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For enthusiasts of early banjo
Tuning the Minstrel Banjo.
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I bought the minstrel string set from Elderly. I am, however, a little leery of tuning the 5th string up to D. There is no suggestion of string gauges with these sets, so I can't even ask what gauge string is normally used for the 5th string tuned to D. Hmmm.... any suggestions?
With nylgut, take your time. It takes a good while to stretch out. With the thinner strings, tune them until the pitch doesn't rise anymore, wait an hour or so, and do it again, until you get up to about a tone (two notes) low, then gradually bring it up to pitch. The lower strings will come into tune faster, but I really take my time with the thinner strings. I know it's frustrating, especially if you're uste to steel strings, but in about a week they'll be up to pitch, and stabilized with a month or so. worth the wait, if you ask me.
I meant "used to", obviously! :-)
*Sigh* OK. I'm just thinking, all this to play a banjo. Do I need my head examined? ( That's a rhetorical question ). I have broken my share of steel strings, mostly on guitar. I was hoping nylgut was different.
It is. Breaks much easier. At least at first :-)
Your patience will be rewarded, though!
And they should last a good long while once you've got them up to speed.
My problem, or most of it, was too much string wound around the post. I couldn't understand that this excess string kept stretching. Oh, well, I'm over that hurdle now. On to greater things.
Not knowing any better, when I put on my first set of strings, I sort of pre-measured them after attaching to the tail piece. I left 3 or 4 inches to wind on the peg and cut off the rest. Don't know if that is the correct way to do it, but it worked for me.
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