Barnes and Mullins BandM open back 5 string Banjo

My plain Banjo

BandM clawhammer banjo
Bass side
Barnes and mullins open back banjo pole
Barnes&mullins 5 string bluegrass banjo
Treble side
It has steel strings and is tuned D~G~B~D with the drone string being G but an octave higher



Barnes & Mullins BJ18

There is, on Ukulele Island, a lot of pawn shops not far from Ukulele Corner and I have taken to walking past them whilst out on my daily walk; and sometimes going in to look at what nice chordophones have been abandoned there. Possibly I shouldn't, after all it's mostly Guitars and I can't play Guitar (though the Gibson Les Paul in one of them is very nice and I'm tempted - but at £1200, not that tempted) Now I can't play the Banjo either but one of them had a very nice, clean Barnes & Mullins open back Banjo at a very reasonable price and I thought it would be a welcome addition to Ukulele Corner. I said to myself "if I win the lottery tonight I will invite it to the corner" Well I also thought "if I win big I'll invite the Les Paul too." Well I didn't win big but I did win; £2.60. Obfuscation I know but a promise is a promise so I have invited the Banjo to Ukulele Corner...

And now it's here I have to work out how to play it - I like the sound of the Banjo and I know playing one has a lot to do with finger picking, (which I am crap at), but I think there is more to it than that? Anyway...

What I have invited is a Barnes and Mullins open backed Banjo. One that is quite plain and looks very businesslike which was one of the things that struck me about it. When I looked at the B&M catalogue the only open back banjo I could see was the "Albert" and this was much "flashier" than this one with florid fret markers and a much fancier headstock. Mine looks like the same basic body, size of drum, size of neck and everything; even the headstock shape is the same but I don't know if it is an "Albert" or another model. I can see it is fairly new but I don't know exactly how old, if it is a discontinued model not that it really matters I think it looks and feels really nice and it gives me the opportunity to try and learn to play Banjo and to start a Banjo collection too! Especially as it came with a good padded soft case and some finger (and thumb) picks.