Upgrading banjo frets
I want to tell you that I ran across an old Alferd Packer Memorial
String Band LP featuring a very young Steve Mason. Its a fun
record and I've really enjoyed listening to it-particularly "Whispering",
which Ive had fun learning to play on my banjarine.
I seem to wear out the second fret on my banjos from bending the
center G string. This fret on my newer Golden Era is getting pretty
bad. So, I have a few questions:
Is there a tougher/higher grade fret material to be found? Is
replacing one fret feasible?
for liking "Whispering" we should jam on it next time
I see you. It has been in and out of the Packer show since the early
80's and, ironically, we just revived it at our last practice. We
always ended it with excessive noisemakers. One time Jim Brothers
was picking up his black powder revolver to raise it over his head
to fire it. The gun not only went off while it was still on the
chair but it flamed over, firing all cylinders at once. It was an
old dinning room chair with a ripped fiber seat exposing the straw
filler. It burst into flames. Jim was beating the fire with one
hand and honking horns and ringing cowbells with the other. It was
a rare tender moment that we shall never forget.
If the fingerboard is warped, all the frets must come out so we
can plane it straight. But, replacing only the worn frets (your
favorites) is a very common repair. On guitars we often replace
the first four. Electric guitars often need only the fifth, sixth
and seventh frets replaced. But, however few or many we replace,
we have to do an action set to get the new frets perfectly
in line with the old frets.
We just got in some stainless steel fret wire. This is harder
than nickel silver. It is not a color match but it might be a conversation
starter to have one stainless steel fret.