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Banjola

 

See which artists are playing this: Bill Keith, Jeff Mosier, Pat Cloud

With a standard 5-string banjo neck and the body of a mandolin (or mandola), the Banjola is a beautiful instrument with exquisite tone and sustain that you won't find in a standard 5-string banjo.

SpecificationsTestimonies
Playing 5-string banjo, I often wished there was an instrument with an acoustic guitar tone that could be played like a banjo. In August of 2001, I was considering having a custom guitar made with a 5-string banjo neck. This all changed when I ran across the Gold Tone Instrument web site. As I noticed the innovative instruments Gold Tone was making, the new Gold Tone Banjola seemed to say to me, "Your search is over!" As I studied the instrument, I loved everything about it except, I noticed the peg head would probably not accommodate the D-tuners I use.

At this point I decided to call Gold Tone with the hopes of possibly having a custom banjola made with the Orange Blossom banjo neck. This would solve my tuner problem. I spoke with Wayne Rogers about making this custom banjola and was delighted when he agreed. He said Gold Tone could call it the Deluxe model.

It is now January 2002 and I have just taken possession of the first Gold Tone Banjola Deluxe. The wait was worth every minute! The tone and quality has exceeded my expectations. The banjola will make a great addition to the sound of our band. Another benefit is the light weight of the instrument. This will be a welcome relief after playing banjo for hours at jams and festivals.

Thanks Wayne and Robyn for a fantastic and unique instrument!
- Buddy Clifton
Pearblossom, CA
I received the banjola just a few days after your January 29 message. I want you to know that I am totally pleased with this beautiful instrument. It is truly a pleasure to behold, play and listen to. Receiving the banjola ends a long search for that certain tone. I remember back when I was about twelve years old. At that time I thought it would be nice to have an instrument that plays like a five string banjo, but would have a gentler and more soothing tone than the banjo. I am now 45 years old. The Gold Tone banjola is the perfect answer to my dream. It's tone is so gentle, beautiful and soothing that I can play for any length of time around others without irritating them. My wife is a big fan of Gold Tone for these reasons as well.



I find the quality of materials and workmanship on the instrument to be superb. Thank you for envisioning and producing the banjola. You are running great company. Keep up the good work.
- Jeff Carney
I have had this beautiful instrument for a week now and it is so versatile.
Classical, three finger picking and Celtic tunes all sound great. Doing
slides is like slipping one's finger across a stick of butter and the
sustained notes make a lovely harplike sound that is easy on the ears. What
more can I say? As a beginner/intermediate player I have a long way to go
before I have fully explored the capabilities of this instrument. It is a
great motivator!

Thanks,
- Linda Emerson

Here are the top ten things I like about my banjola, in no particular order:

  1. Unusual shape attracts attention (what all banjo players want)
  2. Sounds great, especially for classical stuff, christmas carols, folky stuff, etc.
  3. Quieter tone lets me practice while kids do homework and husband watches TV
  4. Softer tone makes it easier to sing along while playing, although friends may actually prefer it when my voice is masked by loud bluegrass instruments.
  5. Not cheap, but not a ton of money.
  6. Not a ton of weight. I can play longer each session since shoulder aches aren't a factor.
  7. Quality neck finish makes it easy to do slides, pull-offs, and chokes, even for my little hands.
  8. Longer sustain gives a whole different feel to the songs I play on my standard resonator banjo, so it makes it seem like I know twice as many songs.
  9. Extremely light weight makes it easy to just grab the thing and play.
  10. Banjola will never replace my cherished in-your-face resonator banjo, but it's perfect when I'm jamming with my guitar-playing 8-year-old, since he doesn't have to struggle to be heard above my playing.
Thanks for the great instrument. It's just what I was looking for.

 

- Shelley Cryan
Wayne,

I’ve played my Gold Tone banjola practically every day since I’ve had it, and I’m really enjoying it.

For many years I’ve used muted banjo on some tunes; not so much to reduce the volume, but to provide a different sound, more appropriate on certain tunes. This is more than a practice device or a novelty for me, it’s a regular part of my repertoire.

But the muted banjo and the banjola are not redundant; the banjola has a voice of its own. The more I play it, the more I find myself phrasing things a little differently to feature its sweet tone and sustain. I expect that it will eventually lead me into some entirely new material.

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