Sunday, May 18, 2014

What's a Scotsman Keep Under His Kilt...

Why his banjo of course. Here we are with Mudbelly Primitive Stringed Instruments build #36. It's a thrift store tin with marching Scotsmen on the front. 
Sorry for the flash wash on the photo but I just finished at dark and was excited to get this posted. Banjo sounds good acoustic, very banjo like. Tunes right up to E, G#, B. Electrically it has something special going on inside.  
This is a tandem piezo disk pickup rig. I knew such things were possible and I noted recently when I saw Charlie Parr at the Standpipe his banjo had a piezo on each side of the bridge. I accidentally ordered a pack of piezos with out leads soldered to them. So since I have to do more soldering that just an extension lead and a jack I decided I might as well experiment. Charlie's banjo sounded like soft rain falling. This one, like all tin instruments I have built sounds old timey  acoustically. I haven't tried it with a big amp but with the 2 watt home built jobs it sounds like a dirty blues storm coming. 

It has the BB fret markers on the side of the neck at the I, IV and V chord. Action is a little close for slide so will be a good instrument for a delicate picker. Plays well but with the two pick up rig hard "franging" on top will b picked up by the amp. 

At one time I was really in love with the tin sound but I have sold most of them for now. With the coming of hot weather in the shop I will probably built a lot of tin and wooden boxes as you can drip sweat on them with out messing them up like a paper cigar box. I do have one order for late summer I'll build a good one out of a special box. 

This banjo will be for sale at The Huntington Country Barn next Thursday for $65. Come by and see us. I'll have a booth and be picking and grinning. 



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