For a musician, the banjo offers acoustic power, super responsiveness to any kind of touch, brightness that can cut through the sound of an ensemble, warmth and richness to accompany voices and other instruments, and a tone character that is completely unique in the world of musical instruments. But how does all this happen?
Cleaning our homes is routine - maybe not a favorite thing for all of us but we do it anyway. I love things that make my cleaning routine easier! (OK, now you know for sure that I don’t like house cleaning.) Today I want to share of few easy tips on maintenance for your banjo. They are about as easy as I can make them!
For a musician who loves their banjo and loves practicing and playing, enjoys the nuances of technique and the magic of the emotional communication in playing music in general, it’s kind of a romantic disappointment to think of banjo strings as “music wire.” On the positive side, music wire, by definition does have alloy parameters that define the general properties of strings. Music wire is tough, hard, and resilient with great tensile strength. Each manufacturer of strings chooses music wire alloys to create a certain tone, or to reduce the cost of string manufacturing or to increase life, volume, and other sound or performance related goals.
Nickel silver alloy is the most common metal used for fret wire for banjos, guitars and mandolins. It is a good material because it conforms to fingerboards well and resists skin acids, oils, and tarnish well. For most players, it is durable and lasts a long time.
There is a misconception in the banjo world about the relationship between the fingerboard/ tension hoop area on a banjo.