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  1. #1

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    I realize Trad Jazz is sort of outside the norm for most of the topics here, but today, I attended the Sacramento Trad Jazz Society monthly meeting and jam sessions and had a blast. A great group of people! The problem: my Loar 600 would have been overwhelmed by all the horns, so I played plectrum banjo instead. However, I'm relatively new to banjo, and couldn't sight read all the charts fast enough to be in the groups that I would have liked to sit in with. It would have been simple if were playing guitar, but just not loud enough.
    I then thought about the Gretsch Honey Dipper.......Would it cut through? Anyone tried? I don't want to spend $500 to find out it doesn't.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Let me define Trad Jazz as I heard it today: 2 trumpets, 1 clarinet, 1 trombone, sax, drummer mostly using sticks, tuba for bass, and the early pre-1930 arrangements. ---The piano was even a bit quiet for solos.

    My previous band played early and mid 30s music, and my guitars were just fine. This was way more raucous than anything I've been in so far.
    Last edited by 10course; 09-13-2015 at 10:45 PM.

  4. #3

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    Check for videos with John Reynolds on youtube.


  5. #4

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    I think you will find that resonator guitars, like traditional acoustic archtops, project nicely, with much greater volume than you experience in playing position. They also provide something which banjos lack: sustain. You might have to alter your right hand technique to compensate for these factors, and occasionally massage your cheeks to relieve the cramping that the inevitable big ol' grin may cause, 'cause resonators are major fun!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Lang
    Check for videos with John Reynolds on youtube.

    Yeah!! I can see a resonator in my future! My tenor banjo practicing doesn't seem to go anywhere, and I'm not even in love with the sound of it. Resonator sounds great, on the other hand, and I wouldn't have to struggle with learning chords...

    Which type of resonator is the loudest, btw?

  7. #6
    I'd be curious to know that as well. As for new ones, the metal Gretsch seemed louder that the Fenders, wood Gretsches, and Epiphones.
    My banjo sounds good as far as plectrum banjos go, I think I'm just not partial to banjos. It feels like a tool rather than an instrument--the tool that I use to play Trad/Dixieland when I want to reproduce a particular sound. Doesn't inspire me to practice......

    My wife and daughter never tell me to close the door to the music room when playing guitar, but the banjo......all I hear are doors slamming and complaining.
    Last edited by 10course; 09-14-2015 at 03:10 AM.

  8. #7

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    My wife and daughter never tell me to close the door to the music room when playing guitar, but the banjo......all I hear are doors slamming and complaining.

    That is the dream, a music room! My gf (soon to be more
    ) says that once we move to a house, I can get a music room (we live in an NYC apartment). She even said I could get an upright bass! We all gotta look forward to something

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10course

    My wife and daughter never tell me to close the door to the music room when playing guitar, but the banjo......all I hear are doors slamming and complaining.
    Damn, my gf actually escapes to 'her' room(it's really bedroom) when I start playing banjo. She hates it! hahaha, wow, I thought it's just me! I don't have any music room, so I started practicing in the kitchen. The problem is, the kitchen doesn't have a door.

  10. #9

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    I've been using a Gitane D500 for an all acoustic Trad gig for a few years now, it is a cannon, very loud. I would recommend checking one out if possible.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddy b.
    I've been using a Gitane D500 for an all acoustic Trad gig for a few years now, it is a cannon, very loud. I would recommend checking one out if possible.
    I have one too. It is loud, but not that loud in my book. I met a guy at a jam recently who played an old parlor guitar that was louder then Gitane. I dunno, I just never bonded with it, I guess. It's very uncomfortable to play for me for some reason. All the Gypsy jazz guys plug their guitars in anyway for the gigs, and mine has a build in mic too. Still, when play a Gypsy jazz gig I bring my Guild archtop, works much better for me.

  12. #11

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    I've been searching for a good parlor guitar. I'd sell my classical to get one. The best I've seen for the price was a Bedell parlor. Perfect size, and the tone was really yummy!

  13. #12

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    Oscar Aleman was known to have used a resonator guitar. I've seen several photos of him with what looks to be a National Tri-Cone. He also used a thumbpick.

  14. #13

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    Did Oscar still play his flavor of gypsy jazz on the resonator, or did he use it for another style? Just curious.

  15. #14
    Well, I'm willing to give a $2500-$3500 National Tri-Cone (and other vintage brands) a play to see what the fuss is about, but I am a vintage sceptic. After my quest for the "best" archtop, I've developed a different perspective of what vintage means. I'm going to a bluegrass oriented music store this evening that has many resonators. I'll let you know what I learn.

  16. #15

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    A bluegrass music store will probably have mostly, if not all, square neck resonator guitars with spider bridge resonators. These are usually found in Dobros. The traditional National had a biscuit cone or Tri-Cone with a totally different sound than the spiders. Try them all before you buy.

    Resonators Explained, by Paul Kucharski

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87
    Did Oscar still play his flavor of gypsy jazz on the resonator, or did he use it for another style? Just curious.
    Irez87,
    I've seen pics of Aleman playing resonators, Grande Bouche Selmer/Maccaferris and classic guitars. I imagine that he played whatever he wanted with whatever guitar he had at hand. He did play both single string and fingerstyle.

  18. #17

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    I've seen pictures of Lonnie Johnson with resonator guitars, and his playing was none too shabby!

