Hello there ive been playing irish tenor for about a year or so now ( Goldtone Criple Creek Tenor) i want to know if it is possible to tune a plectrum banjo to GDAE. how would this affect sound and playability.
i want to get a plectrum banjo instead of a tenor beacuse i feel id benifit from the longer scale.
also is a 5 string banjo generally the same scale length as a plectrum banjo?
Lee they sound brilliant tuned down, make sure to put heavy gauge strings on like a set of octave mandolin strings will be about the right length and thickness. I used to get to have a go on an epiphone recording dragon plectrum tune gdae pretty often when i was wee, it sounded absolutely outstanding, the stretch was a wee bit tough for me though but the sound was well worth it.
GDAE will indeed work on a plectrum, but if you happen to wish to play Irish traditional music on your plectrum, you may find that the high B is a bit too far up there for a comfortable reach (unless your hands are way bigger than mine). What I do with my banjo, a Framus plectrum that is my only 4-string at the moment, is to tune it E-B-F#-C# and place a capo at the 3rd fret. This gives me GDAE with 19 frets to the pot, which feels just great for the reels. As an added bonus, when I meet someone with pipes or a flute in C#, C, or B, I only have to move the capo down to be right where I need to be. Cheers,