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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Playing Tenor in Fiddle Tuning

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BanjoBelle - Posted - 05/12/2019:  13:05:09

It's been a loong time since I posted here,however last Fall I got a Gold Tone AC 4,which I adore. As I also play mandolin,I'm playing it in Irish tuning. That being said,I'm playing old time,bluegrass on it and am getting into Western Swing. And yes, still playing 5 string- in fact I have an AC-5 by Gold Tone and also picked up a Fender Rustler 5 string early this year,and it's magnificent!

paulspafford - Posted - 05/17/2019:  19:55:14

I have my tenor banjo tuned that way as well - I’m also a mandolin player first. I’ve played a lot of folk and bluegrass on it, but have been concentrating on acoustic blues lately. You can write very nice arrangements for pre-1950s blues in the keys of G, C, and D.

BanjoBelle - Posted - 05/24/2019:  15:46:17

I play mandolin as well! Have you done any vids of your playing? Would love to hear some of the tenor stuff you're mentioning!

paulspafford - Posted - 05/28/2019:  18:17:26

I don't have any current video, but here's an audio recording of part of a solo set (about 15 minutes) that I did a couple months ago.


The recording quality is pretty lousy - and a song on mandolin may have snuck in there too. This tuning really leaves you wide open for using double stops and drones to fill out the sound during instrumental verses, and has such a cool deep growl to it.


  1. Spoonful, by Willie Dixon

  2. Rambling on My Mind, by Robert Johnson

  3. Same Old Blues, by JJ Cale

  4. Same Thing, by Muddy Waters

  5. Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine, by Papa Charlie Jackson

  6. Won't Be Long For Day, by Blind Willie McTell

I'd love to hear what you're doing!

Edited by - paulspafford on 05/28/2019 18:18:27

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