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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Irish Tuning for Tenor Banjo

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

marshh - Posted - 12/29/2008:  18:44:13

I once tuned my tenor banjo to "Irish" tuning, which was like a baritone mandolin. I think I found the string sizes in a Sudlom book, but can't find it now. [playing mostly 5 string now] Anyone have the suggested sizes?

A friend of mine just got a tenor banjo and would like to use his mandolin chord positions.

Thanks a lot.

Eat, Sleep and Pick

diarmaid - Posted - 12/29/2008:  18:49:25

i use mandolin strings on mine these are great

Tom Banjo - Posted - 12/29/2008:  21:41:06

I've been using this octave mando set lately:

JOnkka - Posted - 12/31/2008:  08:38:26

How about:
Gauges: .012 - .016 - .024 - .036

on ebay:

salmoncove - Posted - 12/31/2008:  11:50:29


I've been using the J63I on my Tenor, Many others find the G string floppy or loose sounding. The octave strings have
gauges of 012 022W 032W 044W with a wound A string.

I just got an Octave for Christmas and when the time comes to get new strings I think I'll add an extra set for my banjo.

And with OM strings you get 2 sets :)


mando1946 - Posted - 12/31/2008:  13:11:57

How long is the scale of the banjo you are considering? As it can be anywhere from about 19 to 23 inches, ideal string gauge will vary accordingly. For both of my banjos (between 22 and 23 inches), I find that 12, 18w, 28w, and 38w work well. For a twenty incher I had, 13, 20w, 30w, and 40w were good. These gauges are for GDAE tuning, of course.

Banjoed - Posted - 01/04/2009:  02:33:44

The most important point is to use a wound A string, i.e. a wound .16/.17

I recommend for 19 frets .11, .17W, .26 and .34

I also strongly recommend nickel wound strings as they are brighter and stay brighter for far longer than ordinary bronze wound.

Try Tom Cussen's Clareen Strings at failing that D'Daddario or MArtin or Peavey acoustic guitar strings are great.

My own experience is that "banjo" strings tend not to be too hot. I prefer acoustic guitar strings

You can easily get away with a .36 up to .40 for the bottom G string especially if using a short scale banjo.

i use a .32 on the bottom G string as (to really throw the cat among the pigeons) I usually tune the bottom G up to A.

Enda Scahill

fergaloh - Posted - 01/17/2009:  11:49:34

I agree the wound A string makes a huge difference

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