1920s Banjojele

Just walked out of 5th String in Oakland with a 90+ year old instrument – a 1920s banjolele, with a wonderful nasally jazz sound. Thinking of the rooms it has played, the vibrations that have moved through this wood! Built like a tank, too. Maker unknown – lost to history. My first antique instrument.



A couple people asked for sound samples, so here you go – the first compares the banjolele to a modern Kamaka soprano, the other is just a few Velvet Underground riffs.

4 Replies to “1920s Banjojele”

  1. the banjolele outclasses the pineapple, imho. way more character.

    one nice thing about resonator (dobro-style) ukes and banjoleles is that without amplification they have at least a chance of holding up to much louder acoustic guitars in a jam situation.

  2. xian, I sprung for it in part because I couldn’t believe how cheap it was – $150!

    Yeah, the native amplification is pretty astounding. It won’t become my main play, that’s for sure (doesn’t feel very precise or consistent) but will be great for street parties, etc.

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