Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Hello all,

   I need advice on strings. I have been using the Aquila Minstrel set but for a classical guitar string for the 4th string. The tone is ok but the strings have a bit more play in them than I would like, even with the bridge moved pretty far back - about 2.5 " away from the holes in the tailpiece. I haven't tried other strings and I would love to know what other people use. I know it is a matter of personal preference. Some people cobble together strings from here and there, including fishing wire.

   I'd appreciate knowing how others have managed the balance between sound and string tension.

Thanks much!

Judith

    

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What pitch do you tune to?

Hi Tim. Thanks for responding. 

cGCEG

What tuning (s) do you primarily use? I know that the higher the strings, the less play there is, but the minstrel strings I am currently using don't stay in tune as well.

Judith

I use three tunings......D ( Briggs' ) E  (Rice  and a higher one gCGBD. The tensions work differently with different scale lengths and tensions. 

Typically, I use the Minstrel Set for the longer scale low tuned setting, and the Red ones for the smaller scale tuned up. That's what I do

On all my early 7-string banjos tuned gGCDGBD, I prefer Savarez white card (low tension) strings.

Judith, I decided to tune your old Bell down two "frets" to cGCEG so that I have a second banjo to help with a couple songs that I can barely reach with my voice.  I have the same problem though I'm guessing you always used that tuning since it sounds as though that might be what you're trying to do with your new banjo.  I'd like to know if you've resolved your problem.  It seems a bit too much play in them, now, but maybe it just takes some getting used to in my case.

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