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Thread: Low G Banjolele?

  1. #1

    Default Low G Banjolele?

    Hello Uke Friends!

    I was hoping to get your thoughts on low G tuning on a banjolele. I have only played on a high G. I am considering the Outdoor Banjolele and trying to decide if I get one, should I go low. Thoughts?

    Thanks and happy holidays to you all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Catskill Mountains, NY


    I would play it safe and get the high-G. At the same time, order some low-G strings from Freemont. That was the brand recommended here. I got two sets on eBay. I've heard that one string is long enough for two ukes, but I put one on a tenor, and I doubt there is enough left over for another tenor - maybe a concert. Tying a knot in that metal string can be a challenge. Have a pair of pliers handy. Try the low-G. If you odn't like it, you can put the original string back on.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  3. #3


    Thanks for the thoughts Jerryc41!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017


    I agree with Jerry in that you need both to see which you like best of that instrument. I think the Outdoor Banjolele looks like a great instrument and one I would like to get hopefully in the near future. Please keep us informed of your findings!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012


    I think low G would ruin the sound of a banjolele...IMHO.
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Martin Iz - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 (fretless) - Pahoehoe | Kala Acacia - Pahoehoe

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Sumter County, FL


    I have both of mine tuned "reentrant C" CGDA. In essence, it's sound is "low G GCEA" with the E detuned one notch. I love the sound, especially on the Duke.

    Ukuleles: Oscar Schmidt OU28T (T8), Lanikai LU-6 (T6), RISA Solid (C), Effin UkeStart (C)
    Banjo-Ukes: Duke 10 (T)*, Lanikai LB6-S (S)*
    Tenor Guitars: Martin TEN515, Blueridge BR-40T
    Tenor Banjo: Deering Goodtime 17-Fret
    Mandolin: Burgess (#7)***

    * CGDA reentrant, ***GDAE, The rest are CGDA

    The inventory is always in some flux, but that's part of the fun.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin


    I asked myself the same question a little while back I thought back to varied banjo sounds I had heard growing up and decided I tended towards the warmer sound of Ewan MacColl's recordings from the 50s and early 60s that I used to listen to as a child. I wanted to avoid a more metallic or plinky sound I often run into.

    I bought a banjolele but didn't like the small neck (I was used to playing a tenor uke) and the above mentioned I kept on hearing in many models.

    My solution: in consultation with Jake Wildwood I searched for an old Gibson 4 string tenor banjo and had him ukefy it. I found a 1923 specimen that he cleaned and set up for me. This is the sound I was looking for (with low G) and I'm delighted with it.

    Here is my instrument in more capable hands.

    Loquax autem mutus es

    1920s Martin Style 2
    Anuenue Moon Bird Tenor
    1923 Gibson tenor trap door banjo (ukefied)
    1920s SS Stewart soprano banjolele ("University Model")
    Kiwaya KSU-1L (long neck soprano)
    Flight TUS-35

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Amelia Island Florida


    I always prefer to play low g in my Banjoele
    a banjo sound with less shrill....i like it personally
    Martin IZ commemorative
    The Duke Banjo

  9. #9


    Thank you all! I think I will move forward with a slight variation to Jerryc41’s recommendation. I’ll order the low g with an extra high g string. Since I wanted to try the low g I thought I could get it that way, so if I like it I can leave it (no string change needed). But if it sounds wonky, a quick string change will make it sound right.

    I really appreciate the great thoughts I get from everyone on UU. Thanks!

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