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Thread: Five string banjo

  1. #1
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    Default Five string banjo

    A member of our local ukulele club dropped by yesterday to lend me his five-string banjo for a while, so I could practice and learn on. It's a Vantage (a name I don't know.... any comments on it?)

    Any tips, suggestions, books or sites I should visit to get some practice going?
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum, et tertium non datur. To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical; there is no third option.”
    Seneca the Younger
    Ukulele reviews * Vintage Uke Music * Tequila * Henry Hudson * Harmonica reviews * Blog

  2. #2

    Default

    Vantage is an entry level brand. Nothing special in terms of tone, but fine to learn on as long as it's set up ok (sound familiar?).
    Check out http://www.banjohangout.org and http://www.rocketsciencebanjo.com
    The first one is the banjo uu, the second is a great method for starting clawhammer without bad habits.
    My tuppenyworth - tune it out of tedious old open g immediately if not sooner. Try shady grove in sawmill (gDGCD) or spotted pony in double c (gCGCD). Much more fun.
    Enjoy!
    Koaloha Super Concert. Wow.
    Rob Collins Soprano, no frills model in Utile wood. Superb instruments, unbelievable price. tinguitar.com, whaddaya waiting for bud?
    Concert Flea (in grape, mmmm, grape)
    Aquila strings. I like the red ones.
    Eddy Finn mahogany tenor EF-30 t, shortly for sale.
    Givens A5 1992 mandolin. Yes, a mandolin. Suck it up.
    And a Pilgrim Banjo, Shady Grove model. A banjo. Oh, is there no end to his perfidy? Won't somebody think of the children?

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by trickcyclist View Post
    Vantage is an entry level brand. Nothing special in terms of tone, but fine to learn on as long as it's set up ok (sound familiar?).
    Check out http://www.banjohangout.org and http://www.rocketsciencebanjo.com
    The first one is the banjo uu, the second is a great method for starting clawhammer without bad habits.
    My tuppenyworth - tune it out of tedious old open g immediately if not sooner. Try shady grove in sawmill (gDGCD) or spotted pony in double c (gCGCD). Much more fun.
    Enjoy!
    Interesting tunings. Will the standard stings work for it?

    I was thinking of tuning it like a uke, one octave lower... but what to do with the 5th string?
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum, et tertium non datur. To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical; there is no third option.”
    Seneca the Younger
    Ukulele reviews * Vintage Uke Music * Tequila * Henry Hudson * Harmonica reviews * Blog

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ichadwick View Post
    Interesting tunings. Will the standard stings work for it?

    I was thinking of tuning it like a uke, one octave lower... but what to do with the 5th string?
    I just, last week, set out to do just what you describe here.

    I stumbled upon a beautiful new Zither Heaven banjo style and I figured it would make a really cool Uke. I even ordered the strings to set the thing up with a low G for the first 4 strings and a high g on the fith string.

    Then the banjo arrived... and I was hooked the moment I saw it.

    Now I gotta get me some coverals and a straw hat... I've only been playing Uke for about 4 months so I'm just scraping by but within minutes of picking that banjo up I was twanging away. The really cool thing, at least to me, is you catch a wrong string or fret on a Uke and sour sounds pour out. On the banjo catching a wrong string or fret very often adds to the sound. Very interesting...

    Assuming you don't end up like me and get hooked. A low g 4th and a high G fifth is what was planning to do...

    Beryl
    Last edited by Beryl; 04-29-2014 at 04:58 AM.
    Oscar Schmidt OU6W Wide Neck Tenor
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ichadwick View Post
    Interesting tunings. Will the standard stings work for it?

    I was thinking of tuning it like a uke, one octave lower... but what to do with the 5th string?
    Normal strings will be fine, they're pretty standard tunings. The thumb string is usually tuned to match the 5th fret of the high string (so it's represented here by the little g of gCGCD, for example). There are variations though, so tuning it to the 3rd fret, or even sometimes the 4th does happen. The sawmill and double c are known as modal tunings in the banjo world. Technically they are tuned to a suspended chord (I think...), neither major or minor. Tuning to open g major (gDGBD, which to be fair is much more common) sounds a bit cheesy to me sometimes
    Koaloha Super Concert. Wow.
    Rob Collins Soprano, no frills model in Utile wood. Superb instruments, unbelievable price. tinguitar.com, whaddaya waiting for bud?
    Concert Flea (in grape, mmmm, grape)
    Aquila strings. I like the red ones.
    Eddy Finn mahogany tenor EF-30 t, shortly for sale.
    Givens A5 1992 mandolin. Yes, a mandolin. Suck it up.
    And a Pilgrim Banjo, Shady Grove model. A banjo. Oh, is there no end to his perfidy? Won't somebody think of the children?

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    461

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by trickcyclist View Post
    Normal strings will be fine, they're pretty standard tunings. The thumb string is usually tuned to match the 5th fret of the high string (so it's represented here by the little g of gCGCD, for example). There are variations though, so tuning it to the 3rd fret, or even sometimes the 4th does happen. The sawmill and double c are known as modal tunings in the banjo world. Technically they are tuned to a suspended chord (I think...), neither major or minor. Tuning to open g major (gDGBD, which to be fair is much more common) sounds a bit cheesy to me sometimes
    the first tuhning mentioned here is called "double C " tuning,,, its great,,, but not where you want to start. Put it in open G gDGBD you will have familiar chord shapes. when I play clawhammer dub C is maybe my fav,,, over open g,,,, but I know a good few tunes in Dub c ,,,, start out with open G,,, if you think Im talking out of my rear, check m,y youtube, I am a banjo player.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Recommend any company/brand/set for this tuning?
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum, et tertium non datur. To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical; there is no third option.”
    Seneca the Younger
    Ukulele reviews * Vintage Uke Music * Tequila * Henry Hudson * Harmonica reviews * Blog

  8. #8
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    the 6 dollar set from GC ,,, will get you going Martin med. 10s

  9. #9
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    GC is... ? I suspect I can get Martins here (small town, limited access to products, but I can order online).
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum, et tertium non datur. To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical; there is no third option.”
    Seneca the Younger
    Ukulele reviews * Vintage Uke Music * Tequila * Henry Hudson * Harmonica reviews * Blog

  10. #10
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    Default

    oops , your up north GC is Guitar Center, as its sometimes referred to Guitar satan

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