Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

545
Banjo Lovers Online


 All Forums
 Playing the Banjo
 Playing Advice: 4-String (Jazz, Blues & Other Trad Styles)
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Advice for tenor banjo beginner


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/359939

Michel3133 - Posted - 12/30/2019:  09:07:28


Hello

Playing the piano I am tempted by the tenor banjo mainly to play dixieland / new orleans; is it better to opt for a 17 fret or 19 fret banjo with which tuning is best suited ?

Thanks in advance for your replies

Michel


Edited by - Michel3133 on 12/30/2019 09:25:35

hobogal - Posted - 12/30/2019:  10:41:29


Hello Mike - the tuning for jazz tenor banjo is CGDA. If you have big hands you may be more comfortable playing chords on a 19fret banjo but either is suitable.



Armel Amiot has video instruction in French and English: armelamiot.com/



Jack Ray also has some good beginner videos :youtube.com/watch?v=BGOt-l_b_As



This book will help you get started (it has audio): halleonard.com/product/243466/...jo-method



For inspiration, check out the great Eddy Davis.



 

Michel3133 - Posted - 12/30/2019:  12:40:46


Thank you for your reply. Alas I have quite small hands (when I put on gloves I take size M). So I guess I have to look for a Tenor with 17 frets - it's too bad because in my area there are especially 19 frets at reasonable prices.

Buy the way I imagine that the plectrum is even more difficult for small hands

Omeboy - Posted - 12/30/2019:  19:55:34


quote:

Originally posted by Michel3133 @michel3133

Thank you for your reply. Alas I have quite small hands (when I put on gloves I take size M). So I guess I have to look for a Tenor with 17 frets - it's too bad because in my area there are especially 19 frets at reasonable prices.



Buy the way I imagine that the plectrum is even more difficult for small hands________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Both Eddie Peabody and Perry Bechtel were slight built gentlemen and neither possessed large hands----yet both were giants on the plectrum.






 

hobogal - Posted - 12/31/2019:  01:32:43


The plectrum banjo may look 'longer' but the intervals between notes are closer together in CGBD (or DGBD).  The tenor banjo is tuned in fifths so there are bigger intervals between the notes.   



Here are some intro plectrum lessons by Scott Anthony:santhony.com/banjo/


Edited by - hobogal on 12/31/2019 01:38:46

hobogal - Posted - 12/31/2019:  01:47:54


p.s I'm linking this video showing John Mumford (plectrum banjo) and David Cava (tenor banjo) playing together.  You can hear the different tonal sounds of both instruments.



youtube.com/watch?v=rdNWhPmOfkw

Meestro - Posted - 01/12/2020:  18:29:26


quote:

Originally posted by Michel3133

Thank you for your reply. Alas I have quite small hands (when I put on gloves I take size M). So I guess I have to look for a Tenor with 17 frets - it's too bad because in my area there are especially 19 frets at reasonable prices.



Buy the way I imagine that the plectrum is even more difficult for small hands






 

Meestro - Posted - 01/12/2020:  18:48:12


quote:

Originally posted by Meestro

I wouldn’t get too hung up on 17 or 19 fret banjo. Go for the one that sounds the best that is comfortable to play. I’ve seen 12 girls with small hands play double bass concertos where the notes near the nut, are an inch and a half away from each other and 5 years olds playing standard piano repertoire even though their feet can’t reach the pedals without a wooden device to extend the height. There are bigger fish to fry than the number of frets. I have two very good banjos, a 1928 Leedy Solotone and a 1988 OME Monarch. Both have 19 lfrets but when you put the two necks facing each other lined up at the nut. The difference is one whole fret shorter at the 19th fret on the OME. (shorter Scale Length). The biggest concern for me is width of the nut which was much wider on my Clifford Essex Paragon. That made a difference to me as I often go from Double Bass, to Electric Bass and evening at times going from bass to banjo to mandolin in a put orchestra setting. No different than driving two cars of different sizes. You can adjust. The brain is the main factor. Hope this helps. My Leedy has a narrower neck so it is more difficult for me to play unless I warm up on a mandolin first!






Sorry about the mistakes. I need to a better job of proofreading when typing on my phone. 

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

5.078125E-02