(11 replies, posted in Other string instruments)

Newbie plucker wrote:

Hi All.

What a great site this is!  I've been playing guitar since early high school - many, many years ago.  My wonderful man bought me a banjo for Christmas.  I have a beginner banjo book, but it doesn't progress very far beyond very basic methods.  The chords in the song books are great, I just need to work out how to apply the best picking patterns to the chords.  Any assistance much appreciated ...


As a woman who has been playing at being a banjo picker for 35 years or so, I say welcome to ya.  As to picking patterns, well that would depend on whom you are playing with and what feel the tune has.  And keep in mind you can also simply chord and strum a 5 stringer when all else fails!  (or try one of the many "old tyme" strum patterns which were great for solid rythym keeping as well as hilightin the upper strings).  Where I live we have many to choose from-clawhammer, frailin, north carolina style, kentucky style virginia style georgia style and good ole tennessee style-pretty much variations on a theme, but each has its own unique style of doing it.


(7 replies, posted in Other string instruments)

I have been playing at being a banjo player for 35 years or so now.  Best thing I can tell you is start right here on chordie and look up some of YOUR favorite songs, change the instrument to 5 string banjo and get the chord diagrahms.  The best way I have ever found to learn a song is to really love the tune and WANT to learn to play it. 

As for easy songs, well any teaching book has those-ie Janet Davis, and others all have easy versions of bluegrass tunes.  But if you want to take banjo into other genres-like folk, rock, classical etc, then start looking up the tunes and have some fun.

RedGuitars wrote:

Been thinking of a mandolin also.  Any suggestions or thoughts on a good, quality instrument?

You can find quality mandolins on ebay, if you know what you are looking for.  Surprisingly even SOME low quality mandolins can sound pretty darn good if they are set up properly.  As for QUALITY instruments most reputable instrument makers can and will make you a mandolin.


(4 replies, posted in Electric)

I bought a strat knockoff kit, but it was missing the electronics- and other stuff I used to refurbish a genuine 79 Strat that I also own.  ANYWAY the kit guitar need a few things, like paint for the body, so I sprayed it with the lefto er green silver flake motorcycle paint that I had from a restoration of a 1970 Yamaha CS3C and then gave it a new set of electronics-I upgraded to a HSH system that I bought on ebay.  Will let everyone know what the results are from this imported pickguard and HSH pickups.  Still need a few things -like a fixed bridge-I never can get a standard strat to stay in tune despite using heavy springs so fixed bridges for me.  Will let everyone know what the outcome is from the imported electronics as soon as I get the funds together for the bridge system.