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Down Up Dick
09-12-2014, 02:56 PM
I bought a concert (GCEA) Banjolele, and the store guy gave me some tenor DGBE strings. I think I might like to put them on. Can it be done? I like it's sound, but I thought it would sound more like banjo in DGBE. It's not important enough to ruin the new Banjolele though. :old:

igorthebarbarian
09-12-2014, 03:19 PM
Do you mean he gave you some DGBE Baritone strings? I don't know if there's a lot of DGBE in tenors. I like Worth Clear's for banjoleles personally.

RichM
09-12-2014, 03:20 PM
You're unlikely to harm the uke, but you might not have an entirely satisfying experience, either. The strings are designed to be tuned DGBE at the longer baritone scale length, so you might find them a little floppy on the shorter scale concert. Depending on how your nut is cut, they might not fit comfortably in the nut or might bind a bit. But since they cost you nothing, you really have nothing to lose; give them a try and see if you like the sound.

Down Up Dick
09-12-2014, 03:40 PM
To all, the strings aren't for baritone. The package says Tenor -- Aquilas. We looked in the Aquila Catalog too. You see, I really wanted a tenor Gold Tone in DGBE, but he had a concert which I liked ( It's my size.). He also had a baritone, but I didn't like it--too big a stretch for my fingers. So I have tenor strings. I haven't done anything (I just got it.) yet. One of my questions was: Will the tenor strings mess any thing up? I'm not really sure I want it in DGBE anyway, unless it'll make the uke sound more banjo like. :old:

VegasGeorge
09-12-2014, 04:11 PM
Yeah, Tenors used to come in DGBE all the time. In fact, back when I was playing Tenor everyday, no one even knew about C6 tuning for them. I don't think they even made Tenor C6 string sets back then.

Jim Hanks
09-12-2014, 04:41 PM
I have Southcoast dGBE (high d) strings on my tenor Gold Tone. I'm guessing they would be quite low tension on concert scale. You might have to wind up a step to A tuning to get a good feel. I don't see how they could damage the uke so give it a shot.

ksquine
09-13-2014, 04:03 AM
It won't hurt anything. Give them a try. If you don't like it...change back

strumsilly
09-13-2014, 04:46 AM
Yeah, Tenors used to come in DGBE all the time. In fact, back when I was playing Tenor everyday, no one even knew about C6 tuning for them. I don't think they even made Tenor C6 string sets back then.
I bought a new tenor Gold Tone a few years ago and it came tuned dGBE. I changed the strings to C, but sold the uke here on UU. Just bought one here on UU, and guess what, it's the same uke! It has aquila in C on it now, and sounded really brash. I was going to change the strings, but before I did it took off the back and stuffed a rag under the bridge. It really took out all the annoying overtones and now it sounds great. I'll just leave the aquila on for now.

kypfer
09-13-2014, 06:47 AM
I can see how setting up a concert-size instrument with DGBE tuning could make it more "banjo-like", it'd be tuned just like a tenor banjo in "Chicago" tuning. Fine, if that's what you want. I have nothing at all against tenor banjos, in fact one day, if I get lucky, I'll add one to the collection, though I'd probably tune it in 5th's. In the meantime, I prefer my banjolele with re-entrant tuning :)

Just my thoughts and opinions, nothing definitive and certainly not saying you're "wrong" ... enjoy :cool:

Down Up Dick
09-13-2014, 07:49 AM
kypfer, I can't be wrong because I don't have an opinion, and I'm only trying to learn what I want. I certainly want re-entrant tuning. I read where that banjos mostly use DGBE tuning which, of course, is lower than GCEA tuning, but it doesn't sound as low as my baritone Uke. So I'm a bit confused. Do tenor banjos (4 strings?) clawhammer? :old:

kypfer
09-13-2014, 11:09 AM
I certainly want re-entrant tuning. I read where that banjos mostly use DGBE tuning which, of course, is lower than GCEA tuning, but it doesn't sound as low as my baritone Uke. So I'm a bit confused. Do tenor banjos (4 strings?) clawhammer?
OK :) multiple issues here!

Four-string (tenor) banjos are tuned (usually) in one of four or five tunings, which may or may not depend on whether it's a "short scale" or "long scale" instrument and for which style of music it's being used for. None of these tunings are usually re-entrant.

