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Does a string just spontaneously become a 'switch hitter'

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May 23, 2020 - 6:02:37 AM
31 posts since 7/23/2019

I've never had to change strings on my 5 string, so this is all new to me. I'm not questioning having to change, I just thought things would slowly get wacky, not this way.
I was outside playing last eve. when in the middle of a roll I sounded.....bad. I tried to adjust by ear, no luck. Got my tuner, everything was so wacky that I thought it was the batteries. Put in new batteries and found my #2 string was a perfect duplicate of the #1 string.
So now as soon as I can find my extra strings I'll learn how to put them on, no big deal. I'm just curious, is this how these things happen?

May 23, 2020 - 6:49:26 AM
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2034 posts since 2/7/2008

I experience much the same thing when strings get old. They seem like they get too stretchy or Elastic or something and become impossible to tune. (Not that a banjo is all that east to tune to begin with :) I experience this more on my guitars than I do on my banjo, because I'm forever tinkering with different types of banjo strings and change them more often.

May 23, 2020 - 8:31:26 AM
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Bill H


1303 posts since 11/7/2010

It's good to check for loose parts as well, like tuner screws, tail piece connection, neck-heel connection--be sure things are snug and not slipping or wobbly. (don't over-tighten)

May 23, 2020 - 8:49:28 AM

1129 posts since 8/7/2017

Tuner screws on my 5 year old banjo are starting to spontaneously loosen. This allows the strings to go flat as they unwind. Waverly tuners. I keep a small screwdriver handy to snug them up again.

May 23, 2020 - 8:49:28 AM
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Lew H


2479 posts since 3/10/2008

I would suspect a loose tuning machine, or too few turns of the string around the peg for holding it.

May 24, 2020 - 12:24:31 PM

31 posts since 7/23/2019

Thanks everyone. Everything seems to be up to snuff, except my b string is now a d string. No matter what I do it registers on the tuner as a d. I misplaced the spares that came with the banjo, so I'm awaiting new ones from Ross Nikerson in the next 2 days.
I looked in all the obvious places, 3 different tackle boxes and 2 emergency ostomy supply bags. Where else could they possibly be?

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