Grandson's NGD...

Duo Slinger

Country Gent
Sep 11, 2020
1,136
California, USA
The Banjo is cool, and it appears that it may find it's way moving back into the awareness of the youth, since many of the kids today play the Ukulele. When my son was giving guitar, piano and ukulele lessons, some of the kids found out he was playing the Banjo in a musical and saw him play the Banjo on Neil Young's "old Man" at a local fund raiser. Several of his students asked him to bring one in. He used the same tuning as the ukulele. He had five students that wanted to learn the Banjo. You can also use Chicago tuning (DGBE) so that transition between guitar and Banjo is not so difficult.
Sometimes being different can be cool. It always surprised him how many times people were shocked that a 14 year old kid knew how to play a Banjo. This gave him a lot of attention and opportunities to play with some of the local bands, he said it changed him being a nameless/faceless nerd to being cool.

BTW my Grandmother taught me how to play the Banjo.
Even though she was a concert pianist with the Symphony. She said that her real income was playing the Banjo in dance halls, and that kept her 7 children fed.

Since the Banjo was the rock and roll instrument of the 1920's through the 1940's many of his patients prefer to hear the Banjo.
You are the first man I have ever heard to utter the words "the banjo is cool". I guess I'll be the dude who played the banjo before it was cool.
But the hope you've given me is quite powerful. Thank you.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,396
Where the action is!
Proud Grandpa must share.... My grandson has moved up from his original Squire mini strat to a new G2655 Center block Jr with P90's in brownstone.
View attachment 173856

Good for both of you
From one cool grandpa to another
My grandson had ngd at Christmas View attachment 173858
Looks like 1990 all over again. I was the kid with the Gretsch, and all my friends had Jacksons and Ibanezes. Except a kid playing a Gretsch probably isn't as weird today as it was in 1990, and it's entirely possible that the Jackson might actually be the more "retro" of the two.
 

mrfixitmi

Country Gent
Mar 20, 2010
1,863
Michigan
Looks like 1990 all over again. I was the kid with the Gretsch, and all my friends had Jacksons and Ibanezes. Except a kid playing a Gretsch probably isn't as weird today as it was in 1990, and it's entirely possible that the Jackson might actually be the more "retro" of the two.

I completely agree with you, when I was in school, everyone had strats, telecasters, and Les Pauls, I was the poor kid that played a $5 Garage sale 6120, the action was so high that you could have drove a Buick between the fret board and the strings. After working on it, I played it a lot, and even used it in the Motown Studio A. I think that I was accepted because I could site read, and played a Gretsch. It had that sound that they were looking for. I did not have big parts, for for those "fill ins" or split chords, it was excellent. Besides, many in Motown, Gretsch was mainstream and a familiar site for drums and guitar.

My son had the same experience in School, at one of the Big Box stores where we were looking for a hard shell case, for his G5120-T. One of the employees told him to get a real guitar and told him that Gretsch sucks. He looked really shattered, and I told him that you need good fundamentals to play a hollow body Gretsch, since he migrated from acoustic, it was a perfect match. Maybe the employee couldn't play a Gretsch, but you can play it, and you will find that is a good thing. The difference was the Gretsch Sound gave him that sound they needed for Jazz Band. There was only one other student that was familiar with Gretsch, everyone just called him the weird kid with the weird guitar. That was until, he was getting the lead guitar parts. By the time he graduated, there were seven Gretsch guitars in the Band.
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,396
Where the action is!
The other thing about being a Gretsch player in the age of pointy guitars is that other guitar players I knew thought my '65 Gent's neck was absurdly thick. Now, if you've ever played a 1960s Gretsch, you'll know that the necks are a very moderately sized C shape, not clubby at all. But in 1990, everybody I knew had a guitar with a paper thin neck. Tastes have certainly changed in that regard. Even by the late 1990s, I think people were rediscovering the virtues of thicker necks. I generally bought into the derision of baseball bat necks myself. Until I picked up a Custom Shop Nocaster in 1998 and discovered that I had no problem whatsoever with them.
 

JC higgy

Gretschified
Jun 6, 2008
11,762
Belfast Norn Iron
My son had the same experience in School, at one of the Big Box stores where we were looking for a hard shell case, for his G5120-T. One of the employees told him to get a real guitar and told him that Gretsch sucks. He looked really shattered, and I told him that you need good fundamentals to play a hollow body Gretsch, since he migrated from acoustic, it was a perfect match. .

That employee was an idiot! :rolleyes:
 


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