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Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?

The Shambles 04 Sep 01 - 08:30 PM
IvanB 04 Sep 01 - 08:40 PM
mooman 05 Sep 01 - 03:21 AM
bill\sables 05 Sep 01 - 03:55 AM
mooman 05 Sep 01 - 04:49 AM
Jon Freeman 05 Sep 01 - 06:28 AM
bill\sables 05 Sep 01 - 07:12 AM
Banjo-Flower 05 Sep 01 - 09:34 AM
Banjo-Flower 05 Sep 01 - 10:44 AM
Banjo-Flower 06 Sep 01 - 04:39 PM
Jon Freeman 06 Sep 01 - 04:43 PM
mooman 06 Sep 01 - 04:58 PM
bill\sables 06 Sep 01 - 07:58 PM
Geoff the Duck 06 Sep 01 - 08:02 PM
Banjo-Flower 07 Sep 01 - 08:30 AM
Jon Freeman 07 Sep 01 - 08:57 AM
mooman 07 Sep 01 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,smokeysunday 22 Sep 12 - 05:50 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Sep 12 - 07:53 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Sep 12 - 07:58 AM
Stringsinger 22 Sep 12 - 09:46 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Sep 12 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,mr smokeysunday 22 Sep 12 - 12:34 PM
Zen 22 Sep 12 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Fiddle Rick 22 Mar 14 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Fiddle Rick 22 Mar 14 - 10:28 PM
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Subject: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 08:30 PM

What gauge strings would you recommend for a tenor banjo tuned to GDAE for Irish tunes?

I have been playing for a number of years, but have never been satisfied with the strings I have tried.


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: IvanB
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 08:40 PM

Gerry O'Connor, in "The Complete Guide to learning the Irish Tenor Banjo," recommends the following gauges:

Light: 34w/23w/14/10

Medium: 35w/26w/17/13

Heavy: 45w/35w/26w/17

"w" stands for wound, all others are plain.


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: mooman
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 03:21 AM

Having played the tenor banjo for many years I would recommend

36w 24w 14 10

I cannot possibly see how an Irish style tenor banjo could possibly be tuned and played in Gerry's suggested heavy gauge set without pulling the banjo apart and his medium is also very much on the heavy side for my tastes, especially on the top two strings. I think if you preferred a stiffer top two strings you could go to maximum 11 or 12 for the E and 16 for the A.

Hope this helps a little.

mooman


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: bill\sables
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 03:55 AM

It depends on the scale length of the banjo. You would need a heavier guage on a shorter length. My Vega has a length of 19 1/2 ins. and I use 40, 30, 20, 13


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: mooman
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 04:49 AM

Dear Bill,

I totally agree you will need heavier strings on a short scale length tenor. On your "Little Wonder" the gauges look reasonable to me. Do you use a wound 20?

However, the majority of tenors are longer in scale length and I personally think Gerry's heavy gauge are definitely way on the high side there.

Best regards,

Richard (mooman)


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 06:28 AM

I follow what was on my (17 fret) Kildare banjo when I purchased it from Sully. 40W, 28W, 18W, 13. This if I remember correctly was his heavy set.

Re the wound/plain I think 17 and 18 can be bought in either. My preference is the wound second.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: bill\sables
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 07:12 AM

I do use a wound 20 Mooman
Bill


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 09:34 AM

I always use Redwing light

36W 24W 15 11

Gerry


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 10:44 AM

Thanks Shambles for posting this thread as it reminded me that my strings were way overdue for changing which i have done between the last reply and now.

thread drift how often do you change your strings Bill? Jon? anyone?


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 04:39 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 04:43 PM

Oh sorry Gerry, the answer to me changing strings is not often enough - ask Bill Sables about the state of my strings when I went to Llanstock!

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: mooman
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 04:58 PM

Hi Jon,

Now if your strings are a little rusty, you can have some real fun by rubbing a little Fast Fret on them and running a hanky up and down them fairly vigourously. The resulting cacophony can clear a room in seconds (e.g. when you're a couple of hours over "time" and you want to assist the landlord who by then really is in fear of losing his licence (dare I say even PEL according to which municipal jurisdiction you come under!), is great for silencing the drunken "eejit" (see official Mudcat definition provided by Noreen) and will even have melodeon players fleeing for their lives!

