Intro: $25 Drugstore "Student Guitar" Becomes STEALTH BANJO
Make a little guitar into something useful, like a Banjo!
Everyone plays banjo! Humans are born with it!
Just strum the open strings of a banjo. That's a G chord. All the other major chords are one finger straight across. Now you know 300 songs!
"Banjo" is the sound the banjo makes. Your thumb hits that funny high string and it's magically never a wrong note. When you're saying the word banjo, that's a banjo song!
Any dog that wags a tail can play banjo too. Just put the banjo and the wagging tail together, and you've got a fine sound.
Contrast that with learning guitar. Wrong. Notes. Enough Said.
Whereas guitars are omnipresent and cheap (this one was $25 regular price at the drugstore) Banjos are less common and more expensive. We must strive to correct this.
It'll be a stealth banjo. Look like guitar, play like banjo.
Need established. Materials - one impulse bought little guitar. Time: 5 minutes.
Step 1: One Finger Chords
In case you're still hesitating, look at these chord charts from bluegrassbanjo.org
All the major chords can be played with just one finger!
If that's too hard for you, just pick two of the notes from any chord and play those.
That's right, any two notes is a chord!
Now get started by peeling off that pick guard. You'll need that area for writing affirmations.
Encourage your friends to write and draw on your instrument also.
That's what's known as "stakeholder buy-in".
After that they'll like the sound better and maybe even pick it up themselves.
Step 2: Grab a Tuning Peg and Start Swinging
Grab ahold of a tuning peg and start swinging the guitar around like a Jack Russel terrier with numchuks.
If it flies across the room and hits the wall, that's fine, these El Kabongers are made for that kind of music school. Notice the sound it made, which is the combination of all possible sounds mixed together. Sort of like that super paint you once made by mixing all your paints together at once.
Step 3: Coming Unstrung
Yank those two strings out.
Toss that thick E string across the room like it was a G string.
Install the thin one on the thumb side where the thick one used to be. Repeat the knob-swinging operation in the reverse direction to tighten the string.
Tune it so the four low strings sound like a bugle call.
Fret the thickest (4th) string at the 5th fret. Tune the next thickest (3rd) string open to match the sound.
Fret the thickest (4th) string at the 9th fret. Tune the 2nd string open to match the sound.
Fret the thickest (4th) string at the 12th fret. Tune the next 1st string open to match the sound.
The 1st string looks lonely with an empty neck next to it where you pulled the skinny string from to move to the thumb side. Fret that 1st string at the 5th fret.
Tune the skinny (5th) thumb string you just moved to match that.
That's how Pythagoras and his angels intended instruments to be tuned. With strings that represent integer multiples of something.
A STEALTH BANJO HAS BEEN BORN!
Play it like a banjo! If you don't know how, just pretend, it's the same thing!
Step 4: Some Guy Playing the Thing
Plays like Banjo!
Doesn't Suck Much!
If you're the one playing it that is! So now go do it yourself!