Gourd Banjo

Gourd Banjos

 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 Gen√©rales 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                      $48.00 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)

S&H (domestic) with banjo and case                            $68.00

For shipments outside the mainland USA, please ask for a quote before placing an order.


Sounds of the Gourd Banjo

Sound samples for our Gourd Banjos

 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. 

Gourd Banjo Order Form

Please fill out completely. *If using PayPal, enter "PayPal" for your credit card number.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A confirmation summary of your order will be emailed to you including estimated ship date.

Thank you for your order!

The Banjo Factory

3607 Broadmoor Drive Northeast, Tacoma, Washington 98422, United States

(206) 497-0049