PDA

View Full Version : So whats the deal?



AncientMatingCalls
02-12-2011, 09:29 AM
I've been doing some research (some on this site even) about stringing up a tenor banjo like a uke.

So far I've seen mixed opinions. I read some people who get along fine tuning up like a bari (aka Chicago style). Maybe slap a capo on to get to the C tuning if one desires.

But I've also read that its probably just a better idea to get a Banjo Uke if your going to be stringing it up re-entrant.

So what's the word from people who have given it a shot? What kind of difference in tone and volume might you expect with the tenor banjo option? I've got a 5 string for sale on ebay right now and I'm still contemplating what to do with the funds I'll get for it.

So all in all, are there any advantages to the tenor option that would make it worth the hassle?

cb56
02-12-2011, 11:21 AM
My mother in law who plays bari uke tunes her old Bacon tenor banjo like a bari uke (DGBE) and it sounds pretty good IMO.

southcoastukes
02-12-2011, 11:35 AM
Actually, high re-entrant key of C tuning is fine on a tenor banjo. That drum body gives it a lot more volume than you would get from that tuning on any of the "Big Ukes". The bright sound from the thinner strings is better there also because it more approximates the tone you get from normal metal banjo strings.

You'll need long strings: Aquila USA sells nylgut in longer lengths, and that material gives a fairly authentic old time sound.

One thing to be aware of. A Tenor Banjo will almost always have a very narrow neck. If you are looking to bar a lot of chords, (this was the typical use) this is wonderful - otherwise Aaron Keim can make you a wider neck (or make you one from scratch).

Skitzic
02-12-2011, 07:04 PM
I've been doing some research (some on this site even) about stringing up a tenor banjo like a uke.

So far I've seen mixed opinions. I read some people who get along fine tuning up like a bari (aka Chicago style). Maybe slap a capo on to get to the C tuning if one desires.

But I've also read that its probably just a better idea to get a Banjo Uke if your going to be stringing it up re-entrant.

So what's the word from people who have given it a shot? What kind of difference in tone and volume might you expect with the tenor banjo option? I've got a 5 string for sale on ebay right now and I'm still contemplating what to do with the funds I'll get for it.

So all in all, are there any advantages to the tenor option that would make it worth the hassle?

I tried stringing my tenor banjo with Worth low G strings. It was way too quiet and I ended up going back to regular metal tenor banjo strings.

Hippie Dribble
02-12-2011, 07:32 PM
2nd-ing southcoastukes' reference to Aaron Keim. Check out his beansprout website. He builds lovely instruments...

AncientMatingCalls
02-12-2011, 10:26 PM
I tried stringing my tenor banjo with Worth low G strings. It was way too quiet and I ended up going back to regular metal tenor banjo strings.

I'm not too concerned about the nylon string issue. I strung my 5 string up with classical strings and loved the sound much more than metal strings. Plus I felt right at home as I usually play nylon stringed instruments.

I was merely wondering if I'd be better of going for banjolele instead. I think, though, that I will try the tenor banjo out.

Thanks for the advice folks.

AncientMatingCalls
02-14-2011, 09:58 AM
I guess I only have one question left.

17 or 19 fret?

Will the two more frets make any difference if I plan to try tuning it to C?

southcoastukes
02-14-2011, 10:09 AM
Not really - if you're going the Aquila route, your gauges will be a little thinner with a longer scale, but that drum body should give you good volume in either case

AncientMatingCalls
02-14-2011, 10:33 AM
Very cool, thanks SC, you've been plenty of help.

I'm excited and I'll let you guys know the results when it all goes down.