The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156421   Message #3688693
Posted By: Will Fly
21-Feb-15 - 06:03 PM
Thread Name: tuning a tenor banjo
Subject: RE: tuning a tenor banjo
Al - I use CGDA tuning for tenor guitar, and the string gauges I use are 32, 22, 14, 9.

The high A string - 5 frets above the top E of a conventional guitar = is liable to snap if the gauge is too heavy. The scale length is important, and you need the shorter scale length to play in what's known as Standard CGDA tuning. That's why I use a .009 rather than a .010 for the A.

Most folk stuff is played in the GDAE tuning - an octave below a mandolin, as the more common keys for "folk", particularly in sessions, tend to be the popular fiddle and melodeon keys of D and G. The better, equivalent, keys for tenor in CGDA tuning are F and C - hence the popularity of that tuning for jazz.

Hope this helps.