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Old January 20th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Banjitar build (is it possible?)

Here's my delimma-

I recently was perusing the web and saw goldtone's ES banjitar- An acoustic electric 6-string with a tele shaped body and a banjo drum built into the body. I want one- bad. the problem is that they are around $750-800, and I don't have that kind of cash. here's my question- Does anybody here know how hard it would be to build? I'm cool with buying a neck and parts, I just don't know if it's worth the trouble to build a body for one or not. I've never built my own guitar before but have always wanted to. I know that the banjo drum will be an immense pain in the ass, but other than that I'm clueless. any feedback would be appreciated. Or if anyone wants try to tackle it, let me know how it goes.

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Old January 20th, 2011, 02:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I saw a band several gears ago called Jupiter Cyote. The singer played a guit-jo and was a load of fun to listen to bit it was esentialy an electric banjo.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 02:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by whodatpat View Post
I saw a band several gears ago called Jupiter Cyote. The singer played a guit-jo and was a load of fun to listen to bit it was esentialy an electric banjo.

See- I'm totally fine with that! I love the sound of a banjo to begin with, and in fact have a regular 5 string that I'm slowly teaching myself to play. I just think that this banjitar is a really unique instrument. I think it would be fun to play around with an amp, and recording would be fun.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 06:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I took the liberty of doing a patent search on it.. I didn't find a patent under the gold tone creator's name but there are patents on similar guitars.. you may be able to get some ideas from the schematics. Google has a patent search feature. Use the advanced search for best results.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have considered building a 5-string guitar that sounds like a guitar. The point wasn't to create an electric banjo, but to allow the use of banjo chords and technique, because I'm already familiar with the banjo. Open G tuning makes life pretty easy.

I don't see much point in an electric banjo that sounds like a banjo. Kill the sustain of an electric instrument, and you're pretty much taken away the whole reason for making it. You can put a pickup in an acoustic banjo, which makes more sense to me. Real banjo sound, and no month-long woodworking project, and you can still use it without amplification.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm no help with the build, but here is Baskery, 3 Swedish chicks rocking a banjo shaped banjitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lua9Ymk-Pwg
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Old January 20th, 2011, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I made a guitar neck for an old supro banjo. I'll try to dig up a pic of it if you want.

Baskery is smokin'

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Old January 20th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I like the Swedish Banjitar player. But I feel a National Resolectric would be more flattering, to both her stage image, and her playing. I imagine Banjitars are much cheaper, than Nationals, where she shops. There was a guy (Luthier?) in Placentia California who was somewhat infamous for his toilet seat guitars. He also made six string Banjitars. A friend of mine has one that I have played, but I found it difficult to get an authentic banjo aesthetic out of it, because I tended to play the same chord voicing and riffs, that I play on guitar.
I too have considered building a dedicated five string guitar, but for standard delta blues tuning, with no fourth below the root. Many blues players who use G tuning consider the low sixth string to be a nuisance.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 10:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you tune a Guit-jo to open G you can play banjoey stuff on the bottom 4 strings.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It needs a new head and it's a little dusty... I never put any finish on the rosewood overlay and the neck is Home Depot maple scarf jointed and french polished with shellac.




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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have one of these:


Dean Backwoods 6-string Banjo

for $250 from musicians friend, you can't beat it. I've played several other models. the rogue for $200 is crap. the dean is almost as nice as the deering that sells for $1600.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I wanted a Deering but couldn't rationalize spending that much on one.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 12:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I wanted a Deering but couldn't rationalize spending that much on one.
me too! that's how I ended up with the dean. The only differences I could find were the hard shell case, the top ring was more embellished, and the tailpiece felt like it was made better. I've used the dean on several recordings and it's always cool to show up to an acoustic jam with it. I can play my leads right over top of all the guitars.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 02:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Don't get me wrong- the traditional style banjo's that are six string are all pretty cool (In fact I have an acoustic dean guitar that I love so I'm sure that the banjo would be great), it's just that the tele style with the banjo insert just looks so freakin cool. Also forgot to mention this earlier, but I'm left handed which makes things even harder to find. That's why I thought that a homemade build would be worth the trouble. my thought was just that I could buy a cheap pre-routed tele body off of ebay and just modify it to have the banjo insert. I figured it was a long shot to find someone that had tried it on here, but it was worth a shot. thanks anyways!
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Old January 21st, 2011, 06:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Don't get me wrong- the traditional style banjo's that are six string are all pretty cool (In fact I have an acoustic dean guitar that I love so I'm sure that the banjo would be great), it's just that the tele style with the banjo insert just looks so freakin cool. Also forgot to mention this earlier, but I'm left handed which makes things even harder to find. That's why I thought that a homemade build would be worth the trouble. my thought was just that I could buy a cheap pre-routed tele body off of ebay and just modify it to have the banjo insert. I figured it was a long shot to find someone that had tried it on here, but it was worth a shot. thanks anyways!
That does seem like a long shot. But there are several people who have done Reso builds or conversions, they also look incredible cool, and sound great. You should check out those build threads in Tele Home Depot. I think they have a similar vibe to what you're looking for.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 11:36 AM   #16 (permalink)
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This video I found on youtube might give you some ideas.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHjetMXHxRM

also
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiGd6DuqdxA
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Old January 21st, 2011, 06:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This video I found on youtube might give you some ideas.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHjetMXHxRM

also
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiGd6DuqdxA
that actually may be a lot of help- I'll have to sit down and check out those links when i have a computer with sound. thank you very much!
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Old January 21st, 2011, 07:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think the foxfire style mountain banjo design would lend itself pretty well to a solid body electric six string half breed, and using a cut down bongo like the kid in the second video would definitely simplify things.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/8961322/Foxfire-Three
skip to page 118 from a builders perspective the diagrams are a little more interesting than the words...
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Old January 21st, 2011, 07:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It needs a new head and it's a little dusty... I never put any finish on the rosewood overlay and the neck is Home Depot maple scarf jointed and french polished with shellac.




Looks like the head is busted. Or do the guitar strings just pull on it that much?

Man, a neck that nice deserve a nice pot as well.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 09:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Colt, Yes the head it coming loose from the ring on the bass side. I need to order another head but I keep buying Tele parts... and right now I am buying bass parts for my scroll bass build.
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