Hello. I play the 5 string, 2ftl mainly, but fancy trying to learn jigs and reels on the 4 string. I understand you have 17 or 19 frets. There is a cheap 4,string on ebay but it has 20 frets. Is this not suitable for Irish music?
It doesn't necessarily matter, as long as the scale is not too long for you. I prefer 19 to 21 inches. 23 inches can be clumsy for playing tunes.
I see you're in the UK and I don't have a calculator handy, so you'll have to do the conversion to mm.
Edited by - rcc56 on 01/20/2021 12:05:47
Thanks, that's helpful. No need for a calculator, I am of a vintage that is fluent in both metric and imperial. Ta
I'd recommend starting toward the higher end of things. 23" is fine for many people. My ideal is around 22 1/8 personally. But i play a 23" scale one just fine. If you play banjo already you'll probably be okay. Shorter scale is easier of course, but you'll have an easier time finding one with a longer scale.
19 frets and 23" is the standard for newly built banjos for Irish trad. Why? Because the neck length is important to the tone of the banjo. There are very few banjos with scale length less than 21" that will actually sound good in GDAE tuning. I have smaller hands and started with a 19.75" scale. I now have a few banjos and they range from 21" to 23" and I have no problem playing any of them. I spent a good amount of time playing a 23" banjo and getting my fretting hand used to the stretch. I should also say it NEEDS to be a slim neck.
Thats great, thank you all. I feel a bit more like I know what I'm looking at now
Those of us who come from the mandolin and fiddle world tend to prefer the shorter scales.
I think we all prefer a shorter scale. It's easier. But, like Dan said, if you want it to sound good you'll need a least a little bit longer scale length. Doesn't have to be all the way to 23" though.
I play a 19 fret tenor OB
And the 5-string is 22
The reso tenor is 22
My reso tenor has 22 frets, some people would call that a plectrum size, however I have heard that plectrums are very similar to a guitar fretboard scale, which lends itself nicely to the Chicago tuning.
The OB tenor at 19 frets gets kind of cloudy above the 12th.
Edited by - geoB on 01/26/2021 10:25:45
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