On my tenor banjo, I’ve noticed a strange overtone that rings out with the lowest string. I think I have finally put my finger on it. It seems like the pitch wavers, sort of irregularly and gradually downward almost like a slight but unmusical vibrato effect (like a whammy bar on a guitar).
When I tune it, it’s in pitch and intonated but it just seems to wander, it’s even noticeable when playing open or single notes.
Is there anything that might be a likely cause of this? Or a name for the phenomenon?
Picture of nut and bridge and tuners for reference.
When did you last change strings? Even a tiny nick or a bit of grime caught in the windings can cause a wound string to vibrate in an uncontrolled manner, and sometimes a wound string has been poorly wound from the factory and will waver in pitch.
Yes - I do know of the phenomenon as described - it´s most likely caused by differences in tone resonances for the string, the head and especially the tone ring - mind you especially with regards to and combined with the differences in the sustain of these parts.
Before going into details and WTD - please tell me/us about your head diameter and tension, your tuning and string gauges plus the scale of your banjo - maybe I´ll then be able helping you.
I agree George that tired strings are a likely culprit. A fresh set is the first thing I’d try
Edited by - OM45GE on 06/01/2020 02:58:36
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