Marma Tenor Banjo

 
Marma banjos we're produced in East Germany, mine has no serial markings so can not date it accurately. The style of construction 'Zither' would suggest any time from 1930 to 1960.


 

I was lucky to find this one at a antiques dealer at Cropredy Oxfordshire,  whilst at the annual 'Fairport Confention Festival'
I paid £100.00, was fitted with missing strings and generally a risk.

 
 

 I have adapted this standard tenor banjo to Ukulele 'GCEA' tuning. It took some experimenting with string types. I started out with 'Worth' double length, though these could not take the tension of the longer tenor scale length. I then tried 'Aquila baritone GCEA' strings, these would tune up with the exception of the 'A' string. Kept breaking at the tail knot. I ended up compromising with a capo on the third fret. This also had the advantage of a normal width spacing further up the neck.


A further modification required,  was to modify the tail piece. A standard tenor banjo is designed for steel strings which hook over the tail piece. The 'Aquila baritone GCEA' strings are just short without extending the tail piece attachement point. I simply put screw pegs on the inner edge of the existing tail piece. Now this attachement way has been proved, I intend on making a new tail piece in the future.