What is the best way to get a banjo sound out of a CBG? I'm thinking about leaving the back open for starters, but what else will give me that twang? I bought a 5 string tenor neck and was going to pull the 5th string mechanic's, but it's too nice to screw it up like that.

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add a tamborine 

YUP , I popped an aged skin tambourine in a double wide body , and used a dollar store drip plate as the screen . etc etc …
BUT , it is more than just a tambourine in a guitar body , I retro-fitted the skin and tambourine body to act as those toy kids echo microphones , with the addition of proper gauge spring , pulling tension directly from the skin , then to the body . To make like an echo / reverb tank . it works very well . will even echo your voice like the toy mic does .
I originally figured I’d release these as a new line / model . she is a turtle of a different feather , that’s for sure . ;-) And takes some getting used to.
ill wait and see if she stands the test of time , and I get used to her , before I decide to make more or not .
till then .. enjoy this tease ;-) LOL ..
It’s like a national , a banjo , and a swamp witch had an orgy and this popped out . ;-)

Now that's just F--kin" KOOL !!! Thanx, I owe you one.

cheers  man  .  ;-)

the tuning also has a lot to do with it. there are wooden head banjos that sound very nice. So you can do a lot with the right strings and tuning. If it is 5 strings open g is the standard but there are other cool ones as well. I drool over picks banjo every time it shows up here. It is my white whale. In a perfect world I would be able to afford it but for now I play it in my dreams. Pick if you do decide to make it as a style you will sell please let me know so I can start to sell my plasma.....matt

If you are using a wood sound board (vs the very cool tambourine approach)  I think the tone sounds more like a banjo if you offset the soundhole(s). So, rather than placing the soundhole directly beneath the strings put them in the upper or lower corners of the body.  

Typically, the closer the bridge is placed to the middle of the soundboard (lid), the more banjo-ey it will sound. A narrow-footed banjo style bridge will also give it a more trebly, banjo sound.

Hey, AP, did you have to back the skin head under the bridge for strength? Mine seem's a little weak for all that tension....just got a 6" tamborine off ebay. Here's a pic of the bit's and pieces coming together,


thumper  - i  didnt have  to  reinforce  it at all  .  if    you  notice  in my  pic   , the  bridge  is  close  to  the back edge  to avoid any  spooning  ,  altho  .   the aged   look  tam  that i  have  may  be tougher than    the one you  got  ,  i would  try  that  ,   or a wider  bridge  with a bigger  footprint  before  attempting to  brace  , that  would kill   most  of the  reso  me  thinks.

matthew -  will  do  buddy  , this one went to  the hwy 61 roadhouse  tho  .  


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