[Dixielandjazz] Banjolene.

Bigbuttbnd at aol.com Bigbuttbnd at aol.com
Mon Sep 8 11:05:21 PDT 2003

I THINK a banjolene is a banjo-tuned GUITAR with 6 or 8 strings. If 6, the 
two highest strings would be doubled an octave apart, if 8 all strings would be 
doubled an octave apart (like a 12 string guitar.) I have such an instrument. 
It is a FACTORY-made Rickenbacher with 6 pegs. The nut is notched so that the 
2 top sounding strings can be doubled an octave apart. I don't string it that 
way, though, cause I didn't like the doubled sound. Instead, I just string it 
like a plectrum banjo with 4 strings. My only complaint is that it has no real 
bottom (which you're used to hearing on a real guitar) because your lowest 
note is a middle C. I've lowered the G string by an octave and that helps some 
providing a range from G below middle C to the standard offerings on the top 

In recordings it really has a sound associated with the 40's. I did some 
Mills Brothers 'sound-alike' recordings and it sounded like the real thing when 
played in a Freddy Greene 4-to-the-bar style. I don't know why Eddie Peabody 
called it a 'banjolene'... all my buddies call it a 'guit-jo' when I bring it to 
a gig.

Rocky Ball
Banjo / guit-jo

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