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.

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Here's Steve with Reuben's Noodle.

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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.

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