Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Because it had been stored in an attic and not played, it had dried out and was not tunable. We took it to an elderly man in Philly who works on the banjos of various musicians we know and he worked on it for a week or so but was not able to get a good scale on it. (He felt bad about that and presented Dylan with an old banjo he had so Dylan could play that one which was extremely nice. He wouldn't take any money for the banjo or the work he'd done on the 1920's one so we sent him a nice big fruit basket to thank him.)
Anyway, Dylan learned how to play his "new" old banjo and kept the 1920's banjo in his room a wall hook he has for his guitars. A few months ago, he took the banjo down and being Dylan, attempted to play with it. He noticed that he could get it almost completely tuned then took a toothpick and added it to the bridge and... lo and behold! he had a good scale and could play it. We think maybe it soaked up humidity from the air.
The only problem now was that the tuning pegs slipped so he had to tune almost constantly. He ordered new tuning pegs that, honestly, looked too big for the headstock of the banjo. We, his parents, were worried that drilling that much would weaken the headstock, destroying the banjo but Dylan insisted it would work and checked with a couple other musicians who agreed with him. Last week, Dylan and his daddy drilled out so the pegs would fit then tuned up that old banjo. It works! It has a nice sound and holds the tuning. So, cool!
Dylan has been playing it all the time and plans to play it in their upcoming gigs. Dylan is amazing with instruments...he seems to be able to figure out a way to fix most problems he comes across.