Archive for November, 2012

Black Friday Sale Nov. 21-26 $100 Off!!!

November 21, 2012

Email me at for this special deal.


My first (real) banjo

November 8, 2012

Image I’ve always been amused by the banjo. It’s a staple in traditional american music, yet it isn’t taken seriously by the masses. Nonetheless, I was determined to have a banjo. I saved up my dollars (about a hundred of them) and bought myself a banjo.

It’s a Bean Blossom-Rocky Top and one of the cheapest out there. I bought it at the local music store where I took trumpet lessons as a child. I grabbed a soft case for it and some Edward Scissorhands-looking finger picks. I was ready to check out when a black book on the counter caught my eye: “Earl Scruggs” printed at the top. “Hey I know who that is! I’ll take it!”.

So I took my shiny new banjo home and started going through the Scruggs book. After a month or so I could plunk out Foggy Mountain Breakdown, but I wasn’t exactly happy with my progress- bluegrass banjo was hard!

I’ll get back to my difficulties with 3-finger picking in a moment, but the main focus of this story is that Earl Scruggs book. “Chapter 12: How to build a banjo.” Now that interested me! Maybe more than playing. This section is written by Burt Brent, not sure how it wound up in Ol’ Earl’s book, but oh well…It is still very interesting and insightful. It has measurements and tips, all kinds of great information to get you started on building.

I ran out into the garage and grabbed my dad’s jigsaw and a 2×4 and got to work. I eventually ended up with something that slightly looked and sounded like a banjo. I was hooked.

Now, back to the picking. As you can see, I am a clawhammer player, and I build instruments that are suited for that style. Why do I religiously play a bluegrass banjo then? I don’t know. I guess because I love this banjo and have never needed anything else. After trying to play Scruggs style (RIP) for some time, I discovered frailing. Bum-ditty, bum-ditty. It was easy and came naturally to me. I was pleased with my progress; I realized frailing is for me. I just frail on a bluegrass banjo, that’s all. I like this banjo, it plays clear and loud and after some adjustments it plays better than some fancy-smancy high-end models.

New workshop

November 7, 2012

I’ve always wanted to devote more time to building banjos. I am now building 2 to 3 banjos a week. My problem is finding a way to sell them quickly. I have 10 banjos sitting beside me waiting to be sold. Any suggestions? I’m looking to work with music stores, locally and nationally.

This is my new workshop and where I spend most of my day.

Out of my gourd

November 7, 2012

Image         One of many homegrown gourd banjos for sale. Email me at to buy one!


More Mountain Banjos!

November 7, 2012

Image     One of several fresh mountain banjos for sale. Email me at

Inlay and more

November 7, 2012

Proud to say this minstrel mountain combo banjo is finally done! Two plus years in the making with meticulous inlay and carving. There is an earlier post here about this instrument back in June of 2011; I can’t believe it has taken me this long to finish. I completed 30 other banjos from the time I started this one. A lot of time did go into it but it really just got pushed aside to make way for other projects mostly. This picture doesn’t do the piece justice, I need to upload more.

It’s for sale too, email me at for more info!