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Will a detuner work on the fourth string?

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Sep 19, 2020 - 9:13:14 AM
2460 posts since 6/19/2008

As I understand it most detuners are installed on the 2nd and 3rd strings. This must be a common need for Bluegrass tunings. But for me, the most common re-tuning is from Open-G to Double C, in which the 4th string is lowered one step and the 2nd string raised a half step. Is there a good detuner out there that will handle this? Is it simply a matter of installing one of the detuners on the 4th string instead of the 3rd?

Sep 19, 2020 - 9:30:37 AM

1426 posts since 4/13/2009

Sure. Bill Keith used them on all four strings.

Sep 19, 2020 - 11:12:19 AM

2003 posts since 1/10/2004

Keith has long had 1st and 4th tuners available. The tuners have slightly different post diameters depending on which position they are intended for. There are even tuner-tunes arranged to use these additional tuners.

beaconbanjo.com/product/stainl...uners-14/

Sep 19, 2020 - 11:17:53 AM
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jduke

USA

1089 posts since 1/15/2009

Years ago, I bought some Schaller D-Tuners to use for clawhammer tunings. I called Bill Keith thinking I was going to have to buy one of his 4th string tuners, since the Schaller would tune the 4th string properly. He told me the Schallers work the same as his tuners. The 3rd string tuner only tunes a 1/2 step and the 2nd string tuner tunes a full step. He said reverse them since in old time tunings our 2nd string only changes by a half step, but we need a full step of change on the 4th string.

It worked!

Sep 19, 2020 - 2:51:18 PM

263 posts since 10/4/2018

I have a set of Schallers intended for the 2nd and 3rd strings. I put the 3rd string tuner on the 4th string to turn down to C and it works perfectly. I don't think it matters too much where you put them. If you detune a whole step you turn the tuners 1/4 turn or so and less if you detune a half-step. I have my Cheat-a-keys on the same banjo and it's fun to be able to detune the 2nd string to both A and C (both from B). I guess if i had two more I would tune the 3rd string up to A and the 1st string up to E.

Sep 19, 2020 - 4:55:17 PM
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Blackjaxe47

Canada

1561 posts since 6/20/2014

Anyone can correct me if they want, but I think it was Eric Weissberg did a tune called "Riding the Waves" and he used d-tuners on all 4 strings ( none on the 5th of course ) ....Amazing tune. It used to be available on u-tube at one time.

Sep 19, 2020 - 5:55:08 PM
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corcoran

Canada

399 posts since 8/3/2004
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It was Marshall Brickman (with Weissberg on mandolin), and as I recall it he used tuners on the 2nd and 3rd strings.

Sep 19, 2020 - 9:34:56 PM
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3349 posts since 5/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Good Buddy

I have a set of Schallers intended for the 2nd and 3rd strings. I put the 3rd string tuner on the 4th string to turn down to C and it works perfectly. I don't think it matters too much where you put them. If you detune a whole step you turn the tuners 1/4 turn or so and less if you detune a half-step. I have my Cheat-a-keys on the same banjo and it's fun to be able to detune the 2nd string to both A and C (both from B). I guess if i had two more I would tune the 3rd string up to A and the 1st string up to E.


Roger Sprung has Keith D tuners on all four strings and a pair of cam style D tuners in the middle. I'm not sure how he has them all set.

Sep 20, 2020 - 8:03:19 AM

3506 posts since 3/28/2008

And Clarence White used one or two Keith tuners on his Telecaster, to drop the E string(s?) down to D.

Sep 20, 2020 - 8:06:27 AM

3506 posts since 3/28/2008

Actually, it seems he had the Keith tuners on the A and high E. Marty Stuarrt, who owns the guitar now, moved the A-string tuner over to the low E.

burritobrother.com/gear.htm

Sep 21, 2020 - 10:42:52 AM

Helix

USA

12970 posts since 8/30/2006

Good question

Great answers

Have Sterling call me will you

What about that poor lonely five?


Sep 26, 2020 - 10:10:26 AM

2460 posts since 6/19/2008

Larry, I sent your info to Sterling.
As for the five, I like spike capos, that will do.

Sep 26, 2020 - 10:11:40 AM

2460 posts since 6/19/2008

I suppose I should make a banjo with a peg head that uses right angle tuners with cam-style (cheat-a-key) detuners at some time.

Edited by - Jonnycake White on 09/26/2020 10:12:41

Sep 26, 2020 - 1:58:11 PM

13212 posts since 6/29/2005

Look at Vincent Sadovsky (RIP) I became acquainted with him via Dick Guggenheim, and his CD "New Twists" refers to the twisting of the detuners, which he uses on every string, and to great advantage on very familiar tunes like Wildwood Flower, and Cripple Creek.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQ82VJFhERJpMwcHYtRrsFJYMg6ySYrdE

Worth a listen to understand what's possible.

Ken

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