Hard work and a little elbow grease

Sundlof Engineering

To contact us:



E-mail: patricksundlof@gmail.com

Banjo Sarode Acoustic Electric

             The American banjo has many similarities in tone and timbre to the sitar and Sarod of India. With this project I wanted to combine the fret plate of the Sarod because it gives the instrument great glissandos, more mass and a very ascetically pleasing look to the instrument. This fret plate was located from the kick plate of an old door found in the dumpster. I traced the design for the neck and cut it out from the larger sheet to fit it to the fret board of the instrument. After applying this design to my instrument I can see that it gives a very precise sound for something that is fretless when playing it with the fingernail the real note is easier to hear. This technique allows the player to slide up and down the string much more accurately almost like the way a sitar can bend to the higher notes in the scale. Having this feature allows the melodies of the specific song be in a way more flowing and beautiful by having a very slight definition of pitch. Not having frets allows more of the gamut of pitches to be explored in-between the intervals of the scale. Having this feature really lets the musician discover his or her own way of playing on this instrument.

             The added resonating bowl on the end of the headstock of the instrument is mainly for acoustic purpose. In Sarods and Sitars there is a tumba which is a resonating bowl which allows the musician to have their music amplified back to them. This will create a stereo sound for the player by having the base gourd resonate out to his right ear and the head stock tumba resonate back to his left ear. I wanted to add on a resonating bowl on the head stock of my instrument to create this acoustic stereo sound. This design Technique really allows the player and listener to have a very good quality of sound, one that is flowing through the room and interacting with many different features of the instrument. This incorporation of the resonating bowl gives the instrument more mass and changes that overall sound of the instrument for the better.

             The bridge is resting on the drumhead of the instrument is made of wood and has a part that lightly touches the string near the end of the saddle. This gives a very high and twangy sound to the instrument by incorporating more high-end output from the strings. This really where the sitar gets its distinct sound from this technique of the stone or ivory lightly touches the strings. Having this part resting on the drumhead allows for more of the sound to be drenched in high end and it gives off a great flowing pulsing sound.

The Barode with f holes for the banjo drum to ring out of and dear antler bridge.