A funny thing happened on the way to the forum.
Recently, I stumbled on a video of Alison Brown and Molly Tuttle and Sierra Hull playing The Girl I left Behind Me.
I thought - I know that song. Digging deep into the recesses of my mind (I don’t know, I could have seen something I saw here on the Forum), I remembered that song from my late high school and early college years and how I loved that song and my obsession with John Hartford. I love those low notes and that slow easy beat and that tune. It was stuck in my head for a year or so. I never did learn it back then, didn’t have the resources we have today and for no good reason I stopped playing banjo.
Did anyone talk about this song on the forum recently? My memory is failing me. Anyway, I got excited about it and I searched and found a tab for it. This requires low open D tuning, lower than Reuben D tuning. I thought the strings were going to fall off the bridge or out of the nut. After messing around for a while, I realized it was really hard to keep it in tune, but I kept at it.
I got the first break down, and it sounded great. Working on the second break which takes me up to the 24th fret - Wait what? 24? I only have 22 frets.
Come to find out his banjo had 24 and Alison’s banjo is a new specially made Deering banjo, with 24 frets, the Julia Belle, a lovely John Hartford tune. It’s really a pretty banjo and is made for that low tuning, but at $5700. Oh man…
I put my fingers up on the head and kinda sorta got the notes, but it’s not the same. Because it’s so hard to keep it tuned and being two frets short, I guess I’ll move on for now. So disappointing.
Does anyone know of a significantly lesser priced 24 fret banjo that supports the low tuning?