Roger Skipper of Garrett County, Maryland did not make many instruments in a year. He focused on guitars and mandolins. He even built a few bluegrass banjos and very few old-time banjos.
The instruments that he did turn out are perfection defined. Fit, finish, durability, and playability just can’t be beaten and this one epitomizes all of those attributes.
For your consideration is a Skipper Custom Instruments “Organic Banjo” Serial Number #14 158 and it truly is one of a kind, the dream of a master luthier.
I’ve enjoyed this one a great deal, I’m listing it as near mint although it really is in fine shape. It’s one of those banjos that makes you say, “wow” when you pull it out of the case. Hard shell case included.
No metal in this one, everything is organic including a grain alcohol finish. The result is earthy, plucky, and well, organic. It responds best to a light touch but can also get loud.
Very unique specs—ebony hooks and tensioning system, black locus tension hoop and flesh hoop, bone frets (you read that correctly), and ebony tailpiece. 1 and 3/8 nut and 25.5 scale.
Complete spec available upon request.
It weighs only 32 ounces and it sounds like the mountains, like you just dug it out of the ground.
I can’t say enough good about this banjo. Here is a video of her in action.
I have it tuned to regular “G” tuning but if you tune it down into the lower registries like “D” or “C” it really roars just like all banjos with a hide head and nylgut strings—a superb combination!
A truly heirloom piece from a well respected and now retired master luthier.
Trades possible for a fretless. Let me know what you’ve got.