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 Playing Advice: 4-String (Jazz, Blues & Other Trad Styles)

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malarz - Posted - 08/15/2018:  05:06:31

Any advice/recommendations for strings for a tenor? I’m using the Deering/Dunlop strings (.010, .016, .024w, 030w) which came with the banjo (Deering 17-fret open back) and am wondering which strings you all use?




BanjoBelle - Posted - 08/15/2018:  09:49:07

I'm using whatever Gold Tone put on mine. I might try D'addario or La Bella (if they make strings for tenor banjo) when it comes time to change strings.

Veerstryngh Thynner - Posted - 08/17/2018:  08:12:51

I'm experimenting with classical guitar strings and a length of ordinary thin nylon wire from a local  DIY shop.

Veerstryngh Thynner

G Edward Porgie - Posted - 08/18/2018:  05:35:26

Most of the tenor sets available are very similar. Your best bet is to try various examples until you find the ones best suited to your banjo, your ears, and your fingers. I've found that with some banjos, the sets don't work for me, so I buy individual strings instead.

Edited by - G Edward Porgie on 08/18/2018 05:36:55

Polle Flaunoe - Posted - 11/02/2018:  01:47:27


Ken - I´ll recommend a set of 010-015-024NW-032NW (NW for Nickel Wound) - this set is better balanced as the one mentioned by you.

I take that your Deering has a 21" scale - for getting somewhat the same string tensions and feel as going for a 23" standard scale tenor - you could also try a set like this 011-016-026NW-034NW.


malarz - Posted - 11/02/2018:  04:24:07

Thank you to all who replied. Since my original post a few months and with more playing I think I’m beginning to understand how strong gauge and balance affects playing. Some strings sound and play better and more easily than others. But I find I can play well enough at my beginning level on any string.


Veerstryngh Thynner - Posted - 11/02/2018:  04:42:12


In my own experience, too, you can't go very wrong with D'Addario and LaBella. But I also agree with the point George is making - and it's an excellent one.

Veerstryngh Thynner

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