Baughman Fretless Clawhammer Ukulele
Banjo and guitar guru Steve Baughman once asked me if I could build him an ukulele with a fretless five string banjo neck. Sure....maybe. I had always been impressed with the sensitivity of his banjo playing which is evident on his O'er Quiet Lands Suspended CD. So I was honored by the request.
This is what I came up with, quilted walnut back and sides, Douglas fir top, ebony fretboard and bridge, Peghed 4:1 tuners and black walnut neck. It can't be tuned quite like a five string banjo because the neck isn't long enough but Steve knows a lot of different tunings and can make it sing. I hadn't used Douglas fir for a top before and I was surprised by the presence and dynamics of its voice.
Here's Steve with Reuben's Noodle.
Here's another talented performer, Jesse Fichman from the band AJ Lee and BlueSummit. He's playing Cluck Old Hen for me at the Reno Ukulele Festival on a BFCU.