The first of the trap door banjos
1921 Gibson GB-4

© Frank Ford, 2001; Photos by FF

Now, here's a fine "big boy" guitar banjo. It's the six string guitar version of Gibson's first banjo style. Typical Gibson innovation al over this instrument. The tone modulating back plate, the adjustable coordinator rod (this time paired against a tradtional square dowel stick) the tapered headstock for string clearance, the elevated fingerrest -- theyare all Gibson firsts. And, look at that sleek tube which replaces the two dozen individual "shoes" to hold the tension of the hooks and nuts. Simplicity, and elegance, too!

What you can't see is that the shell itself is actually hollow, making this an extroardinarily light weight instrument despite its 14" head diameter. Later, the hollow shell would be followed by a heavier laminated one coupled with a 1/2" diameter tubular tone ring, for improved durability and tone.

Please click the small images

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