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Thread: Banjo Tunings

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny
    Well, Carl, I disagree. Gut strings are affected by humidity and temperature. I've actually used both. That's the reason some in the Early Banjo community recommend coating the unwound ones. So there we have it, two different experiences, two different opinions. Your very comfortable calling somebody a liar, I'm not.

    Dan Wykes
    Sorry, "Danny," the reason people recommend coating is to increase string life, not to combat tuning problems at dusk. Gut strings are expensive, plastic are not, so it's natural to want to get longer life out of them. If you had any experience with real gut, you would know this. Everyone who has used gut does.
    Carl Anderton

    "Frank Converse the banjoist, his beautiful wife, and a young gentleman from Richmond, said to be smitten by the latter's charms, skipped away from Petersburg, Va., by the Southern train, leaving the "Converse Opera Troupe" to fufill the engagement as best they could."

    National Police Gazette, April 1860

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny

    . Not sure you have that problem down South as commonly - do you?
    Yes.

    Not the banjo player, just the one the banjo player hands the banjo to, before he goes off to sleep in a shebang. Banjo, on the other hand, sleeps snug and dry in my cabin.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



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  3. #13

    Default Better keep it friendly!

    Alright Danny, I was going to edit your last post but decided just to end it. There will be no mud slinging Whine Cellar threads in my forum. This forum has been a joy to moderate and it's going to stay that way. I hope we all understand, thanks for listening.
    Moderator

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cremona
    Sorry, "Danny," the reason people recommend coating is to increase string life, not to combat tuning problems at dusk. Gut strings are expensive, plastic are not, so it's natural to want to get longer life out of them. If you had any experience with real gut, you would know this. Everyone who has used gut does.
    No apology necessary, Carl. But the thread is about tuning. My point relevant to this thread is that coating prevents humidity incursion on the unwound strings, a benefit to tuning because it makes them more stable. Coating helps with that, and that's not my idea. You are correct that longer life is a big benefit. I have played gut strings and have gone through a couple sets, and it was been recommended to me that coating the strings will increase string life.

    Dan Wykes

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5strings
    Alright Danny, I was going to edit your last post but decided just to end it. There will be no mud slinging Whine Cellar threads in my forum. This forum has been a joy to moderate and it's going to stay that way. I hope we all understand, thanks for listening.
    Thanks, good to nip the hijacks when they occur. Topic was covered well anyway.

    dw

  6. #16
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    Sep 2007
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    For what it's worth, here's advice on catgut from a 1861 drum manual:

    "In regard to snares, some performers prefer cat-gut, others raw-hide; both are good, but for general use, the raw-hide is preferable, as in wet weather, the cat-gut is the most easily affected by the dampness, which causes a contraction, and prevents the proper vibration."

    I use calf and goat skin heads and catgut snares on my drums and agree with the banjo players that the humidity is a much bigger problem with the heads than the gut. The moisture makes the skin heads loose. I have the opposite problem with the gut snares. The moisture makes them tighter. You can tighten up your drum in the morning when it is damp still, then move out to the sunshine and find that your snare gut has become loose. The advice in the drum manuals was given because often times cheaper drums did not come with a strainer strainer (the device used to tighten the gut) and the adjustments had to be made by just tugging on the snares. But with a snare strainer this is no longer really a problem. I'm not a banjo player but imagine strings tightening up would be less of a problem than getting loose. Then again, the loosening of heads due to humidity would affect the tension of the strings much more than the variation in tension caused by the contraction of the strings themselves.

    Will Chappell
    Liberty Hall Fifes and Drums

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33rdaladrummer
    For what it's worth, here's advice on catgut from a 1861 drum manual:
    "In regard to snares, some performers prefer cat-gut, others raw-hide; both are good, but for general use, the raw-hide is preferable, as in wet weather, the cat-gut is the most easily affected by the dampness, which causes a contraction, and prevents the proper vibration."Will Chappell Liberty Hall Fifes and Drums
    Same for gut banjo strings. Thanks for the reference Will, something to stuff under the 'ole top hat.

    dw

  8. #18
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    My 10 years or so experience with gut banjo strings and heads has shown me that the problem is chiefly with the head, not with the strings. If you have problems with your gut strings at dusk, by all means, go Danny's route, and use plastic. I think his reputation here speaks for itself.
    Carl Anderton

    "Frank Converse the banjoist, his beautiful wife, and a young gentleman from Richmond, said to be smitten by the latter's charms, skipped away from Petersburg, Va., by the Southern train, leaving the "Converse Opera Troupe" to fufill the engagement as best they could."

    National Police Gazette, April 1860

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Cremona
    My 10 years or so experience with gut banjo strings and heads has shown me that the problem is chiefly with the head, not with the strings. If you have problems with your gut strings at dusk, by all means, go Danny's route, and use plastic. I think his reputation here speaks for itself.
    I dunno Carl, the fellers I know just use a lantern to solve the problems. Seems to work admirably, and gives little breaks in the music so I can refill cups a lot more gracefully.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



    Moderator, When I remember. We got Rules here!

    Did your sales post disappear? Try again. But read the rules first.
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  10. #20
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    Terre,

    Period problems have their period remedies, which we know are one of the funnest things in this hobby.

    This thread of course was not even about the problems associated with gut strings, which is in itself an interesting topic. I bring this up because the word "hijack" was mentioned...looking back, one can see where the topic first started to veer from "Banjo Tunings"...it was right here--

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny

    Good luck with those guts. I switched to Nylguts (faux gut) because in the sundown / campfire scene (drop in temp and increased humidity) I spent more time tuning than playing.

    Dan Wykes
    As we know, Danny is the master hijacker, the DB Cooper of this board. He has made this gut/plastic arguement many times, and I admit it gets on my nerves. I think others here can identify with that sentiment. But I probably over-played my hand, and that was a good quote Will gave us. That type of quote is the gold standard of the hobby, and I think it settles the matter. I stand corrected.
    Carl Anderton

    "Frank Converse the banjoist, his beautiful wife, and a young gentleman from Richmond, said to be smitten by the latter's charms, skipped away from Petersburg, Va., by the Southern train, leaving the "Converse Opera Troupe" to fufill the engagement as best they could."

    National Police Gazette, April 1860

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