I picked up a new gourd banjo back in April and have been meaning to post about it. Mine is made by Bob Thornburg in Northern California. I had a chance to play Steve’s gourd banjo a while back and knew I had to have one.
Mine has a 10″ gourd, a redwood neck, and a rosewood fingerboard. It has friction tuners and actual gut strings I think, so it can be a bit of a challenge to get in tune. Once there though it is super fun to play. And adjusting to a fretless instrument is not as hard as I thought it would be. The scale length on the banjo is pretty forgiving. There are some things that you can’t do that well, like fret two notes one on top of the other.
Here is a short tune I recorded, “Julie Ann Johnson”