“COWBOY” GUITAR

Banjo – a stringed musical instrument with a body in the form of a tambourine and a long wooden neck as the guitar, which usually stretch from four to six strings (can be up to nine). Banjos belong to a kind of guitar with a resonator but most of it is similar to the European well-known mandolin (although the banjo is more sharp and ringing sound). In Europe the tool came from America in the 1830-ies, and there, from West Africa in the late 17th century with the black slaves who first made the body of the banjo from dried pumpkin.

Playing the banjo with a distinctive “cowboy” sound associated with music in country style and bluegrass. Lately this tool are used in a variety of genres, including jazz and pop music.

 
Wish to learn to play the banjo, I advise you not to buy this exotic and fairly expensive musical instrument, and try to make it yourself at home, without resorting to complex technologies.
 
First, you’ll need a few pieces of dry high-quality plywood with thickness of 8-10 mm, a good carpenter’s glue is a PVA-based, long screws M5 for tightening and bonding design details, as well as the neck from the six-string guitar and tambourine with a diameter of 10 inches, you can buy in music stores.
In drum you need to remove the plates-bells together with carnations-axes on which they are mounted, and thus free of window openings in the wall of the tool.
 
Very easy manufacture of banjos that do not need bolts and ring for tensioning the membrane of the drum, as the drum together with the attached membrane is simply inserted into the improvised ring-shaped body and attached it at three points by three dural angles-clamps through the three window openings of the drum. This allows in case of damage of the membrane just to buy a new drum and install it over the old.
 
General view of the banjo and its structural elements
General view of the banjo and its constructive elements:
 
1 – housing; 2 – tailpiece; 3 – stand for strings; 4 – membrane; 5 – the support for the right hand; 6 – the bottom of the housing; 7 – string; 8 – rod; 9 – vulture; 10 head and neck; 11 – right

 
Dimensions banjo
The dimensions of the banjo
 
Homemade
Homemade “compass” to the jigsaw for cutting out plywood parts banjo:
 
a – bottom view on the “compass” with radius marked; b – the process of cutting out the circles of the corps

 
Blank case banjo: five rings of 8 mm plywood
 
Billet housing banjo: five rings of 8 mm plywood
 
Assembly of structural elements banjo - install the drum into the housing
 
Assembly of constructive elements of the banjo – install the drum into the housing
 
Reference 11-shaped spring bent from a steel plate 160x40x2 mm with a number of facilitates and mounting holes. Strings through the base and the leather membrane based on textolite plate (pictured - from the bottom of the spring)
 
Reference 11-shaped spring bent from a steel plate 160x40x2 mm with a number of facilitates and mounting holes. Strings through the base and the leather membrane based on textolite plate (pictured – bottom springs)
 
The mount bottom to the body: you can see two of the three dural corners-and 11 clamps the drum-shaped spring
 
Mount the bottom to the body: you can see two of the three dural corners-and 11 clamps the drum-shaped spring
 
Finished banjo
Ready banjo
 
An annular housing I glued the five rings, sawed by conventional jigsaws with a simple makeshift “compass” (a triangular piece of thick plywood with holes centers are screwed to the claw jigsaw). When sawing to the bottom ring at the inner diameter it is necessary to leave four “petal” three – for attaching tambourine, and one (wide) -for mounting the spring with the backup for the strings.
 
Unfortunately, the membrane of the tambourine is many times thinner than the membrane “cowboy” banjo, so it should be “prop” steel 11-piece (put sideways) spring, or a stretched string, it will SAG inward, and may even break. From below the tool body is closed by the bottom of the well dried and varnished 4 mm plywood.
Depending on the type of string mount and the spring are bent at a certain angle. The method of attachment of the fretboard and the strings depends on the technical capabilities of the manufacturer, and finished tool from his artistic taste. In my version, after painting the surfaces of the housing produced his finish self-adhesive holographic film.
 
The tool dimensions shown in the figure, and the design, layout and overall appearance are clear from the accompanying photo. It is worth noting that most classic banjo, the top string (it pulled with the thumb of the right hand) is shorter than the others. My musical instrument has six equal-length strings. Tuning and playing are both on six-string guitar, but the sound is like a real “cowboy” banjo.
G. GROOMS, Omsk

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