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Strings for 5 string banjo

Acorn4 02 Dec 12 - 04:03 PM
Leadfingers 02 Dec 12 - 04:28 PM
Don Firth 02 Dec 12 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,gillymor 02 Dec 12 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 02 Dec 12 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Matt 02 Dec 12 - 10:34 PM
John MacKenzie 03 Dec 12 - 05:17 AM
Acorn4 03 Dec 12 - 06:00 AM
BanjoRay 03 Dec 12 - 07:29 AM
Geoff the Duck 03 Dec 12 - 04:36 PM
foggers 03 Dec 12 - 04:56 PM
Henry Krinkle 03 Dec 12 - 05:02 PM
Acorn4 03 Dec 12 - 06:45 PM
The Sandman 04 Dec 12 - 05:30 PM
banjoman 05 Dec 12 - 05:02 AM
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Subject: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: Acorn4
Date: 02 Dec 12 - 04:03 PM

I've been learning the 5 string banjo for a few years now and am just about getting skilled enough to play in public. I've learned a bit of both frailing and Scruggs style.

One thing I have never been able to do is settle on a brand of strings - I always use D'Addario for guitar and thought I would try their strings for banjo -however I was surprised that the fifth (short) string was the same gauge as the highest long string which seems odd as they are half an octave apart in standard tuning, and the treble strings seems as if it should be thinner.

What strings and gauge do most players use? Any recommendations


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Dec 12 - 04:28 PM

I have been using John Alvey Turner loop ends for THAT long - They last and sound good on my Maya , my Banjola AND my antique J A T Open back
The Octave G (Fifth) IS the same size as the first string on all the sets I have bought


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Dec 12 - 04:43 PM

That would be correct, Acorn.

Assuming a standard 5-string banjo, not one of the long-necked "Seeger Models," the 5th string should be the same pitch as the 1st string fretted at the 5th fret. It should be the same gauge. In fact, it IS the same string.

I don't play 5-string banjo much anymore, but I did for several years back in the 1950s. A set of 5-string banjo strings consisted of a regular set of plectrum (not tenor) banjo strings with an extra 1st string that you used for the 5th string.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 02 Dec 12 - 07:38 PM

I use GHS stainless steel PF155 Custom Lights on my Deering Vega openback. They give me ploinky old-timey sound.


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 02 Dec 12 - 10:09 PM

I find I am more concerned with gauges than I am with brands. That being said I won't buy Deering Strings ever again. I play a long neck five and I liked the Vega Long neck strings. They were all a bit heavier in gauge than were standard scale. For some reason they are no longer available. Now I use a custom set of GHS Loop ends that Elderly Instruments mixes for me. I buy a dozen at at time and they are very good price wise. In my band I flat pick and frail the banjo and I find the heavier string has more "plunk" on a slightly soft head.

Don Meixner


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: GUEST,Matt
Date: 02 Dec 12 - 10:34 PM

I like the Aquila nylgut variety on my banjo. Sounds wonderful, everyone who plays it likes it.


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 05:17 AM

Have you tried these


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: Acorn4
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 06:00 AM

Thanks for all the useful advice so far - love the banjo jokes!


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: BanjoRay
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 07:29 AM

I use D'Addario mediums one a year for most of my strings, but I buy sets of 10 medium 10mm own brand strings for my first and fifth from Eagle Music in Huddersfield UK, because they get broken - the others don't.

Ray


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 04:36 PM

Acorn4 - What is available might depend on which country you are in. Some clue as to your whereabouts might bring local knowledge of suppliers.
I have over the years had good results from Vega, D'Addario and various others. Ernie Ball do ones called Earthwood 5 String Banjo Frailing strings which I liked, but haven't seen on sale locally for a while.
In the UK, Eagle Music (already mentioned) sell custom sets and individual strings. Likewise The Music Room at Cleckheaton do individuals and sets (branded as Redwing).

As Don Firth says, (in standard tuning) if you fret the 1st and 5th strings at the same fret at any point between the bridge and 5th string nut, you will get the same note, hence the same gauge string is used.

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: foggers
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 04:56 PM

Another vote for D'Addario medium gauge sets (J61); I have tried lots of different makes in the five years or so that I have been playing banjo, and have concluded that I like the warm sound and good balance across all the strings. I buy separate spare 10mm ones as the 5th string does sometimes break.


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 05:02 PM

I use D'Addario strings on everything, pretty much.
Good strings at a good price.
And I'm a tightwad. Skinflint. Miserly.
=(:-( ))


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: Acorn4
Date: 03 Dec 12 - 06:45 PM

In answer to the above post, UK based East Midlands.


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Dec 12 - 05:30 PM

contact andy banjo in kent, he sells good cheap strings


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Subject: RE: Strings for 5 string banjo
From: banjoman
Date: 05 Dec 12 - 05:02 AM

Have a look at Andy Perkins web site - he can make up sets of strings to suit all sorts of instruments and players


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