Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

322
Banjo Lovers Online


Discussion Forum

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!

 All Forums
 Other Banjo-Related Topics
 Banjo Building, Setup, and Repair
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Is there any reason why I really have to have a side-pegged 5th string?


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: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/350687

badmajon - Posted - 01/29/2019:  16:33:16


So I am thinking of having a banjo built for me, if the luthier has the time, which would be a long necked banjo with, instead of a normal 5th string peg, would have it pegged at the top like all the other strings. The idea is that I could capo it like a guitar and change the pitch in a snap without having to mess with 5th string capos or tuning up.

I also know I have NEVER seen a banjo that looks like this. Is there a good reason, or is it just "tradition!" (the banjoer on the roof?)

-Matt

lightgauge - Posted - 01/29/2019:  16:47:39


I doubt you could ever get it up to pitch without breaking if it came across the regular nut. It is possible to tunnel the fifth and have the tuning peg at the top, but would still need it's own means to capo.

Mooooo - Posted - 01/29/2019:  17:12:40


If you don't play melodic banjo, It might not matter much to you. You can find a string that will be full length and tuned to G (12 string guitars have them). If you are used to fretting the 5th string, everything is going to be screwed up, all the frets you expect on the 5th string will be 5 frets lower, so when you fret them at the 5th fret, instead of a 'g' you will have a 'c'. Get a tunneled 5th string, your life will be much simpler. Or stick with the peg on the neck, where they usually are.

jenorma1 - Posted - 01/29/2019:  17:26:09


Yates banjos already made something like what you're suggesting:



youtube.com/watch?v=vW9d1O27Yag



I believe he goes over some pros and cons in that video



 I spend most of my time down on the low 5 frets of the banjo and I like being sure that the 5th string is going to ring when I pluck it rather than getting muted by my fingers slipping over while I'm on the 4th string. I guess I find it nice to have that string "out of the way" and have a skinnier neck on the first 5 frets.

Alex Z - Posted - 01/29/2019:  17:36:04


Warren Yates made a banjo with a long 5th string, a few years ago.



Here:  youtube.com/watch?v=vW9d1O27Yag



The short 5th string may be traditional, yet it used to good effect in modern 3-finger banjo.  That's because the 1st string and the 5th string give the same note when fretted at the same fret.  That makes these two strings interchangeable when playing up the neck, and allows the 3 finger technique to make many smooth-sounding phrases and melodies that would not be possible otherwise.



For old time music using clawhammer, the 5th string is generally a drone, and a long 5th string would work OK.



Once a 3-finger player has an instrument with a long 5th string, I'd expect there would be a lot of exploration of how to take advantage of it in producing and arranging notes.  The video shows some examples.  Mr. Donnie is a very fine player.  Listen to the chord voicings he shows, starting at the 1:00 minute mark.  



I could see having a second banjo with the long 5th string design, to play thing you can't do on the traditional design.



Go for it!  smiley

maneckep - Posted - 01/29/2019:  18:00:35


Just put a spike right behind the 5th fret and you should be good to go with the tuner on the peghead. The fifth string is tuned just like the first (D) and when you put it under the spike it will be a g. You can also add additional spikes if you like.

Alex Z - Posted - 01/29/2019:  19:04:40


That's a good idea.  Allows a banjo designed with a long 5th string to be played also as a short 5th string.

RoBanJo - Posted - 01/30/2019:  05:54:06


Has been done Before. Are usually here it called a tunneled fifth string.

brightonbanjos.com/creating-a-...mmission/

Alex Z - Posted - 01/30/2019:  08:31:58


He's looking for a full length 5th string.   Neck width would be wider from 5th fret down to nut, kind of like a guitar, but with the 5th string tuned an octave above the 3rd strind.



"The idea is that I could capo it like a guitar and change the pitch in a snap without having to mess with 5th string capos or tuning up."

ClayTech - Posted - 01/30/2019:  09:46:34


I'd go with tuning it the same as the first string, and using spikes. That would give you a lot of different ways to use it.

Mooooo - Posted - 01/30/2019:  09:50:56


I don't think the full length 5th string is a good idea at all. It is a guitar solution to a banjo (non)-problem. Is it really all that difficult to spike your 5th string? The short string is what makes the 5-string special. Embrace it.

mike gregory - Posted - 01/30/2019:  12:28:39


The banjo I play for most of my gigs is an aluminum bodied import, for which I built a neck witht he fifth string running the full length of the neck.



One Kayser guitar capo does all 5 strings at once.



IF my opinion were hum-bull, it would be my hum-bull opinion that the octave G on the 12-string guitar is tuned to the same note as the drone 5th on the banjo. And if it's good enough for Glen Campbell, it's good enough for me.



AND, while I'm opining, let it be known that the TRADITION of a short 5th PROBABLY started back when it was horsehair strings, on a possum hide, over a gourd.



A LOT easier to get a high note off a short piece of horsehair, than to take a LONG piece and tighten it THAT tight, and simply HOPE it doesn't snap.



 


mikehalloran - Posted - 01/30/2019:  15:18:21


quote:

Originally posted by lightgauge

I doubt you could ever get it up to pitch without breaking if it came across the regular nut....






Nah... an .009 or .008 can do that easily. If not, 12 string guitars with octave G strings couldn't be built. Many 12s have 25.5" scales. Standard banjo is 3/4" longer. A long neck is 32" or thereabouts but the strings are tuned a 3rd lower.

lightgauge - Posted - 01/30/2019:  16:17:07


Thanks for the correction, Mike. I was thinking of conventional tuning and trying to go up 5 more frets with the bottom string. I was not aware they are tuned a 3rd lower, nor have ever used a .008 string. Apologies for an uninformed comment.

easy - Posted - 01/30/2019:  17:30:14


I would recommend putting some RR spikes at frets 7, 9, 10, and 12. At first I found the idea completely abhorrent (drilling tiny holes in my neck!?), but the spikes really do stay out of the way and do not interfere with playing at all (when installed correctly). It's really not much trouble to slide the fifth string under the appropriate spike when capoing up.

Dan Drabek - Posted - 01/30/2019:  18:47:00


quote:

Originally posted by maneckep

Just put a spike right behind the 5th fret and you should be good to go with the tuner on the peghead. The fifth string is tuned just like the first (D) and when you put it under the spike it will be a g. You can also add additional spikes if you like.






This method is demonstrated on the two 6-string banjo thread by Ken Levan. They have full length strings, capo'd at the fifth. 



DD

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.078125