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For 5 String Banjo Players based in the British Isles.

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Banjo sounds terrible

From finners56 on 7/21/2021 9:01:09 AM

Good evening all after some advice please. I haven't played my banjo for a couple of weeks due to a small shoulder procedure. When I played it yesterday it sounded awful. The strings were slightly off so I tuned them in but not much better. When I then fret at the 12th fret the strings are slightly flat but get worse as I progress up to the short 5th string. When I play the 5th string open it's G  When I fret it at the 12th fret it's D? I am bringing the banjo to a real good guy Matt Ryan but he can't see me to early Aug, so hopefully someone might give me a basic fix until Matt can check it out.

The strings aren't rubbing or buzzing the 3rd especially sounds way off even though the tuner says it's right.

Any help gratefully appreciated

Many thanks in advance

Steve

8 Comments

GrahamHawker says:
7/21/2021 9:17:31 AM

I'd suggest posting on the banjo maintenance and setup forum. Have you checked the bridge position and head tightness. It's been hot and humid which might affect things. As to the fifth string does it matter. Of course the fifth string will be at D at the 12th fret as there are seven frets between the 5th and twelfth.

Gibbo13 says:
7/21/2021 9:21:43 AM

Sounds like the bridge has been moved alter the position either forward or back to get the fret sounding correct at the twelfth fret for four full length strings and seventeenth fret for the short fifth an easy fix and you can’t do any harm

tonytcc says:
7/21/2021 9:24:29 AM

I’d say the bridge needs repositioning - easy to check - tune the string start with middle then do ends…
Fret at 12th if it’s in tune to same note it’s in right place, if not it needs nudging towards or away from the tailpiece. Each time you move it you have to re tune.

If that doesn’t make sense look on youtube fur a vid.

Next I’d look at nipping the tension hooks up a fraction - say 1/8th of turn all way round.

Then I’d be looking at the action - pretty straight forward to do if it’s moved but worth trying all other stuff.

A new set of strings never hurts - if you’re due to put any on, change them before you start faffing with the bridge.

Hope this helps

Ps where abouts are you there’s bound to be someone local who can have a quick look.

Tony

finners56 says:
7/21/2021 9:52:39 AM

Hi Tony thanks for responding I am in the Rochdale Gtr Manchester area.
Regards Steve

finners56 says:
7/21/2021 10:13:21 AM

Hi Tony thanks for responding I am in the Rochdale Gtr Manchester area.
Regards Steve

tonytcc says:
7/21/2021 12:05:29 PM

I’d say the bridge needs repositioning - easy to check - tune the string start with middle then do ends…
Fret at 12th if it’s in tune to same note it’s in right place, if not it needs nudging towards or away from the tailpiece. Each time you move it you have to re tune.

If that doesn’t make sense look on youtube fur a vid.

Next I’d look at nipping the tension hooks up a fraction - say 1/8th of turn all way round.

Then I’d be looking at the action - pretty straight forward to do if it’s moved but worth trying all other stuff.

A new set of strings never hurts - if you’re due to put any on, change them before you start faffing with the bridge.

Hope this helps

Ps where abouts are you there’s bound to be someone local who can have a quick look.

Tony

alfiedog says:
7/21/2021 3:50:28 PM

If your struggling, you can bring it to me. I'm in Stalybridge.

finners56 says:
7/21/2021 9:11:00 PM

Thanks Alfiedog that would be great. I could bring it tomorrow (Friday) if you let me know a time that suits you.
Regards Steve


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