It's Autumn Building Season... and what better time than now to cut into a dried gourd to make a musical instrument!
The gourd banjo dates back to Africa and was one of the first instruments brought to America by slaves. The construction has a lot in common with neck-through cigar box guitars (which, of course, were also derived from the African gourd banjo).
First of all, let's hear a classic, fretless gourd banjo. Barry Sholder of Gourd Banjos by Barry demonstrates one of his creations with the song, Rocky Road to Dublin. (BTW, Sholder's instruments are absolute works of art and many include detailed headstock carvings. Make sure to check out his website.)
HOW TO BUILD A GOURD BANJO:
These free plans were written by David G. Hyatt (c)2003. The link goes to the PDF document that you can print out and take to your woodshop:
Yup, Barry's the man when it comes to gourd banjos!