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Jul 12, 2020 - 11:59:08 AM
1298 posts since 4/13/2017

I have some questions about 10 string banjos, as I was considering building a 12 string neck

I'm used to a 1~3/16" nut. Could I still use that nut width?

How close together should the strings be? I'd be playing Scruggs style

Would it be possible to tune it so that the pairs were lead and harmony?

Since I building using a 2-way truss rod, would I need to make the neck thicker than '59 Gibson specs?

Jul 12, 2020 - 12:20:20 PM
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1487 posts since 4/29/2013

I think Curtis McPeake was the first to do it. Here's a video of him playing his:

Jul 12, 2020 - 1:14:02 PM



11613 posts since 2/7/2008
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I think gold tone makes one. See if you can look up the specs.

Nut width and string spacing at the nut should be similar to a mandolin. Now take a mandolin width at the 11th fret and add the width of centre to centre between 2 pair of strings should give you the width of your banjo fretboard at 5th fret since both these frets are about 6.5" from the nut. Continue your taper for the rest of the neck then draw it all out on paper to make sure it works. This is for a 10 string neck.

If a 12 string neck, copy a 12 string guitar then remove the 6th pair between nut and 5th fret then adjust your heel to centre between 3rd and 4th pair.

Lots of room for a low profile 2 way truss rod in a standard banjo neck. 5/16" to 3/8" deep.

That's how I would calculate these things anyways.

Edited by - Fathand on 07/12/2020 13:14:46

Jul 12, 2020 - 1:58:15 PM
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12721 posts since 8/30/2006

Do you mean a 10 played like a 5?
Or a 12 played like a 12?

The problem for a double 5th is where to put the extra tuner
Mcpeake’s solution is elegant

Gold Tone’s solution is one tuner and one tunneled, also elegant

Research your friends at Gold Tone

Jul 12, 2020 - 3:58:19 PM
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57 posts since 7/22/2012

I don’t think you could tune the strings so they are in harmony. Sometimes you need a major third above for the note to be a chord tone, sometimes it needs to be a minor third.

Playing the wrong third will get you some angry people when you are jamming and a confused audience when performing.

Jul 12, 2020 - 10:49:09 PM

55045 posts since 12/14/2005
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I mostly agree /w Mr. Selmer.
Unison or octave.

However: the strings of a regular 5 are in harmony, and, when playing a straight-across barre chord, they are still in harmony. But only for major chords.

And, as there are thousands of songs which ONLY use major chords, that would work.
For THOSE songs.

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