My 1933 Gretsch Banjo

IMG_20180813_110045539.jpgMy father gave me his old banjo since he can no longer play it. This beautiful instrument is an 1933 Gretsch 5 string banjo. It has a beautiful sound to it. Been playing this everyday since it was given to me. I am learning how to play the frailing (clawhammer) style rather than the Scruggs method that my dad had mastered.

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My Washburn B9 Banjo

After my old banjo broke and couldn’t be fixed, I found a nice used Washborn banjo on Facebook. I picked it up today and brought it home. It plays well and sounds good. I had to adjust the truss rod on the neck as there was a small bow. I also picked up new strings for it and cleaned it up. I am pretty happy with it and I am eager to learn more about the instrument by building upon my skills. The body or resonator is made from mahogany. It has a nice tone to the overall sound. The fretboard is from rosewood.

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Sovereign Banjo made by Harmony

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I borrowed this picture from Reverb Guitar Sales

My first banjo was given to me by my father. He gave it to me when I was a teenager almost 25 years ago. A few weeks ago, I had to trash it after the head broke when it fell. It was the same place that I made a repair fifteen years ago. Figuring that this banjo isn’t worth much, I decided it was time to just pitch it.

The banjo served it’s purpose. I learn several songs on it, even though I wasn’t much of a finger picker. I used the chords that I learned from using the drop D tuning on the guitar and learned how to play the instrument.

The instrument was light weight, easy to play and sounded decent. I will admit, some chords sounded a bit dull or flat. But other than I never had any complaints.

I think it was made with a maple neck and rosewood inlay for the fret board. I think that the resonator was also made from maple. It had chrome metal and I want to say that the head was made from plastic?

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One last jam session before the break.

Hondo II Professional

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From an auction site, but this is exactly what I had.

I remember my first real guitar. My brother paid about $50 for it. It was a Japanese made Hondo II Professional. I took this guitar to two Maryland State FFA talent contest and won seventh place one year and third the other. The one song I wrote and would’ve got first place, but the judges didn’t like one of the lines and I was dinged.

When I formed my first band, I had this guitar. It was a great sounding guitar. The sound was rich, deep, and heavy. It was meaty! I loved this guitar, but had to thrash it several years ago, because I didn’t think it was worth fixing up. I was wrong. These guitars, what few I could find were averaging $250 to $400.

So, what about this guitar? It’s a solid body, double cut away heavy ass guitar. That is what I liked. It featured a three way toggle switch, coil tapped Matsumoku made MMK 45 humbuckers, one volume one tone pods. It was made from mahogany and featured a rosewood fret board. Although, a heavy guitar, it was easy to play due to it’s super low action. It could stand up to my rough and ragged playing ways even if it was made by Matsumoku.

If I am not mistaking, this is one of those Japanese lawsuit guitars because of the fact that it was a copy of a Paul Reed Smith guitar. Ether way, I loved everything about this guitar.  If I could find a cheap enough price for this guitar, I might consider buying it.

The Hardluck Kings Kustom Series 10 Bossman

image_04e38088-26bf-4905-a0fe-22be8714dc00_480x480I just my Hardluck King guitar. All I have to say is WOW! It’s one of the best balanced guitars that I have played in a real long time. The weight, although, heavy is very comfortable on the shoulder. I always liked the heavier guitars. Heavy guitars equal a very deep sand heavy sound. The action is low which makes it’s very easy to play. This guitar is just as good as a Gibson Les Paul.

Playing to several genres of music, this guitar sounded amazing. It sounded very good when I was playing some of Black Joe Lewis and even better when I did the rhythm section of AC/DC. It did OK when I was playing to those songs that I know a Fender was used.

The entire guitar is made from Mahogany with maple veneer.It’s satin matte black paint with chrome hardware.  It features a two volume, two tone, and a three way switch, complete with HLK Pro high output ceramic pickups located at the neck and bridge.

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Squier by Fender Precision Bass

bass4I have always played a Fender bass guitar. Growing up, I was given one by my brother. This was my first stringed instrument. I was 11 years old, I think? It wasn’t long afterward, I got my first six stringer and gave up the bass. Well, after high school, I joined in a band that needed a bass player. I went out and purchased a Fender bass. Well, the band broke up and I sold that bass to my friend.

A few years ago, after listening to Primus, I wanted to play bass again. I didn’t want to spend whole lot of money and settled for the first bass I could find. It was a Squire Precision located in a pawnshop. I paid $100 for it. After I took it home, I fell in love with the quality, balance, and feel. I couldn’t tell the difference between what I remember was the Fender vs. the Squire that I now have. The first song I learned to play on it by Primus was “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver.”

I was lucky enough to have purchased a 20th Anniversary, Squire Precision , PJ Special Standard Series Bass by Fender. This 2002 bass was made in Indonesia. It’s color is candy apple red on an Alder body with 3-ply white pick guard. It has chrome hardware. The neck is made from maple wood with a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard. Although, the heavier wood gives it a deeper sound, it’s well balanced and comfortable to play after swinging this beast around for several hours of play.

The bass has two volume and one master tone pods. It has both the Precision standard split single coil pick up and the single Jazz pickup. The split single coil has a very meaty tone, while the single pickup has a nice full bodied and crisp sound.