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String Change

Posted by Judith511 on Friday, March 30, 2018

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Well I have decided to change my own strings on my big banjo. I cant seem to get rid of the buzzing on the one string so I will try this. Hope it works out okay. I hate  to pay someone $80. to change them when I Can do it myself. I will do one at a time so I hopefully will not have problems. 

Yesterday I went to a different music store and asked to try another banjo. Wow that one was really heavy it was a Gold Star, much heavier than mine.  I tried to play it but it was not in the correct tuning and it would not go in. I felt really stupid not being able to tune it. In retrospect I think someone had tuned it like a 6 string banjo as that is mostly what they have.  I don't really know why folks want the 6 string but I suppose it is easier to learn if you play guitar as well. 

I found some Josh Turner videos. I really like his stuff What a talented young man,

16 comments on “String Change”

WayneConrad Says:
Friday, March 30, 2018 @8:41:18 AM

Good on you. Changing your own strings is intimidating at first, but it gets easier as you go.

People act like it's no big deal, but the first time I changed my strings, I was completely lost. It's another skill to learn.

Deleteme Says:
Friday, March 30, 2018 @9:40:35 AM

You can do it! There are videos and BHO anecdotes plenty to assist you.

Judith511 Says:
Friday, March 30, 2018 @9:41:05 AM

Thanks Wayne, yes it is another new skill. I hope it sounds better after the string change, they are a little old.

Judith511 Says:
Friday, March 30, 2018 @9:41:54 AM

Thanks Northl I will look for them and watch before I do it.

AndyW Says:
Friday, March 30, 2018 @3:37:40 PM

Change your strings one at a time unless you want have to reset your bridge............

When you're done(and certain of it), snip the ends of the wire neat, else they will bug you later.

Have fun.....

WayneConrad Says:
Friday, March 30, 2018 @3:50:34 PM

Good advice on one-string at a time. Also use a pencil to mark where the bridge is, so if it does shift it's easy to reset. I snip a string end to perhaps 1/2" away from the post, maybe a little less, then use needle-nose pliers to turn back the sharp end and create an eye that won't poke my fingers.

Sometimes a string will want to "pop off" of the tail piece unless the string is kept taut. Keeping the string taut while getting it wound around the post can be difficult. You can use a capo to hold the string taut on the tailpiece while you get it wound around the post.

Judith511 Says:
Friday, March 30, 2018 @8:57:04 PM

Well I started to change the strings tonight but when I looked at the package of strings I bought the other day it only contained 1 string. That is so weird I know I asked the man for strings. Guitar strings always came in a package of 6 so I assumed the banjo strings would be the same, So off to the store again tomorrow.

n1wr Says:
Saturday, March 31, 2018 @6:23:32 AM

Judith511 Suggestion from a long time guitar/short time banjo player. Buy you strings on line. Also - there are a number of different types, and more important they vary from light gauge to heavy gauge, which makes a difference. Do some homework with the search engine.

You will hear all kinds of opinions about how often to change strings. A couple things happen to strings as they age. Many people find that they are harder to tune. To me the most significant is that they loose their tonal - the high end harmonics go away, so they sound dull. A fresh set of srtrings will bring life to your banjo.

I try to change my strings ever six weeks or so. After you've done it a couple times it gets easier. The skill is the same for changing guitar skills, so if you need help find a guitar player.

Hope this helps.

Judith511 Says:
Saturday, March 31, 2018 @7:11:51 AM

Thanks @n1wr I see how to change them as I do lay guitar. I will look online and see.

AndyW Says:
Sunday, April 1, 2018 @10:17:21 AM

I'm the other end of the spectrum (UK so not to hot/no sweaty string rusting fingers).

My guitar strings tend to last a couple of years. And in eight months I've only changed one banjo string, a fifth broken tuning high.

Maybe different if you are looking for that bluegrass 'twang' I suppose.

Dave1climber Says:
Sunday, April 1, 2018 @2:54:14 PM

Every time that I change strings regardless of the length of playing time, I seem to notice an improvement in tone and ease of playing. One week or several months, always a change for the better.

WayneConrad Says:
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 @2:11:57 PM

I never change 'em. I don't like the metallic sound of new strings. However, I'm not a bluegrass player, and I'm not a player of any note so don't do what I do.

Deleteme Says:
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 @4:44:17 PM

I agree with one string at a time. If your banjo has been set up correctly then keeping the bridge in the correct position makes life the easiest for you.

I just got a new to me banjo on BHO that came with the bridge down and no markings. I read how to set it in several places and moved it until it was in tune open and at fret 12 in G tuning. I still do not want to mark the head though because I might now be perfectly spot-on as I have no setup experience or expertise.

Deleteme Says:
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 @4:46:13 PM

On the string subject how do you choose strings other than saying, "Google?" It is a bit of work to buy and install them for trial and error.

Dave1climber Says:
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 @7:26:39 PM

I generally buy GHS light gage with a stainless wound forth string. With a properly set up banjo they are easy on the fingers, have a tone that I like and are readily available.
A link

Judith511 Says:
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 @7:28:56 PM

Well I must say that I tried to do the one at a time thing which was fine but when I got to the second string I could not get the new string through the hole. So I ended up opening the tailpiece so I could get the string through the hole. That worked.

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