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Oct 14, 2019 - 8:42:13 AM
1 posts since 10/14/2019

A while back I picked up an old student Tenor banjo for $20. The thing is playable in CGDA tuning but the tuners are chinesium POS and the holes in the headstock seem to have been hacked 1/16th wider than the tuners are. It sounds fine to me as is, and the frets arent half bad, neck isnt even all that warped.
I'm wondering if you guys think it'd be possible to slap another 4 strings on it and play the thing like a bastardized mandocello. Im thinkin Ill have fill in the existing holes on the headstock and redrill 8 new ones, replace the nut and maybe the bridge too.
The big thing I can forsee going wrong is warping the neck, as Im assuming this thing's got nothing in the way of a truss rod, but again, Im not gonna lose too much sleep over a $20 banjo.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Oct 14, 2019 - 9:29:40 AM

176 posts since 4/11/2019

Maybe start with just four strings first, unless you really want to start cutting up the headstock.

Oct 14, 2019 - 9:34:50 AM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14578 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by NateHiggins

A while back I picked up an old student Tenor banjo for $20. The thing is playable in CGDA tuning but the tuners are chinesium POS and the holes in the headstock seem to have been hacked 1/16th wider than the tuners are. It sounds fine to me as is, and the frets arent half bad, neck isnt even all that warped.
I'm wondering if you guys think it'd be possible to slap another 4 strings on it and play the thing like a bastardized mandocello. Im thinkin Ill have fill in the existing holes on the headstock and redrill 8 new ones, replace the nut and maybe the bridge too.
The big thing I can forsee going wrong is warping the neck, as Im assuming this thing's got nothing in the way of a truss rod, but again, Im not gonna lose too much sleep over a $20 banjo.

Any advice would be appreciated!


No.

Doubling the number of strings on an instrument designed for 4 will be an excellent way to convert it to a folding banjo.

Oct 14, 2019 - 12:14:45 PM

6254 posts since 8/28/2013

Tenor banjo to Mandocello? Not a good idea. Besides having a scale too short to sound decent, you'll probably only get to play it for fifteen minutes before the added 4 strings worth of extra tension causes it to explode.

In my mind, you have two better choices: learn some tenor banjo tunes, or sell it to someone who wants a tenor banjo. At $20 initial cost, you might even make a profit.

Edited by - G Edward Porgie on 10/14/2019 12:16:48

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