Best regards

mooman


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: bill\sables
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 07:58 PM

I usually change them about once a month unless I do a lot of playing and hear they are going down.
Bill


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 06 Sep 01 - 08:02 PM

I agree that the length ofthe neck is an important factor. A shorter neck will take heavier gauge strings without them breaking.
GtD


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:30 AM

I always thought that Gerry O'Ccnnor tuned his banjo to standard jazz tuning C G D A but I may be mistaken. BTW how many UK Catters play tenor banjo as their first (main)instrument

Gerry


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:57 AM

Gerry O'Connor probably uses both tunings and I can't se the gauges above working of CGDA. Somewhere amid my junk I have a book and cassete called something like "50 Solos For Irish Banjo", probably a Soodlums publication. There are 2 players on it, Gerry O'Connor who plays half the tunes in CGDA and David McNevin plays the other half in GDAE. I prefer McNevin BTW.

Tenor banjo is my main instrument.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: mooman
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 10:47 AM

And another very fine player I have had the pleasure of learning directly from is Kevin Griffin who has recorded a very fine album "Down in Doolin" (back in about 1996 I think) which includes also some other fine musicians like the Shannon sisters, Mary Custy, etc. I can thoroughly recommend this CD.

Tenor banjo is not my main instrument although I have owned and played several over the past 35 years.

Best rgards

mooman


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: GUEST,smokeysunday
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 05:50 AM

I recently set-up an Irish tenor banjo with elixir strings custom light acoustic using .011/.022W/032W/.042W. this works very nicely, I polished the frets and oiled the fingerboard (using lemon oil) locking the string onto the machine head post improves tuning stability, as does stretching the strings (very carefully), also remembering to intonate the strings by checking the tuning at the twelfth fret (comparing the twelfth fret harmonic with the fretted note). Any instrument improves with a proper set-up not only sounding better but feeling better also. I'm going to try the new clear tone strings, a coated string as is the elixir but the winding is pre-coated and only a micron thin!
   It would be great if elixir supplied an irish banjo set, save a few bob, the strings aren't cheap but do last up to six times longer than ordinary strings the robust G string really gives a nice ring!
   Don't knock it till you've tried it


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 07:53 AM

I've always used Redwing Medium Irish sets, 12, 18, 28, 38 as does Tom Napper.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 07:58 AM

Thanks Ms?Mr smokeysunday for,

elixir strings custom light acoustic using .011/.022W/032W/.042W.

I have been most impressed with elixir guitar strings - does anybody know if they are selling banjo sets yet?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 09:46 AM

A lot depends on how you will use the banjo. Irish tenor calls for heavier strings but chord melody style ala Elmer Snowden who tuned his banjo GDAE probably used a lighter gauge.

There are varying opinions on this. You might check Barney McKenna's string gauge if you intend to play Irish in a session.

I use a 23 on the third string, a 17 on the second, probably an 11 or 12 on the first string
and on the fourth, a balanced string that doesn't sound "thunky" or is too loose.

You might have to experiment to find the right gauges for your particular banjo.


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 12:33 PM

What gauges did Barney use Strinsinger ?

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: GUEST,mr smokeysunday
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 12:34 PM

I don't think Elixer are doing an Irish banjo set, I think they have standard banjo strings though. I used the custom light 11 gauge set and you have the .015 and .052 left over, mighty strings from elixir, whoops! I have been misspelling the brand name, apologies.


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: Zen
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 01:52 PM

I use .012, .20w, .032w and .042w on my 17-fret Whyte Laydietenor. A 19-fret banjo would ideally need a tad lighter set. But it all depends on your playing preferences.


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: GUEST,Fiddle Rick
Date: 22 Mar 14 - 10:21 PM

Try J81 for 19 fret tenor banjo, plus u get two sets for the price of one.


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Subject: RE: Tenor banjo GDAE, string gauges?
From: GUEST,Fiddle Rick
Date: 22 Mar 14 - 10:28 PM

D'Addario J81 Irish Bouzouki Strings
by D'Addario

This will work for your Vega tenor 19 fret banjer....in gdae tuning. But your better off just using the banjo with regular tenor strings with a capo at the second fret in standard tuning. The stretch for your hand is less....


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