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Low Tuned Heavy strings on Dobson or Pisgah?

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Jul 29, 2019 - 4:37:16 PM
2094 posts since 9/25/2006

Anybody tried heavy gauge strings tuned down to a “D” on a Dobson, particularly their Pisgah Dobson?

Jul 29, 2019 - 4:54:58 PM

852 posts since 7/18/2009

What about really heavy synthetic fishing line?  

Jul 29, 2019 - 5:55:02 PM

3667 posts since 10/13/2005
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Aquila Minstrel Nylguts? banjered

Jul 29, 2019 - 7:56 PM

2094 posts since 9/25/2006

No, I’m talking about Steel.

Jul 29, 2019 - 8:16:03 PM

8899 posts since 2/22/2007

I don't think that you will get there with steel. F is doable for me but E is very floppy. You need a long scale neck to make D
work. The brand and tone ring won't matter. I play tuned down to D with Nylgut Minstrel. There is a set of wound steel strings for the Gold Tone Missing Link that tunes to D. Search for some audios and see if that is what you are after.

Jul 30, 2019 - 8:58:02 AM

353 posts since 1/28/2013

Get some Julia Belle strings from Deering. They should be fine.

Edited by - jan dupree on 07/30/2019 09:00:40

Jul 30, 2019 - 9:26:49 AM

5148 posts since 12/20/2005

It can be done with banjo or even loop end guitar strings.
You can use something like 10, 13, 17, 24, 10. That's assuming D, A, F#, D, and F# or A on the 5th string.
I have done it with a 12 inch Hickler banjo that has a Dobson tonering.
It works out great.

Jul 30, 2019 - 2:53:45 PM

5148 posts since 12/20/2005

If you are wanting same interval's as with G tuning you can try something like 13, 17, 24W, 36W, and 13. That would be A, F#, D, A, D.

I've tried this, with the 12 inch rim banjo I mentioned. Result was dissappointing.

Jul 31, 2019 - 10:59:36 AM

2094 posts since 9/25/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Leslie R

If you are wanting same interval's as with G tuning you can try something like 13, 17, 24W, 36W, and 13. That would be A, F#, D, A, D.

I've tried this, with the 12 inch rim banjo I mentioned. Result was dissappointing.


I'd be looking for something that "plays" like G tuning, just tuned down to D so that I don't have to capo at the 7th fret.

Jul 31, 2019 - 12:13:54 PM

12145 posts since 6/29/2005

I think that was the reason Pete Seeger developed the longneck, but even one of those only goes down to E, and that's with a 32" scale.

Jul 31, 2019 - 12:26:44 PM

5148 posts since 12/20/2005

I did not know that, but it makes sense.
For me, using the 12 inch rim, going down to open F was about as low as I could go and still have a decent tone. I think that banjo has a 24 inch scale.
Below F, the tone became muddy.
D tuning, like you are wanting, is getting down pretty low.

Jul 31, 2019 - 1:20:55 PM

12145 posts since 6/29/2005

You could always play in D by capoing a regular banjo at the second fret and using C positions or double C tuning.

Jul 31, 2019 - 10:01:05 PM

267 posts since 4/3/2012

Ome sells a set of heavy gauge strings that might get you close.

Aug 1, 2019 - 9:43:52 AM

8899 posts since 2/22/2007

I tried the Ome heavies, did not like anything about them, tone was less pleasing than lights tuned down, and I had two strings break in the first week tuned to low tension. Had no desire to replace them.

Aug 1, 2019 - 12:00:48 PM

4673 posts since 9/21/2007

Another possibility is to not bother with scordatura or capo d'astros and just play in the key of D.

Here is the D major scale for 5 string banjo and cords on the staff.

https://archive.org/details/TheImprovedParamountMethodForBanjo/page/n35

And here are the chords in a chart form.

https://archive.org/details/ChordsForTheBanjoFoden/page/n13

Here is a little more.

https://archive.org/details/ChordSystemForPlectrumBanjo1/page/n35

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