Creek Don't Rise

Tuning Questions
Page 1 of 1

Author:  paulrace [ Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Tuning Questions

A reader writes:

New to Tenor , as in Monday just gone .But familiar with mandolin and guitar.

Is Chicago tuning DGBE (heavy to lightest ) or EADG ? ...a bit confused .

I understand that CGDA is the trad jazz tuning but the E chord shape is wicked !! Which is " Not Good " in UK speak !

Is DGBE a happy compromise's damned close to 5 string tuning as well .

What gauge strings would be best on an Ozark (yeah I know ,but it was only £70 quid virtually unplayed ), it's a bit muddy in its original GDAE Irish...about a .36 on the G and it just thuds ....I want to play some jazz, dixie style and country ....and just mess with standards in a Banjo manner.


Thanks for getting in touch.

"Chicago tuning" on a 4-string banjo is the same as the highest four strings on a guitar - EBGD, starting with the string closest to your toes and working upward. You're right; it's only one note away from Bluegrass (G) tuning on a 5-string banjo.

You would lose the ability to play the traditional jazz voicings that ADGC (from your toes up) players use, so if you joined a "Dixieland band" like the local "Kettering Banjo Society," your voicings would be all wrong. This matters in "Dixieland banjo" because the voicings actually play the melody on the high string all the way through the song.

On the other hand if you're already familiar with guitar chords - especially barre chords up the neck, you'll do fine on just playing along on things. I'll be honest, I once spent all summer trying to learn "Five Foot Two" and similar songs on an ADGC tenor when I was a teenager, and never really got anywhere with it. :-)

I would be curious to know how many frets your banjo has and what the "scale length" is (measure from the nut to the 12th fret and multiply by 2, since the bridge on many banjos has to be scooted a half-inch further "south" than it technically "should" be to get the correct intonation).

If you want to reply and attach a photo or three to your reply, I'd be glad to see those as well.

Hope this makes sense!

Best of luck - Paul

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group