I bought a 2 string canjo from a guy called Greg at Elstead'15 a brilliant build as were his 3 string CBG's. It has a chromatic fretted neck and this may seem a naive question but how do I use 3 string music tabs? At the moment I have it tuned to D G.
Sounds like something fun to play. Being the strings are D and G, those are the middle (2nd) and bottom (1st) strings of a standard 3-string Cigar Box Guitar. You can still bar (hold down all strings on the same fret) the strings to create chords. For your tabs... sounds like to me you'd just ignore the very bottom line and maybe move those notes to the 1st string?
Thanks Brian, your reply 'woke' me up. Pictures Monday.
By the way... any pics?
If you're using tabs written for a diatonic instrument--like the ones from the American Canjo Company on this website, you'll only use some (but not all) of the chromatic frets on your instrument. Easiest way I know to learn these is to take a Sharpie pen and mark the side of the fretboard next to the frets that you'll actually be using. Learn to ignore the other frets.
Diatonic fret #1 = your fret #2
Diatonic fret #2 = your fret #4
Diatonic fret #3 = your fret #5
Diatonic fret #4 = your fret #7
Diatonic fret #5 = your fret #9
Diatonic fret #6 = your fret #10
(NOTE: Beyond this point, diatonic fret numbering varies depending on your source, but the following values will work for tabs from American Canjo Co.)
Diatonic fret #7 = your fret #11
Diatonic fret #8= your fret #12
Diatonic fret #9= your fret #14
Diatonic fret #10= your fret #16
PS--just read Brian's reply. He's quite correct that you could just play it as a 3-string guitar with one string missing. Make like it's a G-D-g guitar with no top g. You haven't even really lost a note.
Thankyou Brian and TN Twang, I felt silly asking but if you don't ask you don't learn.