or Rambler, great for camping trips, playing on the beach, holidays or when you want a banjo that won't kill your back after 10 minutes playing.

The pot is an 8 inch Remo Fiberskyn hand drum,
. Tension is really good in these, I find they work extremely well for small mountain banjo and travel banjo heads and are very light and portable. The fiberskyn head has the look of vellum and for decorative effect I've added brass tacks to give that old timey tackhead look without the drawbacks (humidity problems etc) I've also made a simple meranti wood tone ring to increase the power and volume. The peghead neck and dowel are all carved from hevea wood, a sustainable tropical hardwood with similar acoustic properties to ash or alder, in this instance reclaimed from a dining room table. The dowel is integral to the heel, and I have carved a small thumb groove near to the sweet spot where the neck meets the pot. 

The fingerboard is red meranti and the tailpiece is hardwood. The nut is maple and the instrument has a nice hand rubbed oil finish. The bridge is 3 legged maple and ebony, and the tuners are reclaimed chrome guitar tuners. I normally fit fiddle pegs to a fretless but as this one is strung with steel strings, geared tuners were chosen for ease of tuning.

**Update** As an unusual experiment I've recently been playing this banjo lap style with a slide. Wasn't sure how it would sound but it works good! Tuned to GDGD it really rings well, has a clanging bluesy sound. Will try to get a vid clip online soon

This one's for sale -

Choice of set-ups - traditional set-up for irish tenor playing, or with raised nut for slide playing.

Email me at for price details, any questions etc