the insane beauty of the banjo

by David Lewis

An old blog which I think is ok.

History, Mystery, Music and Pop...

I hate self-indulgence, but I need to explain from where my beloved Washburn B9 banjo comes. Due to a set of circumstances I don’t need to relate here, students and some staff at the institute where I teach chipped in and bought it for me. I still can’t express the gratitude I have for them doing that. I had played a tenor banjo some years back, and the B9 is a 5-string. So, a new instrument. (I also think the tenor was tuned like a guitar… ok, I cheated.)

As you’ll see from my profile pic, I play mandolin (that’s a solidbody I’m holding). I also play guitar and bass. The beauty of the mandolin is its symmetry. Not just horizontally, but vertically, everything works. You play a chord shape or scale on one set of strings, you can play it on another. What I quickly discovered on the banjo…

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