Search Results for 'nylgut'

Nylguts + light bridge = great pop!

When I first put nylon strings on my Stewart, I kept using my usual Grover bridge with the ebony inset. I liked the strings but they seemed quiet.

Then the banjo’s neck needed a repair, which lowered the action, so I wanted a taller bridge. Luckily I found this page, where Joel Hooks describes the type of bridges that work best with nylon strings.

I ended up getting a tall maple “minstrel style” bridge by Bill Morris. It has no ebony inset.

minstrel bridgeNow the Nyguts have a surprising amount of volume and “pop”—more than the steel strings ever had. After hearing the minstrel bridge, a banjo buddy made a similar light bridge for his Nylgutted banjo and also got the boost in volume.

So if you try nylon strings, you might try a lighter bridge, too!

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See how Aquila owners make gut strings

Here’s a video visit to the small Italian workshop where the Aquila folks (of Nylgut fame) show you how they make gut strings. At the end you’ll see a garage full of Nylgut.

The video is part of the Ukulele Safari, in which uke players Bosko and Honey film ukulele players around the world. I want to be Bosko & Honey.

Experimenting with rhythm, Arabic style

Here’s another installment in my ongoing quest to explore the lands beyond bum-ditty. I play an old-time tune on top of a sort of funky Arabic pattern to show how playing over a different rhythm can warp you. My playing is messy but you’ll get the idea.

This video is also the debut of my overhauled Stewart. It now has a sturdily re-glued neck, Elite amber head, tall minstrel style bridge by Bill Morris, and Nylgut strings. I’m getting a lot more pop out of the banjo than I did with the thick Fiberskyn head and heavier bridge, and the Nylguts invite me to mess around with rhythm more than the steel strings did.

And here’s a happy “Thank you!” to Joel Lensch of the Fatted Calf String Band for helping me reglue the neck and to Bill Banker of Bloomington’s Monday Night Music for giving me my first set of Nylgut strings and telling me about the Elite amber head. I love my new-old banjo.


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