Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!
Jun 5, 2018 - 4:48:20 PM
1 posts since 6/5/2018

Hi, I just bought a Plectrum banjo and I was wondering if I could tune it in GDAE (I play mandolin) without changing the strings?

Jun 5, 2018 - 5:26:21 PM

1035 posts since 4/13/2009

Since plectrum tuning is CGBD, it is likely then first string will break and the forth string will rattle.

Jun 5, 2018 - 5:40:49 PM
likes this



299 posts since 3/15/2005

Yeah, I think you're going to have to change the strings. (Plectrums can be tuned GDAE, though... apparently that's how Fender's "Robert Schmidt Signature" plectrums shipped.)  I think they've been discontinued for few years now but you might still be able to write Fender and ask about recommended string gauges.

Jun 5, 2018 - 6:29:19 PM

4963 posts since 8/28/2013

Tuning the plectrum "C" string down to a "G" probably won't work; it'll be too slack. Same with the plectrum "G" going down to "C." the B,will only need to drop one note, and thus might work. The plectrum "D" string will need to go up to "E" and will probably break, although it might be possible to get it there.

Basically, I think tuning to Irish is possible, but not with standard plectrum strings.

I would research the Fender "Robert Schmidt" banjo and see if you can find out what strings were shipped with those banjos.

Jun 5, 2018 - 7:43:43 PM



11 posts since 1/12/2011

Some people tune their Irish Bouzoukis GDAE . You might look into that for string gauge

Jun 5, 2018 - 8:53:57 PM

Jim Yates


6448 posts since 2/21/2007

Of course, like tuning a tenor to Irish, you will have to change string gauge, but it's quite possible.
Try 12 22 26 36.

Jun 6, 2018 - 9:00:03 AM

7 posts since 5/25/2015

I used a plectrum banjo tuned to GDAE for several years when I first started playing Irish tunes on the banjo. I'm pretty sure I used 10-18-28-38. If I recall correctly, the G string was a little tubby, but it worked fine for me. Would be helpful to know what you're using now, and how it sounds when tuned to GDAE with those strings.

Jun 13, 2018 - 8:14:30 PM



492 posts since 7/26/2003

I think one player of “We Banjos 3” uses a plectrum capoed at the 2nd fret (it would be quite a stretch without).
I play both Irish tenor and plectrum, when I only have my plectrum and someone calls a Celtic tune I capo at the 2nd fret and pick over the B string so I have DAE so I can pick many Irish tunes.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories