6 String Banjo anyone? - TRIGGER PULLED!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bassbubble, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. bassbubble

    bassbubble Well-Known Member

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    I started some recordings last month with an old friend with whom
    have recorded with in the past. He writes the songs and I arrange them.
    We both play all the instruments and sing.

    The last time we recorded we incorporated some mandolin and the music
    kinda has a Indie rock, Alt-country, Folk rock feel to it. Some have even said
    folk punk.

    We want to take it a little further this time and use the mando more and also
    incorporate a banjo. Kinda the Thrills meet REM-ish kinda thing. Since Neither
    one of us knows how to play banjo I was considering a 6 string. I just so happens
    that Kurt offers SX 6 string banjo's on his site.

    I wanted to give ya' all a background of what I wanna do with it. We are
    not bluegrass players at all although we will plant a few seeds.

    So does anyone own, played or heard one of these in action. If so what
    can I expect from it? ANY insight at all would be greatly appreciated.


    [Edited on 5-2-2010 by bassbubble]

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  2. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member

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    They are most commonly called a "gitjo" or a "banjitar"
    I would suggest you find a banjo forum and ask your questions there.
    The little I know about them is they are universally despised by banjo players (whether 4 or 5 string.)
  3. bassbubble

    bassbubble Well-Known Member

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    I'm kinda scared to ask on a banjo forum now that you told me
    the are dispised by those folks :(
  4. customisbetter

    customisbetter New Member

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    i never thought id see the day. :p
  5. snarph

    snarph Well-Known Member

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    seems like they would be a hoot for blues
  6. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member

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    Ok, sorry 'bout that.
    Go to Woodsongs and download show #297.
    The "Old Crow Medicine Show" has one as part of the band.
    I can't think of anyone else who uses one.

    [Edited on 3-2-2010 by Mickey]
  7. gmzanatta

    gmzanatta New Member

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    Gordie Johnson (ex-Big Sugar, now with Grady) has been known to use one. When he gave a guitar lecture here in town he was talking about how he uses them because it is the loudest "acoustic guitar" he could find. He even plays it in open D with a slide. Quite impressive.

    EDIT: Here is a vid of him using it:


    [Edited on 3-2-2010 by gmzanatta]

    [Edited on 3-2-2010 by gmzanatta]

    [Edited on 3-2-2010 by gmzanatta]
  8. nrussell23

    nrussell23 Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    here is a video showing the SX 6 string banjo. i want one!! ohno:

  9. i hate righties

    i hate righties New Member

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  10. GypsyHook

    GypsyHook New Member

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    I have one...a Dean Backwoods. They are a gas...here is a clip (excuse the playing)

  11. bassbubble

    bassbubble Well-Known Member

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    Dude!? Ya wanna come record with us? :dance:

    I should just get one and see what happens.
  12. dmitri

    dmitri Well-Known Member

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    Biggest issue is that they are usually tuned like a guitar, which encourages "guitarish" licks - not "banjoish" licks. If you want to sound "authentic", the 6 string is probably not the way to go. If you want to get the sound but aren't concerned about nailing the style and you are OK with basically playing guitar riffs with more "pop" and "pluck", they rule.

    Spoken from experience...
  13. blueshawk1

    blueshawk1 New Member

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    They have a couple of 6 string banjos at my local shop. I played around with them a couple times, and played with the thought of getting one, but decided I had enough to think about just playing my guitars.
  14. XaosLord

    XaosLord New Member

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    Joe Satriani has used a Deering 6 string for many moons now, as far back as the Flying In A Blue Dream
    album. He has often said he's quite fond of the sound.
  15. strumbum

    strumbum Well-Known Member

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    I've got a 5-string banjo and I think a 6-string would be a good fit for what you're talking about playing. Certainly would be easier to adjust to vs a 5-string....

    Rondo's price for the features ain't bad either compared to 5-string prices.
  16. bassbubble

    bassbubble Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback folks. I'm gonna see if my local guitar shop has one I can try before I take the plunge. Thanks again.
  17. TwangBar

    TwangBar New Member

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    i had this exact "banjitar" a couple of years ago

    action a little high, frets needed minor work...
    other than that, good instrument for $119 (what they cost then)

    experimented with different gauges for the lower E and A strings **
    then tuned these up an octave
    E - 24w
    A - 17
    D - 28w
    G - 20w
    B - 14
    E - 11
    also try DGDGBD tuning -- notice your 4th & 6th, and your 3rd & 5th strings will be the same note, but....

    **banjos obviously don't have strings this low in pitch, and that's where the banjitar loses it for me --
    so by tuning up an octave you avoid this, plus can get a drone-string effect (especially using the open-G tuning),
    a familiar characteristic of that "banjo sound"
  18. blanket

    blanket New Member

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    I've been GASing for one, too. I'm only interested in playing it like a guitar, though -- just with that cool banjo tone to the chords.

    Does anyone know if it takes regular acoustic guitar strings?
  19. TwangBar

    TwangBar New Member

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    yes -- acoustic strings are what you use

    don't go too heavy though (stay with light or med light) --
    the neck and especially bridge/tailpiece are still traditional banjo-like parts,
    and were not designed to take heavier gauges
  20. Jazzhipcat

    Jazzhipcat New Member

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    I've got one and I think it's great! I have a 5 string also but I always use this one. I get asked to play banjo parts on non bluegrass types of music often. What's great is that I can play any music in concert key. With a 5 string it's a pain to play in most keys but the 6 string will do anything a guitar can do. You can't frail on it like a true bluegrass banjo but most people in an audience have no idea anyway, they just like the sound and don't ever bother to critique if it's "authentic" banjo playing. I have this SX 6 string with the cool star fret markers. The action was high and I had to make a neck adjustment that really helped. The neck radius is really flat so it won't play as easily as a guitar but overall I think it's a great instrument to have.

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