Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Banjo lesson: Banjo Boot Camp–Overview, Holding, And Strap

https://banjobenclark.com/lessons/banjo-boot-camp–overview-holding-and-strap-banjo

After a brief orientation, we’ll cover the major parts of the 5-string banjo and learn how to hold it!

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@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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My buddy Mike Dean is a monster on a 5 string…If it affects his playing in any way its for the good!

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And perhaps my favorite banjo player, pound for pound, Dennis Caplinger shows us how it’s done!

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I forgot about Dennis, he is a great banjo picker

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