Creek Don't Rise

New Six String Sucks
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Author:  paulrace [ Thu Oct 31, 2019 1:26 pm ]
Post subject:  New Six String Sucks

A reader writes:

I have been playing guitar and bass for over 40 years. Mostly these days I jam and play classic rock, country, bluegrass and blues music.
Thought I could add some interesting licks to our music so I got a cheap 6 string banjo off ebay to start.
This sounds like a pile of junk rolling down the hill and I was considering returning it, but will try your set up tips first. I would really like to play this instrument, but so far, it sounds noisy, bad


As I mentioned in the article, DON'T strum it with a flatpick. The chord continues to ring out even after you've changed chords with your left hand or deadened the strings. Picking individual notes with a flatpick (Mumford-and-sons style) or fingerpicking (usually without fingerpicks) both work.

Here's an example fingerpicking a Deering D-6:

Not as clean as I'd like, now that I listen back to it, but I was new to that particular instrument. I've since bought two other 6-strings, a junker to be a beach guitar that I had to basically rebuild to make playable, and a new Goodtime 6-string Artisan (the first one they built).

I have been taking my 6-string Ovation Legend guitar (circa 1974), my 5-string Goodtime Special Aria openback, and at least one of my 6-string banjos to most gigs over the last two years. The 6-string banjo does NOT replace either the Legend or the 5-string, but it's a nice sound for certain songs.

Have a great evening,

Paul Race

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