The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #121794   Message #2663643
Posted By: matt milton
24-Jun-09 - 01:09 PM
Thread Name: how far can you tune strings on a banjo?
Subject: RE: how far can you tune strings on a banjo?
well I rarely tune the 5th string above G - just the occasional very brief forays to G sharp or A for 1 song here and there - mainly because seeing (and touching) that little string wound so tight just feels wrong to me. but maybe I'm being a wuss.

I haven't actually found myself wanting to tune many strings up much - I generally stick to the standard C, G and D tunings, with minor-key variants of them - and I also think I prefer the sound of my open-back 5-string tuned down rather than up if anything.

One of the tunings I was playing around with was this:
e-B-G#-B-D

Which is an E-ish dominant 7th tuning. (The 5th string and 4th string being tuned down, the 3rd string being tuned up a semitone.) It's great for bluesy or psychedelic-sounding stuff because of the very rich dominant 7th chords that it lends itself to. I tried some variants moving the 1st string up to a G#, and/or moving that low detuned B on the 4th string back up to a D or an E. But preferred having that nice low B.

Thanks for the tip on string-winding Songbob.