Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Carbon Fiber Nylon: You really ought to try it! My two favorite materials are real gut, and carbon fiber nylon. Here is a source for you: https://www.stringsbymail.com/classical-guitar-strings-1/savarez-62...

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Tom, could you post the banjo strings sizes, from 1st thru 5th, that you use on a typical fretless? Thanks
Sonny, it depends on the scale of each individual banjo and the pitch of the notes you are using for the open strings. If you have what feels like appropriate tensions now then try using the same diameters, or, if they feel light you can try slightly heavier or if they feel too tight then go lighter. Inexpensive calipers are a great tool to have for any early banjoist.

Sonny Bryan said:
Tom, could you post the banjo strings sizes, from 1st thru 5th, that you use on a typical fretless? Thanks
For a 26 and 3/8th inch scale pitched dGDF#A at 440 Hertz I use

0.022"
0.026"
0.038"
0.028" Wound
0.022"
That's about the scale of my Moschella. I am using the standard set of Aquilla minstrel nylgut now. I haven't bought any in a while. I may give these a try. Thanks, Tom
These will feel a wee little bit stiffer and be a little louder. Stay in tune really well too! The wound string is a floss core by the way like a classical guitar string

Sonny Bryan said:
That's about the scale of my Moschella. I am using the standard set of Aquilla minstrel nylgut now. I haven't bought any in a while. I may give these a try. Thanks, Tom

mmmm, honestly as finicky as the gut strings are I cannot put my rig with the guts down. Last time i played the nylguts I was taken aback at how harsh they sound. They have also been beat mercilessly for a few years now so they might just be needing to be replaced. But the guts have this warmth to them that is just not present with the nylguts.

When I was fussing with all the bass string replacements I had a fluorocarbon string that was second best to the gut bass. Is this similar to fluorocarbon?

Real gut strings always sound best! No question. As for the fourth string tuned to G or A, then just use floss wound with nickel plated copper wire (like classical guitar). Try a 0.028" D'Addario single. These historically appropriate for early banjo.
Here is a source for wound strings, floss wound with copper wire plated with nickel-silver: https://www.stringsbymail.com/classical-guitar-strings-1/daddario-4...
Thanks for sharing Tom, I'm gonna give this a go :)

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