Posted by: Paul Roberts | March 22, 2017

Gold Tone Cello Banjo: the neck-lift

Ron Chacey and I developed a modification to the way the neck joins the body, on the Gold Tone cello banjo, raising the fingerboard above the head, and aligning the strings closer to a parallel relationship between the strings and the head from bridge to rim, allowing much better access for plucking the strings (closer to the rim) without being obliged to bang the hand into the head (unless one chooses to do so).

Clawhammer Cello Banjo “Hello John D” was recorded before we developed the neck-lift. Here, the head-banging works to my advantage as a rhythmic device. But it’s also nice to have the choice, of whether of not to feature this involuntary rhythm section.

Blue Train Rising ~ Cello Banjo ~ Clawhammer and Picking was recorded after the neck-lift modification.

I’m very enthusiastic about the neck-lift, and I’ve managed to talk some of my Gold Tone cello banjo customers into having the mod done by Gold Tone, before it leaves the factory, as Gold Tone now performs this mod for me at my specifications. When I met with Béla Fleck, to discuss low-tuned banjos, I showed him a cello banjo with a neck-lift, and he seemed to think it was a great idea. I play two 5-string cello banjos and one 4-string cello banjo. All three have neck-lifts and I couldn’t possibly live without this mod, as it opens up a world of music, bringing out the full tonal spectrum of a banjo – and that includes just about every banjo.

If you’re interested in exploring the idea of playing a cello banjo – either 4 or 5 string version – give me a call. 970-731-3117.

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