Gourd banjos are where it all begins. If you like an older style fretless banjo, then this is your choice. The volume is comparable to the minstrel banjo, but the gourd banjos have a deeper, more resonant or mellow tone. From the 17th century on, reports from the slave routes spanning theWest African coast to the Caribbean islands, we have references to folk instruments resembling the gourd banjo. In 1689 Sir Hans Sloane, a physician who thoroughly documented Jamaica's music, noted that the island's Africans have "strum-strums... several sorts of instruments in imitation of lutes, made of small boards fitted with necks, strung with horse hairs or the peeled stocks of climbing Plants or Withs." These he said, "are sometimes made of hollow'd Timber covered with Parchment or other Skin wetted, having a bow for its neck, the strings ty'd longer or shorter as they would alter their sounds." Such a "strum-strum" was likely the same as what Adrian Dessalles describes in his Histoire Genérales des Antilles (1678), called the "Banza," to which the slaves on Martinique "danced in their own style". (Translated and cited in Dena J. Epstein, "The Folk Banjo").
Standard Gourd Tack Head Banjo with plain straight sided neck $299.00 (banjo only)
Typical gourd size is approx. 8 - 11". depending upon availability and what I have in stock.
Optional ogee neck carving is additional $30.00 (one side only)
Carved on both sides $70.00
Laced head instead of tacked $20.00
Rosewood fingerboard $80.00
Rosewood capped bridge add $8.00
Ribbon trim, add $20.00
Rosewood Tailpiece, add $10.00
The "Stichter" style or "lazy 8" peg head is standard. If you want a scroll or rectangular type
head, please indicate in the "Comments" section of the order form.
(Mechanical tuners vary in price from $35 to $140 or more. If you would like this option included with your kit banjo, please check out the mechanical tuners link under "Options" and note your preference in the Comments section of the order. Please contact me if you have any questions.)
Shipping and Handling (S&H) domestic $75.00 banjo only
Black Coffin case with green felt lining $200.00 (ordered with banjo)
With Victorian style lining, add $30.00
Rectangular case with green felt lining $179.00 (ordered with banjo)
For shipments outside the mainland USA, please ask for a quote before placing an order.
These samples are played on SOUNDCLOUD, a third party site, because this is the only way CoDaddy Web Builder would allow me to post them.
New orders will be delivered in the New Year.
3607 Broadmoor Drive Northeast, Tacoma, Washington 98422, United States