View Full Version : May Bell Tenor Banjo

11-02-2010, 03:55 PM
I recently purchased an antique May Bell Tenor Banjo. It's a Celtic type with four strings. I'd like to play it like a ukulele. It has metal strings at present. Am I crazy or is it doable?

11-02-2010, 05:49 PM
The switch from metal strings is doable, but "play like a ukulele" depends on a couple of things.

First, what is the scale of your May Bell (the vibrating length of the string - nut to bridge)?

Second, like what kind of ukulele (in other words - what key / what tuning)?

11-03-2010, 04:20 AM
My long scale tenor has light gauge Elixir steel strings and is tuned "Chicago Style" so I can use baritone fingering. The light gauge strings are not hard on the fingers.

Nylon strings are also available for banjos -- Elderly has them. The string specialists can come up with a set of guitar or baritone nylon strings that would work on your instrument scale.

I would not be surprised that Kirk at Southcoast has a set that would fit a tenor banjo, particularly if it is a short scale banjo.