Uncle Enos CBG Banjo Build

Now I finished the build, read thru the string info, now it’s head scratching time. 3 E strings? I think the 5th is tuned an octave higher than 1st, so is the 3rd E just a heavier string? I did purchase a set of strings from Pisgall for old banjo sound. A frequency for the string would help me out, just learning the tuning thing…
  • Taffy Evans

    Hi Greg, the tuning for the 5 string banjo is G C G B D, your digital tuner will indicate the correct frequency. The 5 string is tuned to the 1st string fretted at the 5th fret. The "old sound" would depend on the type of banjo and the style being played. Clawhammer, fraying, etc. 

    However, an old sound can be achieved with the use of gut strings or the modern nylon version.

    Cheers Taff
  • Uncle John

    Taffy is a real luthier and he is correct except the tuning is most often gDgbd - no C as he stated- probably a typo on his part.  I have two home made banjos and I used guitar strings.  Works okay.   I used a small E for the high G on the banjo and essentially the DGBE strings from an electric guitar for the DGBD.  That short high G is tuned as Taffy said and/or an octave higher than the other G. 

    I hear good things about the new ny-gut strings and that they are almost essential for an unfretted banjo.

    Hope you get it working well and have fun.

  • Taffy Evans

    Hi Greg and Uncle john, sorry for giving folks a bum steer earlier, I did not notice that mistake.
    However, it might be worth a try as it's C tuning or dropped C tuning.

    Even better bearing in mind that you may want that old-time sound of early banjos, is to try the Double C tuning, G C G C D. this coupled with Nyl-gut strings could be what you are looking for.

    I have Nyl-gut strings on this banjo, a Minstral style Banjo I converted from a Bacon and Day mandolin banjo. Sounds great.

    Cheers Taff...Happy New Year.