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Sep 19, 2020 - 8:12:09 PM
60 posts since 2/9/2015

What factors do you use to set the tension on a goatskin head. I've had a John Balch head on my banjo for almost a week and I'm really concerned about over tightening it and damaging the head or banjo. I tried using a drum dial, but I got inconsistent readings, as John Balch has predicted. I'm now just tuning by feel and ear. I've noticed that when I pick up the banjo after it's been sitting awhile, the banjo often sounds flabby and flat and won't play in tune. I've even noticed in the middle of a practice session the banjo suddenly sounds crappy.  My clip on tuner can't seem to settle down on certain pitches and I'm getting weird overtones that show up on the tuner. Tightening up the head makes the banjo louder and play more in tune, and those weird overtones mostly go away to my ear and on the tuner. I know the head is going to continue to stretch/settle for a bit longer, so I'll continue to tighten it up. How can I know when I've gone too far, other than something breaking?

Edited by - Paul Sutherland on 09/19/2020 20:19:21

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