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Oct 27, 2020 - 9:54:14 PM
72 posts since 7/29/2015

I play a Deering goodtime artisan open back

I currently use Deering Light strings which have an .021w as the low string and I don't plan to change EXCEPT I'm recording one tune that is in:

gGBbCD where the low G is tuned DOWN a 4th from the standard D.
(So from G tuning you would leave the high g the same, tune the D down to G, G up to Bb, B up to C, D stays the same.

The tension on the low G is a bit loose and makes the tune tricky to play. I'm just wanting to put a heavier gauge string on it (just the one string) for when I record the tune and then take it off.

Any recommendation on gauge for that sting?

Oct 27, 2020 - 11:07:24 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


24098 posts since 6/25/2005
Online Now

I’d try a .024 or .025. That would give you more tension, but still be playable.

Oct 28, 2020 - 6:05:19 AM
Players Union Member

Eric A


872 posts since 10/15/2019
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I find these string tension tools to be fun to fool around with. You can see what the tension would be with different string gauges. You can put in different scale lengths, different tunings...

Oct 28, 2020 - 7:15:10 AM

3536 posts since 3/28/2008

Sounds like an interest tuning. Please post audio once you record the piece.

Oct 28, 2020 - 7:27:31 AM

3406 posts since 5/29/2011

That's a pretty big interval from the fourth string to the third. That could really play havoc with keeping the banjo in tune.

Oct 28, 2020 - 8:38:06 AM
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72 posts since 7/29/2015

Thanks All
Bill Rogers yes, I think just bumping the gauge up to 24 - 25 would do it
@Eric A I'll check out the string tension tools!
Ira Gitlin I'll do that - it's part of a larger project that covers eleven tunings, most are more conventional than this one.
Culloden Yes, I don't plan to leave the heavier string on any longer than needed. With the .021w dropped to the low G, it stays in tune good enough for this tune. I just use it as an open string drone and 12th fret harmonic. I expect i can get a more solid hit on a string with more tension.

Oct 28, 2020 - 10:26:17 AM

872 posts since 3/23/2006

If you want to explore more tunes in various tunings (most not needing a different string set), Art Rosenbaum's Old-Time Banjo Book is a great source.

Oct 28, 2020 - 10:40:57 AM



72 posts since 7/29/2015

Thanks hweinberg I'm always fascinated with different tunings! This particular tuning is the only one that requires a string change. Not really required, but I think it will be preferable when i go to record it.

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