There's GDAE, 5th's, which has the widest range and is the same as a mandolin or fiddle, but an octave lower, usually on a long-scale instrument. Then there's CGDA, again 5th's but about half an octave higher, like a viola, often on a short-scale instrument. There's the "normal" banjo tunings, CGBD or DGBD, much like the 5-string banjo, but without the 5th "drone" string, or there's DGBE, the same as the top four strings on a guitar (or baritone uke), which, for whatever reason, is often termed "Chicago" tuning ... confused yet ?!?

To my knowledge, none of these tunings would normally be used for traditional clawhammer, which is usually recognised by the treble drone of the fifth string under the thumb *but see below for update*

On a re-entrantly tuned four-string instrument, as per a "normal" ukulele, one can perform a passable representation of many clawhammer tunes. They won't be "the same" as they would be on a five-string banjo, simply by virtue of not having the overall range, but they can be very recognisable :)

For your purposes, you'll either have to take specialist advice on string gauges, or do a bit of experimentation. I don't have reservation about using heavier gauge nylon strings on a banjolele, there shouldn't be a stress issue, especially with a re-entrant tuning, but never having tried tuning a concert-length instrument down several semitones, I'm in no position to make any recommendations for string gauges.

I wish you success with your project. I'm sure it's possible and I hope you're happy with the result :)

southcoastukes
09-13-2014, 01:58 PM
We have a number of sets that will accommodate you nicely. There are sets for (in standard notation) d" g' b' e", d' g' b' e" and d' g' b' d". The last is in the "banjo" style you and kypfer have been referring to, except on the Ukulele, this is the original tuning, or what we call "Machete" tuning.

Note that all of these are in the one line octave, or in other words, an octave above what you would do on a Baritone. Trying to put a small octave tuning on a Soprano scale would be a disaster. Nunes knew what he was doing, and a "Banjo sound" is usually thought of as brilliant and ringing, not the muddy floppy mess you'd have trying to string it in the small octave on such a short scale.

All three forms are fine for clawhammer - the two more typical Ukulele forms if you want to stick to patterns you already know - Machete tuning if you want to use Banjo sheet music. On our Tips page, you'll see one of the archived letters is for Open tuning - there are sound samples there that will give you a rough idea of how some Banjo music (including clawhammer) translates to Baritone (small octave) and Soprano (one line octave). None of the samples are on a Banjo Uke, and these are Open tunings, but they'll serve to give you an idea of how it works and how it will sound.

kypfer
09-13-2014, 11:09 PM
kypfer wrote :
To my knowledge, none of these tunings would normally be used for traditional clawhammer, which is usually recognised by the treble drone of the fifth string under the thumb. ... I take it back :o - thanks Dirk for that introduction to Gary Readore and his videos. There really is opportunity to learn something different most days, if only one knows where to look ;)

southcoastukes
09-14-2014, 08:40 AM
kypfer wrote : ... thanks for that introduction to Gary Readore and his videos. There really is opportunity to learn something different most days, if only one knows where to look ;)

Yep, that's true for everybody, every day, and Gary is a true find. I believe Aaron Keim has some videos also for the Ukulele forms.

I, on the other hand, should read posts more carefully. I saw Banjolele and assumed Soprano. I see know it's a Concert DU was asking about.

The same strings will work for a Concert. They will have a somewhat high tension, and on a wood bodied instrument, those tunings (especially the Uku reentrant) are a bit high. On a drum body, however, they should sound fine, and the tension won't be a problem - actually many would prefer it for picking.

tobinsuke
09-14-2014, 11:26 AM
kypfer,

I started learning clawhammer uke from Aaron Keim's videos as well as Richard Heffner's tutorial section at ezfolk.com, and I recommend both sources. There is LOT of clawhammer uke information and many tutorial videos out there. Have fun!

Down Up Dick
09-14-2014, 08:02 PM
Well, I want to thank everyone for the help, but I'm gonna leave it alone for now. I'll take a look at the videos referenced above and think about whether I want to change it or not. I have it tuned to Hi-GCEG right now, and I'm also gonna try GBDG. It sounds a little to bright so I'm gonna check the head too. So, thanks again, everyone. Later. :old: