People ask why we have a non standard inlay pattern on this banjo. It was once the standard pattern and fairly common to just have the inlays grouped right in the middle and out on the ends of the fingerboard. Some of the old banjos like the Farland, and some of those old banjos made before 1900 had this, so John asked us to do that. John was a licensed river boat captain and wanted us to put some sort of a riverboat theme into his banjo. And again, we were kind of stumped a little bit, not wanting to just put inlays of riverboats in the fingerboard. Then we had a really neat opportunity because when Chuck, our head craftsman and artist who has been with us over 30 years now, was growing up and learning to play music his main banjo hero was John Hartford. Chuck grew up in Minnesota and when John Hartford would come to town to play he would never miss a concert and he thought John Hartford was the coolest musician. The idea that he would someday be making a banjo for John Hartford was beyond his wildest dreams so I gave the job of designing the inlays to Chuck.
Chuck started studying riverboats and reading a lot. He went to the library and found all the books he could about riverboats. He discovered that there is a whole classic architecture of riverboats that's significantly different than the architecture that goes into houses. People think that the gingerbread on a riverboat is the same as on the house but it is actually distinctly and identifiably different. The ratio of the length to width and the style of the scrolls that go into the riverboat architecture are different than what is on a gingerbread house, a Victorian period house. So Chuck took the riverboat architecture and used that classic form to develop inlays for the Hartford banjo. It ended up having a very riverboat type of flavor because it uses that architecture and that art form without having to have pictures of riverboats on it. We accomplished a really classic design for John and Chuck was able to have a wonderful time working with John on the inlay.
When John Hartford passed away we changed the nameplate on the fingerboard from mother of pearl to abalone in the fingerboard. So if you find a Hartford with a white mother of pearl name plate it was built before he passed away. If it has abalone it was made after his passing.
Ross Nickerson, Owner of BanjoTeacher.com
at Nashville Namm Show (2016) with the John Hartford
BanjoTeacher.com is an authorized dealer for all Deering Banjo Models and at the best prices. Call or email us anytime for a price quote or price match. Toll free - 1-866-322-6567
Banjoteacher.com offers complete professional banjo set-up FREE. We can also add custom options like 5th string capo spikes, bridge upgrades, zero glide nut, have left handed models and other set up requests.
Comes with an official Deering Hard Case
Free with this Banjo
All 5-string Deering Bluegrass Banjos include the FREE items listed in the right column. This banjo includes 5 Ross Nickerson DVDs, an electronic banjo tuner, unlimited access to Ross's All Online Lesson's with no expiration, the official Deering Hard Shell Banjo Case, Free Pro Set-up and Free US Shipping. You can make substitutions for free items or receive credit for any free items offered.
Call or email us anytime with questions or for our special prices. You can also make adjustments to the free items that come with each Deering Professional, Eagle, Golden Series, Artist Signature, Tenbrooks, Private Collection Series or Custom Banjos. 1-866-322-6567 email us
To Add options below, select the option, and click "Add to Cart" again
|Free hard case
Your banjo comes with a free hard shell banjo case. $199 retail
Free / 5 Ross Nickerson DVDs
|Immediate Access to Ross Nickerson's All Online Banjo Lessons Package Instant digital access to an incredible amount of Banjo instructional Books and DVDs online. $89 value.|
|Separate 1-year free membership to BanjoTeacher.com Free access to BanjoTeacher.com members only site. Receive 25% off all instructional materials along with discounts on other special sale items. Over 100 free videos, 50 lesson and song videos with matching tab, 100 plus free tab files, "Ask the Banjo Teacher" column, articles and other banjo lessons.
one year subscription is a 24.95 value
|Free Banjo Tuner
We include a free electronic banjo tuner. You can never have too many of these handy. This free clip on banjo tuner works great for fast and noise free banjo tuning.
Best Price Guarantee