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10

If the fifth string were to be extended up to the peghead, it would be an exact duplicate of the first string (both D notes) since they tend to be the same gauges. But to answer: Having that string truncated at the 5th fret makes it a G note. In traditional Scruggs Style banjo, it is primarily a high-root drone string. Since most tunes on banjo are native ...


10

The Wikipedia article on banjos explains it thus: The modern 5-string banjo is a variation on Sweeney's original design. The fifth string is usually the same gauge as the first, but starts from the fifth fret, three quarters the length of the other strings. (The long-necked Vega Pete Seeger model starts the fifth string from the eighth fret.) This ...


9

Guitar strings generally have a larger gauge, banjos use fewer wound strings, and scale lengths are different. As long as you keep the strings within the tension range the instrument was designed for, there shouldn't be any issues. The big problem here is knowing the actual tension range the banjo was designed for, and finding guitar strings that fit that ...


5

A=440Hz is not a world standard tuning. Granted, a lot of the world uses it,but it's not sacrosanct. Various orchestras around the world use other datum points, for various (good) reasons, so it may be as simple as that. Or, they may have been copied from some old recordings, which were made when 440 wasn't so important. Back in the '60s, groups would tune ...


5

Easy strumming was probably the market reason for the creation of the so called plectrum banjo. For strumming you don't need a pick for each finger, and because of the metal strings the most natural choice is a flat pick. And, with a flat pick you can also do soloing or combine melodic lines with selectic pluking of two or more strings (a kind of guitar ...


4

Are you sure the bridge is rightly positioned? Banjo intonation can some times be tricky, requiring the bridge to be positioned in a slightly oblique orientation to allow proper intonation of both the low and high strings. Try the harmonics at the octave fret in both the treble and bass D strings (1 and 4 counting upwards) making sure they give the same ...


4

The open 5th string sounds better because it can ring out while you play the next notes. That string acts as a drone (note that the piece is in G major). If you played that note on the 5th fret of the 1st string, the note would end immediately because the next note would be on the same string. Also note that if you played that G on the 1st string, your left ...


4

Since the weight of a banjo is primarily in the pot, we players tend to have the straps anchor the pot itself. We never put a strap on the neck near the nut. It's usually configured like this: http://neotechstraps.com/skin/frontend/neotech/default/images/Pilot/SuperBanjoStrap2.jpg ...and you choose the hooks to attach to based on the ones that leave your ...


4

On my banjos there is one wound string, which comes at .022" Equivalent to a wound third on guitar. The others vary between .008" and .015" - all plain. So, yes, guitar strings will do, but you won't do it with a set, get individuals. There may be a problem with the 'ball ends', although some banjos will be fine, and they'll fit, either between the teeth ...


4

Although your title says tenor Ukulele, I'm assuming it is a Tenor Banjo since the scale length is 23 inches. The longest scale length for a Ukulele is The Baritone Ukulele that comes in at 19 - 21.5 inches. You can tune a Tenor Banjo a number of different ways, depending on what string gauges you use. There are string packs available for most tuning ...


3

Personally, I prefer students to learn an open, relaxed hand position, where the hand is in a mostly fully relaxed state and the thumb rests along the side of the neck and the wrist is aligned with the palm. In some chords or fretting the thumb may move temporarily to the back of the neck, or the palm may come up to the neck to facilitate the chord fingering....


3

The following historical look at the tenor banjo is taken from the excellent work of late musicologist and musician, Shlomo Pestcoe (banjo artist and banjo historian): The tenor banjo was first manufactured by the Chicago banjo maker J.B. Schall (1878-1907) in the early 1900s, following the designs of Prof. Louis Stepner, "the celebrated mandolin ...


3

Not exactly a replacement, as the tuning, although equivalent in terms of pitch class, is an octave below that of the madolin or fiddle (or violin, for that matter). But since the size of the instrument makes it possible to tune it in fiths, as explained by Scott in his answer, it makes of course all the sense to tune it in a way that can be immediatly ...


3

It's probably, as you suggest, an ergonomic reason: larger stringed instruments in general tend to have smaller intervals between the strings, because that makes scales easier to reach with the fingers. Smaller instruments (such as the tenor banjo) can afford to have larger intervals between the strings, which gives the instrument a greater range for the ...


