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plex
08-31-2008, 10:24 AM
So it looked like he was missing that top string, dose anybody know anything more about how he tunes/ sets up his banjo?

jdrawmeasheep
08-31-2008, 11:02 AM
magic.

plex
08-31-2008, 11:15 AM
i knew it

lucyisabanana
08-31-2008, 02:49 PM
he doesn't





lol i don't know.

Dooders
09-02-2008, 08:37 PM
He doesnt tune it...













the banjo tunes him!!!!!!!!!!!! muahahaha

tralala
09-02-2008, 11:36 PM
that top string is annoying anyway!

Aqualad
09-03-2008, 08:30 AM
i feel better knowing other people don't have a top sting on their banjo

emmi_i
12-09-2008, 09:08 AM
So it looked like he was missing that top string, dose anybody know anything more about how he tunes/ sets up his banjo?

he mentioned that he tunes it sharp.

GlowRightIntoYou
12-09-2008, 10:05 AM
that top string is annoying anyway!

Agreed. Julian had me carry in his banjo, and it that was very surreal to be holding it for a few minutes, haha. Although it was the new one and not the fantastical elephant one. Pretty awesome either way.

fright_eyes
12-09-2008, 10:20 AM
Agreed. Julian had me carry in his banjo, and it that was very surreal to be holding it for a few minutes, haha. Although it was the new one and not the fantastical elephant one. Pretty awesome either way.

I know! I carried Badger out to the car as they were loading up to leave, and it was definitely a strange experience. But I was terrified I'd drop it! :eek: Thankfully I didn't.

GlowRightIntoYou
12-09-2008, 11:41 AM
Haha, that's awesome. I also got to carry his chord organ out to the car. It was kind of funny too, cause we didn't have an outlet free for the chord organ do Julian plugged it into our Christmas tree lights. It was amazing, haha.

schroeder
12-09-2008, 06:11 PM
thats crazy. i wish i could meet an e6er. but for the banjo, i dont think he was missing the top string because on banjos the top string only goes from the bridge (the bottom) to about half-way up the neck.

animalsanimals
12-09-2008, 06:33 PM
the banjo is brand new cause the old one busted...i know they make 4 and 5 string banjos so he must have been used to the 4 string. the 'top' string is the one thats shorter than the rest on the 5 string banjo so i guess he felt he could do without ... also the extreme temperature changes of sitting in the car and then walking right into a warm house and playing right away made it pretty tuff to have all tuned perfectly...it was like 10 degrees when he was in VT so...and i got to carry the banjo out to the car after it was propped up against the bookshelf in fighteyes and my bedroom all night. :] pretty cooooool :]

Rarn
12-09-2008, 06:39 PM
I know! I carried Badger out to the car as they were loading up to leave, and it was definitely a strange experience. But I was terrified I'd drop it! :eek: Thankfully I didn't.

He let us attempt to play (errr I'm sorry, "persuade") Badger! It was the best moment of my life haha.

fright_eyes
12-09-2008, 07:49 PM
He let us attempt to play (errr I'm sorry, "persuade") Badger! It was the best moment of my life haha.

How did it go? I've never tried to play a singing saw before. Is it really difficult?

Rarn
12-09-2008, 08:17 PM
I managed to get sound out without too too much trouble, but just random uncontrolled pitches. Julian kinda guided us how to bend it and whatnot though, otherwise I doubt I'd know where to start. He definitely makes it look easy.

fright_eyes
12-09-2008, 08:33 PM
That's so cool. :)

emmi_i
12-09-2008, 08:54 PM
How did it go? I've never tried to play a singing saw before. Is it really difficult?

it can be difficult on the thumb when starting out. some people use a "cheaters" grip.

Willard B. Trophy
12-13-2008, 07:33 AM
So it looked like he was missing that top string, dose anybody know anything more about how he tunes/ sets up his banjo?

Being a banjo player myself, I'd previously written (http://scruss.com/blog/2008/12/07/a-brief-note-on-julian-kosters-banjo-playing-style/) about this:


Having had a chance to watch Julian play at close range, he plays a regular five string with the fifth removed. It sounds like he tunes DGBD, but I could be wrong.

His strum style is almost like a jazz banjo rhythm, but done without a pick. The one song he played used a familiar progression: first and fourth strings fretted at the 5th, then both down to 4th, to 2nd, then up to 3rd. Try it - itís fun!

I think I have a good enough recording of him tuning that I could verify that.

When attempting to play like Julian on my own long neck banjo (25 frets), I tune BEG#B and slide the fifth string capo way up to get it out of the way.

call me hi
12-14-2008, 04:36 PM
anyone know what kind of banjo julian uses?

Willard B. Trophy
12-15-2008, 08:35 PM
he's currently playing a basic Epiphone.

call me hi
12-16-2008, 05:43 PM
thank you kindly.

tsuxiit
02-25-2009, 09:33 PM
he's currently playing a basic Epiphone.

Yeah, he told me the neck fell off the elephant one.

GlowRightIntoYou
02-25-2009, 09:52 PM
Yeah, he told me the neck fell off the elephant one.

Then it was put back together with pirate's teeth.

AceAzzameen
02-26-2009, 01:39 AM
Most Banjo players I know think the top string (the short one) is just twangy and annoying and remove it. When I saw Julian live it confirmed that he was of the same opinion.

Willard B. Trophy
02-28-2009, 09:02 AM
Most Banjo players I know think the top string (the short one) is just twangy and annoying and remove it.

Bah; the chanterelle (the fifth string) is what makes the banjo sing!

Julian basically plays in a style that would suit a four-string plectrum banjo, like the old jazz bands used to use. Notable plectrum players are the cartoonist R. Crumb (in his band The Cheap Suit Serenaders) and Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

A plectrum banjo is usually tuned CGBD. Julian tunes to DGBD-ish.

You can sometimes pick up old plectrum banjos quite cheaply. Don't confuse them with the 19 or 17 fret tenor banjo, which is tuned in fifths like a mandolin.

aewofij
03-04-2009, 08:50 PM
i was under the impression that mr. koster removed the top string to have a clear bowing path to the bass string on the banjo, as demonstrated in the earlier tracks of the first symphony. this is why i removed my chanterelle, but of course, i could be completely wrong. :)

EllertTremorControl
03-05-2009, 11:16 AM
A plectrum banjo is usually tuned CGBD. Julian tunes to DGBD-ish.

You can sometimes pick up old plectrum banjos quite cheaply. Don't confuse them with the 19 or 17 fret tenor banjo, which is tuned in fifths like a mandolin.

Thanks, I was gonna ask about this

Kendob
03-28-2009, 11:32 AM
Does anyone know what type of guitar he was using on the holiday surprise tour?

appalled i was
03-28-2009, 12:46 PM
probably a harmony or kay archtop! he glues a seymour duncan pick up to it! how nuts!

ilooklikesomeonesdeadson
04-18-2009, 11:23 PM
i think some one asked what he tuned in. some songs like Aliens he's in G standard. But in freeing song for reindeer hes in Am, which i may add is really hard to figure out the chord shapes. for such a tuning.