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 Playing Advice: Clawhammer and Old-Time Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Minstrel Tuning Chords

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:

Fish Head - Posted - 01/06/2022:  13:58:56

Does anyone know a source for some (if not all) of the chords in minstrel tuning?
I'm tuned to gCGBD -btw.

csacwp - Posted - 01/06/2022:  14:27:54

That's just standard tuning. Check out any of the tutor books at and you'll find plenty of chords.

Joel Hooks - Posted - 01/06/2022:  14:28:13

Usually "minstrel tuning" is what people call early banjo pitch. The intervals you are tuned to is just standard tuning.

In standard pitch, any of these will get you the info you need...

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 01/06/2022:  16:10:27

Here's a chart if you start tuning down into the other keys.

Joel Hooks - Posted - 01/06/2022:  18:23:54


Originally posted by mmuussiiccaall

Here's a chart if you start tuning down into the other keys.

I don't understand this chart.  With all the various "tunings" the only thing that changes is the pitch, the intervals all stay the same.

C in standard concert pitch today would ba an A in the "A notation" system.  When speaking of historic "tuning" as corresponds to the popular banjo (excluding old time scordatura) the name of the "tuning" is designated by the 4th string.  Perhaps that is why I don't understand your chart?

See my "timeline of banjo pitch" in the article attached.

Could you explain what I am missing in your chart?



Edited by - Joel Hooks on 01/06/2022 18:24:33

John Gribble - Posted - 01/16/2022:  01:48:00

Most of the chord page in Pete Seeger's banjo book are for this tuning.

elkinsfiddler - Posted - 01/16/2022:  07:05:16

Just take a standard tuning like open G or drop C and tune down a fifth or a third. That's about it. Oh, yes, then use the same chord positions. It's all relative. Of course the tuning does not a minstrel banjo make!

Tuedelband - Posted - 01/19/2022:  03:46:21

or this:

(I do not speak English
so I will be brief

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