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Jul 30, 2021 - 1:05 PM
89 posts since 11/3/2006

My bottom D string has a ping to it, I checked head tightness, changed bridges, picks, some helped a little, but it’s very noticeable when playing, just louder than the rest, anyone else ever have a similar problem?

Jul 30, 2021 - 1:21:33 PM

YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

358 posts since 5/11/2021

When you say a 'ping', can you describe what you mean. I know that describing sounds is hard. Is it a high buzzing sound, a low thuddy sound, or what?

Typically, all other things being correct, a loud D string is considered to be a good thing.

Jul 30, 2021 - 1:50:34 PM

89 posts since 11/3/2006

Well, it’s just a louder, obnoxious ringing tone, when playing it’s very noticeable, I thought maybe the nut was a little tight , but put the capo on and it’s still there, busted head maybe??

Jul 30, 2021 - 2:27:35 PM

Enfield1858

England

128 posts since 8/1/2020

@Banjer23 - may I suggest that you first establish if it's the banjo, or if it's yourself?  Easiest way to do that is to borrow somebody else's banjo, playing a simple open string exercise - fairly slow . . . in fact, really slow, and with your eyes shut.  That focuses all your attention on the sound and the touch.

If you get the same bottom D effect as on your own banjo, that's a pretty clear indication that your banjo is not faulty, nor has it any set-up problems.  I had real trouble getting my top and bottom D strings at the same volume when I started - which showed up very clearly when I played a top and bottom Ds pinch.  The exercise I suggested above was recommended to me by my teacher, and really helped.

HTH, and best regards,
Jack

Jul 30, 2021 - 4:58:02 PM

1571 posts since 2/9/2007

Assuming you're picking bluegrass style with fingerpicks....

I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds even the best-fitted thumb pick isn't all that easy to control, especially when it comes to dynamics! And getting one to fit you correctly can take a lot of trial and error, too!

Jul 30, 2021 - 7:14:46 PM

1571 posts since 2/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by banjer23

My bottom D string has a ping to it, I checked head tightness, changed bridges, picks, some helped a little, but it’s very noticeable when playing, just louder than the rest, anyone else ever have a similar problem?


Have you tried changing the string?  The winding could be coming loose. Or maybe you'd just prefer a 4th string that's lighter, heavier, or wound with a different metal. 

Jul 31, 2021 - 8:19:52 AM

3920 posts since 5/29/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Dan Gellert
quote:
Originally posted by banjer23

My bottom D string has a ping to it, I checked head tightness, changed bridges, picks, some helped a little, but it’s very noticeable when playing, just louder than the rest, anyone else ever have a similar problem?


Have you tried changing the string?  The winding could be coming loose. Or maybe you'd just prefer a 4th string that's lighter, heavier, or wound with a different metal. 


I never saw a banjo with a wound first string.

My first thought when I saw this post was that there may be a fret that is just high enough to make a pinging noise. I've had that happen often enough on the ones I've built.

Edited by - Culloden on 07/31/2021 08:24:02

Jul 31, 2021 - 9:02:20 AM
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1571 posts since 2/9/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Culloden
quote:
Originally posted by Dan Gellert
quote:
Originally posted by banjer23

My bottom D string has a ping to it, I checked head tightness, changed bridges, picks, some helped a little, but it’s very noticeable when playing, just louder than the rest, anyone else ever have a similar problem?


Have you tried changing the string?  The winding could be coming loose. Or maybe you'd just prefer a 4th string that's lighter, heavier, or wound with a different metal. 


I never saw a banjo with a wound first string.

,,,,,,,,

 

Hmm... when the OP said "bottom D", I assumed he meant the lowest in pitch (4th string).  You thought lowest in position, which also makes sense, but that never crossed my mind.  If you're right, most of what I've written doesn't make much sense, does it?

ok, banjer23,   which one is it?

Edited by - Dan Gellert on 07/31/2021 09:05:03

Jul 31, 2021 - 12:12:10 PM
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11688 posts since 10/27/2006

Banjo strings are numbered so that #1 is the furthest from your eyes and #5 is the short one closest to your face.

Jul 31, 2021 - 12:41:55 PM
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8916 posts since 8/28/2013

No matter whether it's the first or fourth string, the first thing I'd try would be a new string. Even plain strings can do strange things once in a while.

If that doesn't do the job, one other thing I've found that sometimes works when there's an imbalance in loudness or sustain is a slight change in the head tension.

Jul 31, 2021 - 1:30:43 PM
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89 posts since 11/3/2006

My bad, if I’m standing with the banjo, the little d string I consider the bottom, if that makes any sense

Jul 31, 2021 - 3:43:13 PM

Alex Z

USA

4485 posts since 12/7/2006

quote:
Originally posted by banjer23

My bottom D string has a ping to it, I checked head tightness, changed bridges, picks, some helped a little, but it’s very noticeable when playing, just louder than the rest, anyone else ever have a similar problem?


When did this begin ?  Or has it always been there on this banjo?

As Mr. G. Edward advises, step 1 with strange string noises is to change the string.  Not that anyone is claiming -- without even hearing the banjo --  that the string is the cause, only that you will  eliminate a possible underlying cause that cannot be otherwise diagnosed. 

Aug 2, 2021 - 2:01:26 PM

89 posts since 11/3/2006

Bad string was the culprit, new set hadn’t been on maybe ten days, first for me, going back to G H S!

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