My current banjo is a 40-year old Epiphone of questionable background, but it’s mine. And lately it’s been buzzing horribly. So much so I almost decided to buy a new one. But I recently learned of a reputable banjo store 90 minutes away, so I set an appointment and went for a visit today. I wandered into the shop of a 75 year old guy who has been playing & repairing banjos for decades. The shop is cluttered with Deering banjos of all kinds, Huber banjos and pretty much all the great banjos I’ve been staring at in the Banjo Ben’s General Store. But these were real!
We talked as he set-up my banjo properly. I after about 2 hours of wonderful chat as he tinkered with my banjos (store bought & an old home-made one). When he was finished, he cleaned off a chair and invited me to try out my 5-string. Nervously I started playing, first a little Cripple Creek, the Bile them Cabbages, the usual warm-up routine. after a couple minutes, he brought me a Deering Sierra and said “Try this.”
Days like this don’t come around very often.
No, i didn’t buy it. I will someday, after I learn “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.”
The moral of the story is: If you can find somebody like Jake to professionally set-up your banjo, don’t even think about it. Just do it.