7/17/2006

Onlooker banjo research

"Follow Me Down needs a banjo!" cries Travis.
Kindly sending one down with Huck and India on their return from the Renegade Craft Thang, Travis enabled me to fulfil his dreams.

Now i have to learn how to play - or rather how to tune it. i can probably play it in my own fashion, as is my wont. The particular banjo that i've been bequeathed will not keep the drone (5th string) where i think it should stay. so mayhaps i'm wrong.

Here's what wikipedia has to say about tuning the 5 string banjo:
Many tunings are used for the five-string banjo. Probably the most common, particularly in bluegrass, is the open G tuning (gDGBd). In earlier times, the tuning gCGBd was commonly used instead. Other tunings common in old-time music include double C (gCGCd), sawmill or mountain minor (gDGCd) also called Modal or Mountain Modal, and open D (f#DF#Ad). These tunings are often taken up a tone, either by tuning up or using a capo.


If i can't get the top string to stick where it's supposed to, i might have to tune it to a non-traditional (perish the thought) note that fits nicely with the rest of the instruments in the song. That might be fun, since the song is in a minor key and banjos are traditionally tuned to a major key. I might be able to work it so that that the 5th string makes up the difference between the major tuning and the rest of the song.

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