3

Before the 1910s most banjos were strung with gut strings and played classic style - that is finger style similar to classical guitar and with no finger picks. This style was immensely popular and although there are quite a few players still today, it is mostly forgotten or ignored. Before that, there was a style called minstrel banjo which would ...


3

The following historical look at the plectrum banjo is from the work of late musicologist and musician, Shlomo Pestcoe (banjo artist and banjo historian). (The early 1900s saw the emergence of two major occurrences in American music: the advent of traditional jazz and the modern 4-string banjos-- the plectrum and the tenor.) Unlike the 5-string banjo, ...


2

It depends on the song. Many out there can play Earl's Breakdown without them, even though it was originally recorded and played with Scrugg's tuners. The part that uses them is minimal (less than 2 measures long) and is easily yet accurately spoofed. Now a song like Flint Hill Special, as mentioned above, has a much more demanding Scrugg's tuner ...


2

Necks tend to be thin and primarily designed to deal with the forces of the strings. Hanging the whole instrument from them adds stress quite in a different direction and outside of its design. The heavier the instrument and the slimmer (in the direction across the strings) and longer the neck, the more effect the "unexpected" forces can deal out. For "...


2

Daylight should be between the notes like gaps in blinds: a bright streak of silence separating each note rather than an uninterrupted wall of notes. Staccato make the notes stand out as brief interruptions of the silence. What you want is a fine leggiero making the separations stand out as brief interruptions of the sound.


2

This piece appears to be arranged for two banjos, but it could also be performed by one person singing the top line and playing the bottom line. That's probably why they included the lyrics. Your plan to record it both parts is great practice, though.


1

Ways I've practiced banjo while traveling: Bring and practice ukulele instead Bring a travel banjo Do ear training Learn music theory Memorize lyrics Memorize your fretboard Bring and practice ukulele instead Unfortunately, the banjo is a bit ungainly for airline travel. One option is to practice on a different instrument that travels better, such as the ...


1

The famous pianist, Glenn Gould, would 'practice' mentally imagining the performance in his head. https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2014/09/04/345576795/glenn-gould-in-rapture Of course examples from geniuses aren't very helpful for mere mortals, but that anecdote at least suggests there is a purely mental aspect that could be exercises. Aside from ...


1

I own both a tenor and a plectrum banjo and use the same bridge on each so that shouldn't be an issue. What may be an issue for you is the string length of the plectrum banjo. The shorter string length of the tenor banjo gives you a tighter feel when you strum quickly. The plectrum banjo's strings are going to feel floppier compared to the tenor so you ...


1

I haven't played a banjo before, but I hope that some guitar knowledge may transfer. Choosing chords comes down to which chord comes before, and which chord comes after. At a beginner level, it's likely that you only know one or two forms for a chord, so this decision is easy to make. At higher levels you can play inversions in very strange paces on the ...


1

Probably a mixture of both. Separated, as in not bleeding into each other, but not short either, as in proper staccato. The gap should be not long enough to sound like you're searching for the next note, but just short enough that it separates the last from the next. Something like when you explain in an exasperated manner to a wayward kid - "I've - told - ...


1

I'm familiar with both the banjo and the ukulele, but not that much with the banjolele, so I can't give a definite answer, namely about the structure of the instrument being prepared for the higher tension of steel strings. However: From what I have seen in instruments being sold and played, "nylon" type strings are normally used. Normal ukulele techniques, ...


1

Accident of history. The fingerpick style of banjo playing became the predominant style when Earl Scruggs joined Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys in 1945. Before that, the five-string banjo was played "clawhammer" style. The "classic" period and style for the plectrum banjo was dixieland jazz from the 1920s. I see no reason why you couldn't play a 4-string "...


1

What's your goal? Seems like, sure, you could tune a fifth string like a drone while you save up for the real banjo, but the drone tuner is up at the fifth fret to keep it out of the way of your first-position playing. Git-jo is about either allowing guitarists to get bluegrass sounds without learning anything, or to get the rhythm chunk of dixieland jazz, ...


1

Scruggs-style definitely does not require Scruggs tuners. Bill Keith also invented a similar device, but those are not required for "Keith style" (melodic) banjo playing. Even Scruggs rarely used them in his playing, and most listeners would not miss them except for on certain songs.


1

You can't do Flint Hill Special without them, but you don't have to play Flint Hill Special. I don't think I've heard Bela Fleck use them.


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