CURTIS CARLISLE BOUTERSE & BANJERS: FRETLESS BANJOS
1. Banjers: Fretless Banjos | 2. Banjers & Banjer music | 3. Gourd Banjers 1 | 4. Gourd Banjers 2 | 5. Gourd Banjers 3 | 6. Some Other Banjers | 7. Still More Banjers | Links | Contact Me | Banjo Query
BANJERS: GOURD BANJERS 2
Hear five of my gourd banjers, and four other banjers, played on my first CD. For information click here.

1350123.jpg

550043.jpg

As I was shaping another "singer" scroll I noticed a resemblance to George Washington. I burned his likeness into the peg head and his arms and accomplishments onto the gourd. The very first tune it played was "Yankee Doodle."

560044.jpg

470035.jpg

These two instruments were made from the same beautiful pear-shaped gourd. One has a simple scroll with notches around the edge and the other has a fleur-de-lis [sold]. They both have 5-string necks in flame maple with tailpieces in oak. The notched banjer has a pair of small pin holes in a triangular pattern in the head (carrying out the notch motif), such holes being common from the Sahel to Central Asia and almost diagnostic of skin-faced instruments.[It can be heard on Down the Road, track 3.]

480036.jpg

1230111.jpg

1050093.jpg

This gourd was very heavy so I cut only a small slice off the top. The shell was extremely thick so I decided to utilize it in a design to show through a translucent calfskin head. The resultant sound was so brilliant I pierced several decorative holes in the shell to mellow it somewhat. It is still, by far, the loudest banjer I have made.

1080096.jpg

1090097.jpg

1100098.jpg

Most modern makers utilize round gourds with only a slice off the top and though I generally prefer to cut more interesting shapes in half, I have made a few of the more common form. This is another one of those but not nearly as loud as the one to the left. The neck is beautiful spalted red maple with a slightly fan-shaped scroll.

1110099.jpg

1130101.jpg

[Click on any picture to enlarge.]

CURTIS CARLISLE BOUTERSE. PO BOX 84025. SAN DIEGO CA 92138

To go to my Personal Site, click here.

To go to my Medieval Instruments site click here.