[Dixielandjazz] What is a banjo?

Russ Guarino russg at redshift.com
Fri Mar 4 13:50:01 PST 2005

The fifth string  in the five string banjo is not played.  It just humms along.
That's my understanding.

Russ Guarino

TCASHWIGG at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 3/4/05 12:25:23 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> john at pembery.co.uk writes:
> >
> > Four string banjo's include tenor banjo's the preferred rhythm
> > instrument in Dixieland and New Orleans jazz, and the longer plectrum
> > banjo, which is better for chord melody.
> > Five stringers have no place in jazz unless you do away with the fifth
> > string .
> > Best wishes,
> > Ols Fenland banjo player.
> >
> >
> Hi John:
> Aha!  But wait, mate that brings up the main premise of Jazzing no?
> For them what can play a lot more notes why not have five strings to do it on
> rather than be fettered by the limitations of only four strings.  ?  :))
> And those that can't figure out what else to do with the fifth string can
> always take their teeth out and floss them during drum breaks, or use it as spare
> "G" String if they are playing for strippers.  Or in the worse case keep
> attached as a handy spare string in case they break one of the others.  :))
> Another good use for it might be as a shoulder strap in case they want to
> stroll, or a Garrote to use on the Drummer when he gets fidgety feet and runs
> away with the tempo.
> Besides it's one more to be out of tune all the time.
> Heck I have a jazz friend who plays a Seven String Violin, and very well too,
> and I have also witnessed Fiddle players like Doug Kershaw play great shows
> when he had played so hard he had broken all but two strings on his fiddle, and
>  when the Bow hairs broke loose from one end of the bow he just flung the
> hairs around the body of the violin from underneath, grabbed them with his hand
> and played the rest of the song with the hairs stretched across the two strings
> in a triangle.   What a showman, and he played the right notes too.
> It ain't what you play so much as it's how you play it ain't it?
> The only Banjo I ever played around with was a young lovely lady banjoist
> many years ago,it turned out to be a very lovely instrument once I got it off her
> lap.   :))
> Well, it is a Slow rainy silly Friday in California. !   Might as well have
> some sport with the Banjo players.  :))
> Cheers,
> Tom " Mama don't allow No Banjo playin around heah! " Wiggins
> She don't tolerate much Washboard playin' either. :))
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