Open Back Banjos

I build open back banjos from across the instrument spectrum- including 5 string, tenor and banjo ukulele. They are built to your exacting requirements of tone and aesthetics, and I am very happy to provide guidance in designing your perfect instrument.

 

Built using personally selected, high quality native and imported hardwood species, responsibly sourced in line with CITES restrictions. Features include a hand turned block rim, laminated neck construction and high quality hardware throughout.

There are numerous ways to customise your instruments with inlays, overlays, engraving, carving e.t.c. Here are some examples of previous builds. Click for more details.

Tackhead and Gourd Banjos

My Tackheads are strongly inspired by banjos of the 19th Century. I incorporate some contemporary features to create an instrument that is a joy to play. These are strung with 'Nylgut' strings and have a calf or goat skin head; giving them a beautifully mellow tone perfect for the 'Old-Time' clawhammer genre. Base model features include a hand-turned block rim, carbon-fibre reinforced neck, calf/ goat skin head, and high quality ukulele style friction tuning pegs. Optional additions include an internal tension mechanism which allows tightening of the skin; to restore tension in humid conditions, or creatie a more 'punchy' tone.

Gourd banjos are of African origin, and early ancestors of the modern instrument. I draw upon features of these incredible instruments, and add some design features of my own, to produce authentic sounding gourd banjos with a contemporary feel. Truly unique pieces that are a joy to play.

Available in both fretted and fretless models, typical features include a carbon-fibre reinforced neck, reinforced gourd high quality ukulele style friction tuning pegs, and calf or goat skin head. For full details please see the 'Pricing' page.

Gourd Fiddles

An entirely unique aesthetic and a hauntingly beautiful sound; my gourd fiddles are carefully crafted to feel familiar to players of the modern instrument.

I am currently the only UK maker of these unique instruments. Built to a similar specification as the gourd banjos; features include a beautifully carved hardwood neck, reinforced 'bottle' gourd, 'arch top' calf skin head, traditional style ebony tuning pegs and high quality strings. These instruments are available in any size, as the gourd is specially selected to accommodate the scale length.