Posted by Stan Garrison on December 29, 2000 at 00:19:36:
I've gone and done it! I had seen an old picture of a banjo band from around the turn of the century and they had a huge banjo. Assuming it was for bass, I thought I would try building something like it. I of course overdo everything and I ended up with an instrument that simply amazed me. I put a string bass neck on a 26 inch bass drum and after a year of building and rebuilding I came up with an instrument that has more volume and punch than just about any string bass I've ever seen. It has a nice deep tone and seems to 'define' the notes a little better than the average upright.
I hooked up with a fellow who has an online music store and he's selling them for me over the net. You can see pictures and hear a sound clip at http://www.stringbassbanjo.com the sound clip is so low it distorts my computer speakers, we're going to work on it to see if there is some way to make it sound better.
I'm getting together a program to find some players who get out to a lot of festivals and see if I can arrange for the string bass banjo to be shown around the country this coming season. The man who makes OME banjos heard a earlier prototype played next to a new German 4/4 five string bass and remarked that there was no difference in the tone or volume. Which I thought was a great testimonial, considering the source.
It turns heads wherever I take it. Take a look, it's very different- and interesting.
Post a Followup