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Showing posts from April, 2021

Banjitar Improvisation #2 in E Minor

 This is from a practice session today. My wife says at the end, “That was good. Did you make it up?” I figured I should keep it then!

Gibson Banjitar at the American Banjo Museum

 Here is a fun video that shows a cool banjitar from Gibson, presented by the American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City. It belonged to the comedy team Homer and Jethro back in the 1960s. It has a Gibson L-5 guitar neck on it and is strung with flatwound strings. The video is around 26 minutes long, but I set it to begin at the 15-minute mark, when the host shows the Gibson. The whole video is worth watching. Enjoy!

Picks or not to picks, that is the question...

As I'm exploring the banjitar, I am having to decide whether or not to use fingerpicks or not. For many years, as a guitarist, particularly as a 12-string guitarist doing Leo Kottke-style material, I used plastic/nylon picks. I used Dunlops and Nationals for a couple of decades, then I discovered the Alaska Pik brand. These are different kinds of picks that go over the fingernail, leaving the pad of the fingers exposed to feel the strings. I have favored these picks for the past 20 years or so. Now with the banjitar, using light, electric guitar strings for a more banjoesque tone, I decided to try out the metal picks used by many 5-string banjoists. I liked the sound, but not the feel of the picks on my fingers. Oddly, even though I have used fingerpicks for over forty years, my fingers got tangled up with these. Even more odd, I find I like the sound of bare fingers best of all so far. For just sitting around the house, using no picks seems to work best, but I have to practice wit