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Slide
    A bluegrass music store will probably have mostly, if not all, square neck resonator guitars with spider bridge resonators. These are usually found in Dobros. The traditional National had a biscuit cone or Tri-Cone with a totally different sound than the spiders. Try them all before you buy.

    Resonators Explained, by Paul Kucharski
    You were spot on! I'll keep looking.

  20. #19

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    For some, the answer to your problem would be 6 string guitar tuned banjo, or "ganjo".


  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    For some, the answer to your problem would be 6 string guitar tuned banjo, or "ganjo".

    Ganjo? Yet for some it's ganja that solves all the problems!

  22. #21

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    Check out Republic Guitars website . They have some real nice resonators and parlor guitars . I bought a tri-cone a few years ago from them . Nice prices and good people .

  23. #22
    Is tri-cone the loudest? Republic is priced very competitively. --Im considering them.

  24. #23

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    What's the story on Republic? Are they actually making them or sourcing them cheap?

  25. #24

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    What's the story on Republic? Are they actually making them or sourcing them cheap?
    I am pretty sure Republic guitars are made in China.

    Is tri-cone the loudest? Republic is priced very competitively. --Im considering them.


    Last edited by Slide; 09-16-2015 at 05:35 PM.

  26. #25
    Well then, brash is OK by me for what I'm doing. ----It can't be more jarring or distracting than a plectrum banjo with a high tensioned Mylar clear skin comping to Ain't Misbehavin.

  27. #26

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    Slide is right . Single cone is loud , sort of like a banjo sound . Tri-cone has great sustain . And they are made in China .

  28. #27
    .....I can't take one more resonator guitar youtube video. The sound of people playing painfully slow and depressing.... Very few people strum them to make it possible to evaluate anything I would actually do with that type of guitar. Looks like the Republic Delta Rocket, The Gold-Tone Paul Beard, and Gretsch Honey Dipper are the contenders. Now, to find them to play here in NorCal.
    Last edited by 10course; 09-17-2015 at 12:35 AM.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10course
    .....I can't take one more resonator guitar youtube video. The sound of people playing painfully slow and depressing.... Very few people strum them to make it possible to evaluate anything I would actually do with that type of guitar. Looks like the Republic Delta Rocket, The Gold-Tone Paul Beard, and Gretsch Honey Dipper are the contenders. Now, to find them to play here in NorCal.

    NOT painful or depressing:









    Here, well, the reso is a squareneck, but it's just too much fun not to share.


  30. #29

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    BTW, Jonathan Stout is playing a tricone in the three videos.

  31. #30
    @Eddie Lang: ok, I really liked those! Especially Johnathan playing "All of Me". I do that song often. The tri-cone sound appeals to me, but the consensus (Slide was the first, but many agree) is that the single cone biscuit is the loudest.

    --I guess I had better qualify my previous remark about the resonator videos: if ever there was an instrument capable of capturing the human emotion of sadness and despair, there is no better instrument than the resonator guitar played in the Delta Blues style!
    Now, I just have to find some to test drive. If not, I will be making a blind internet purchase.---Which proved to be an expensive cost of tuition when buying/ learning about tenor and plectrum banjos.

  32. #31

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    10 course, when I first heard you wanting to explore the resonator in styles other than blues and bluegrass, I thought of this video:




    Got to the 35:00 mark to hear other styles

    and this:



    (not a steel guitar, but a taste of how to deal with that metalic sound)

    I think, from my limited experience of the instrument, that you would have to rethink your touch completely (how you pluck the guitar) as it seemed to respond completely different than a wooden guitar. But it can be done. Hope that helps, I dunno what brand these guitars are. Good look on your search
    Last edited by Irez87; 09-17-2015 at 06:12 AM.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10course
    @Eddie Lang: ok, I really liked those! Especially Johnathan playing "All of Me". I do that song often. The tri-cone sound appeals to me, but the consensus (Slide was the first, but many agree) is that the single cone biscuit is the loudest.

    --I guess I had better qualify my previous remark about the resonator videos: if ever there was an instrument capable of capturing the human emotion of sadness and despair, there is no better instrument than the resonator guitar played in the Delta Blues style!
    Now, I just have to find some to test drive. If not, I will be making a blind internet purchase.---Which proved to be an expensive cost of tuition when buying/ learning about tenor and plectrum banjos.

    No affiliation with the guitar or the seller, I just saw this in the FS section of the AGF.

    http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=400924

    (edit to fix the link)
    Last edited by Eddie Lang; 09-17-2015 at 05:28 PM.

  34. #33

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    Not sure how close to Palo Alto you are, but Gryphon Stringed Instruments usually has a good collection of resonators (mostly new National Resophonic with some vintage Nationals mixed in) in stock to try.

  35. #34

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    +1 Gryphon.

    If you are in California, I found this store yesterday.

    National Guitars, Resonator guitars, Accessories, and more from Vintage Nationals!

  36. #35
    I'm going to Santa Cruz tomorrow and will stop by Gryphon. Thanks!

  37. #36

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    There is some very nice resonator guitar on this trad jazz album...
    Gentilly Stompers | Thanks a Million! | CD Baby Music Store
    On some cuts the guitar sounds like it could be either a resonator or a Selmer-style.

    I saw Gentilly Stompers in NOLA last month. Such fun, great sound! The guitar on that date was Albanie Falletta on her L-50.

    (Oscar Aleman sure did the gypsy thing very nicely on a resonator.)