I would appreciate any input or advice about stringing a CEB4 to a GDAE tuning.
1) If possible, what kind of strings and gauges?
2) Assuming this requires metal strings, is the extra tension harmful?
Yes, you can use nylon strings. You just need to find which ones. In these videos I demonstrated the CEB-4 in three ranges. One of the ranges is 2 octaves below mandolin/fiddle - and I have the gauges for that tuning - but I don't recall the gauges for GDAE Irish tenor banjo range. I keep mine in the double octave range. I doubt if you want to tune that low, but if you do, let me know and I'll get you the gauges.
If you're speaking of tuning the same as an octave mandolin [one octave below a mandolin or violin], you can try the following:
For nylon, the easiest way is to get another set of Gold Tone cello banjo strings, and put the heaviest string [the C] aside. Then use their 3rd string [.042 according to their website] for your low G, use their 2nd string [.032] for your D, their 1st string [.040 plain] for your A, and buy a nylon classical guitar 1st string for your E.
According to Gold Tone's website, the banjo is built with a truss rod, so it should be able to handle metal strings. If you choose steel, I would recommend starting with an .042 for the G, a .030 for the D, a .016 plain for the A, and an .011 for the E. After some playing time, you might want to adjust any strings that feel overly stiff or floppy up or down one degree to the very next gauge. It is possible that the truss rod might require a minor adjustment if you use metal strings. That should be done by an experienced repairman [usually not the kid at the local music store].
Edited by - rcc56 on 09/20/2021 16:17:30
Good advice. Now that you mention it, that's exactly what I did to get there. It's been many years since I did it. I wasn't too in love with it, in that range, so I didn't hang out there too long. Another octave lower and the thing growls to my satisfaction.
Thank you Bob and Paul for these excellent suggestions! Much appreciated!
Good luck, Julie. Let us know how it works out. Even though you'll be playing on nylon strings, your CEB-4 will be plenty loud and punchy. You won't have any problem being heard. Another way to get to GDAE, is to string it CGDA and capo the 7th fret, which provides a short reach for the left hand fingers and arm.
'Could this be a sign?' 37 min
'Salt Creek' 1 hr
'Dallas banjo Uke' 3 hrs
'A little unsettling' 6 hrs