After a brief orientation, we’ll cover the major parts of the 5-string banjo and learn how to hold it!
@BanjoBen what is a “cradle strap”? I’m having a difficult time finding a banjo strap that will attach at your recommended points. The ones I’m finding online seem to be really long and look to be attached under the neck.
Hi Brent this is one version of a cradle strap. Basically the cradle strap wraps round the bottom of the rim to support the banjo. As opposed to being hung from the tension hooks
Precisely what @Archie said in his comment. I personally do not use a cradle strap, or at least I don’t run the strap underneath the banjo because I don’t like the angle makes my banjo sit.
Ben, will a leather strap keep an open back banjo from wanting to tilt the neck down? It seems I may want to add the resonator to balance out the weight better so it will not slide.
It may not, but you can glue a piece of felt or other material to the underside that goes over your shoulder to keep it from slipping as much.
Hello there. I’m a beginner at playing the banjo and I was wondering if there is a different way to holding the banjo if you are overweight? I have got a bit of a belly and I can’t help but wonder if it will affect my playing. I have an open back banjo.
Hi @dadimar84 Welcome to Ben’s Forum
I must confess to being a tad overweight but somehow I manage. Personally I rest the pot on my right thigh whilst sitting but I have friends as big as me position the banjo as @BanjoBen demonstrates in his lesson.
Check out this video of 4 times National Banjo Champion Gary Biscuit Davis.
Thanks for the video and the reply. I was just curious and maybe a bit worried that I was making a mistake by not adjusting the banjo according to my body type. May seem like nitpicking, most li,kely is. I just think about it quite a bit.
I think it’s important that it should feel comfortable. I have seen short straps and really long straps so a lot is down to personal choice. I did a lot of adjusting as a beginner until I found a position that suits me.
My buddy Mike Dean is a monster on a 5 string…If it affects his playing in any way its for the good!
And perhaps my favorite banjo player, pound for pound, Dennis Caplinger shows us how it’s done!
I forgot about Dennis, he is a great banjo picker