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Peghead Nation banjo instructor Wes Corbett discusses the pickup, amp, and pedals he uses when playing onstage with the Sam Bush Band.
November 1, 2021
 

Peghead Nation Contemporary Bluegrass Banjo instructor Wes Corbett is one of the most innovative players on the current banjo scene. As a member of the Sam Bush Band, Wes needs to make his banjo heard at high volume levels and on large stages, and in this video, he talks about how he amplifies his 1937 Gibson TB1 conversion banjo.

“It’s a pretty specific thing, for a number of reasons,” Wes says. “One is that the Sam Bush Band is pretty loud. There’s a full drum kit onstage, there’s amps onstage; we do a whole electric set. Part of this rig is just to get the banjo loud enough.” Wes starts by inserting three pieces of pluck foam between the banjo’s head and the coordinating rod. “What this does, is it deadens the head. Once we go past a certain stage volume, we go from being the easiest instrument to put a mic on to the hardest instrument to have a pickup and be really loud, and the reason is that the head is really microphonic.” With the banjo head muffled, Wes relies on an EMG ACB Barrell pickup, which is a magnetic design, and he explains how he installs the included shims under the banjo’s bridge to get the best performance. The next step in Wes’s signal chain is a Peterson StroboStomp HD tuner pedal, which he says is accurate and easy to see. This is followed by a Grace Design Bix preamp, which he likes for its great sound and simplicity, but also acknowledges that if he wasn’t working with excellent front-of-house and monitor engineers, he might use a preamp with more flexible EQ. Wes also uses an AER Alpha amp. “That’s how I hear the banjo; I just use the wedge in front of me to hear my bandmates.” 

Wes emphasized that using high-quality cables has a significant impact on the overall sound, and he relies on D’Addario instrument cables, as well as D’Addario solderless patch cables to wire his pedalboard, which includes several pedals that are only used for his electric instrument setup. 

To see and hear this rig in action, check out this video of a recent Sam Bush band performance at the Suwannee Roots Revival Festival in Live Oaks, Florida!

To study banjo with Wes, enroll in his Contemporary Bluegrass Banjo course on Peghead Nation!

Emgpickups.com, Petersontuners.com, Gracedesign.com, Aer-music.de, D’Addario.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
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