Sold: An Epiphone MB-200

I finally sold one of mine – a banjo, that is.

It was an Epiphone MB-200 I had bought used a few years ago. At the time, I thought it was just a small step above a beginning banjo, so I had paid a small price for it. But the more I played it, the more I realized this was a very good quality mid-range banjo. It’s been my second-most favorite banjo to play (next to my Stelling Red Fox) and I usually kept it in D-tuning, much of the time just right there on the couch and ready to play. It rarely got out of tune and was a bit soft in terms of volume. Quality of sound was good, not exceptional, and the playability was excellent.

I sold it to a fellow banjo player who really needed a better quality instrument, so I’m glad for that. But I do miss it, being the first one I ever sold. No, I don’t have that many banjos, but still, it’s hard to depart with temporal things like musical instruments sometimes. I tell myself perhaps I’ll use the money to get either a tenor banjo or a cello banjo one day soon.

On a larger scale than just the missing of an instrument you have gotten used to playing, I’ve noticed that musical instruments often go through a cycle of being played, stored, sold, played, stored, rediscovered, and so forth in various combinations. Eventually, they typically become very modified and then downright beat up to the point of being discarded. So sad.

Occasionally, a really valuable instrument finds its true value in life, many perilous years after having been built. Like pre-war Gibson banjos, or even pre-1960 Harmony Stella 12-string guitars. (No, mine is a 1960s, after they started being mass produced). These are valued as they should be, but still you have to wonder what the next owner will do with it; something wise or something not-so-wise?

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About Phill Gibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Systems Engineer and part-time banjo and mandolin instructor. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play Scruggs and melodic and am working on becoming more advanced with single string. I'm also working on 4-finger banjo, which is way off the beaten path. I would like to see more jazz techniques integrated into bluegrass situations; counterpoint, especially. So long-term, that's what I'm doing. I'm also very keen on astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, christian homeschooling, martial arts, organic gardening and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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