Interview with Tom BerghanPage 2 Exclusive


Five handwritten tabs by Tom Berghan with mp3's

Sandy River Belle  tab  mp3

5 tunes for baritone or tenor banjo   tab 

Belle of Lexington  tab  mp3

Cumberland Gap  tab  mp3

Jenny Lind's Polka  tab  mp3





Tom Berghan's Soprano Custom Gold ToneBanjoTom Berghan's custom Gold Tone soprano banjo



“I called Wayne, we discussed what I wanted and he had his boys make it custom for me. Bing bang boom! They of course already had many of the parts. That is the beauty of custom orders from Gold Tone. They can get it to you quickly because they have many interchangable parts on hand. The tailpiece is Wayne's own design. It is fairly heavy and produces lots of sustain. It's a one of a kind. Great banjo. Ed Britt describes it as a "polite" soprano because she is sweet and mellow, whereas most sopranos are brash. The difference is that mine has a very large rim with relation to the scale, so the bridge is closer to the center, so it is softer and not so biting. She sounds very sweet, but quite different from a mandolin. She is all banjo.Pretty simple little banjo. But boy can she sing!”



11 inch rim

Four strings

14 inch scale

Hoop tone ring

Skin head


Guitar tuners







Tom Berghann's special fretlass bass banjoTom Berghan's custom Gold Tone fretless bass banjo


“The story is the same as the story of my soprano. I called Wayne, told him what I wanted and he had his boys make it up for me. Wayne was skeptical that a skin head would work, but he loved it in the end. The head is very thick. It is fretless which improves the tone in my opinion."


Tuned exactly like a double bass (standup/upright bass) or bass guitar.


Tuned in fourths, EADG, with a 32-inch scale.




Romero5-string banjo Tom's tiorba

The tiorba is a very old and obscure Italian instrument in the lute family. It has 14 single strings made of gut. It was popular in the 17th century. Like a banjo, the tiorba has a reentrant tuning, and I think it has a sonority somewhat similar to an open back banjo. The mp3 below is a dance called a Ciaccona. It was composed by a famous tiorba player named Johannes Kapsberger. His name is German but he lived and worked in Italy.




Play mp3 of Ciaccona here © 2011 all rights reserved








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Tom Berghan Articles
Tabs & mp3's



Adam HurtTom Berghan - Banjoist Extraordinaire


Through his creative use of various types of banjos, Tom Berghan clearly stands poised, ready to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the world of banjo music.


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