My Williams Kenny Ingram Spl. banjo developed a dead note (C#, third note of A chord) on the first string. Not really terrible but noticeable & my band does a lot of songs in A so I use this note a lot. Just changed strings recently so it might be the string itself but I sort of doubt it. I use Bill Evans cryo strings from American Made Banjo. Over many dozens of sets, I had one string break while installing so I think their quality control is good.
A quick Google check said a loose fret was to blame but it doesn't seem like that is the case. I had it re-fretted several years ago when Chris Cioffi basically rebuilt it with stainless steel frets but at first look none of them seem to be loose. There is also no visible wear on them. I'm going to try a new string, check the coordinator rods tightness, etc. The neck seems to have the right tension rod tightness but I'm going to look at that as well. So, any other possibilities for this problem??? Any & all suggestions appreciated & thanks.
"developed a dead note
"might be the string itself but I sort of doubt it
"I'm going to try a new string
Good. First thing to do when the sound changes is change strings. At the very least, that eliminates a common and major source of changed tone, particularly when the sound change is only on one string. Strings wear out, and wear out unevenly, no matter what material or who makes them.
Only after that do you try anything else -- because all the other potential changes listed will change the tone on the other strings as well, which are OK as is.
Finally, is anyone else hearing the dead note? Once a person hears something unusual, the person becomes much more sensitive to that specific sound, which they may not have discerned previously, and can't stop hearing it no matter how low in volume.
Let us know what happens.
Check bridge position.
Martin guitars are somewhat infamous for developing specific dead notes because of poor fret "seating" on the fingerboard. Just a suggestion. Funny that it should occur all of a sudden for you. Is there any possiblity your air is so dry the fingerboard has shrunk and dislodged a fret perhaps?
I fixed it but broke one of the rules I learned about computers (I used to be a computer tech): only change one thing at a time. I put a new first string on it, tweaked the lower coordinator rod about 1/16 of a turn & tightened the tailpiece side of the head to bring it into line with the rest of the head. Head set at 90 on my Drum Dial, I might put the old first back on to see if the dead note comes back after our gig Tuesday morning (10 am!) Thanks all!
Old Timer: I live in CA but the humidity in my apartment is only around 30-35%. A loose fret was the internet's reaction but I checked the frets around the problem & they were tight.
Foote: Bridge is OK. Thanks.
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