Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I am buying a Prust tack-head w/calfskin head and when I asked about the tuning of the banjo this is some of the info I received. (My banjos sound best when tuned down from 3 to 5 half steps from standard tunings. So if you were playing in G tuning you would lower it to E or D). Being new to the banjo tunings I am not sure what this means 3 to 5 half steps from standard tunings. Am I still able to play in the G tuning cords D, C, G-open and E or does this all change. I was told that the Prust banjo plays best in these tunings being they are lower and the head being 13”. So can anyone help me better understand what this all means for tuning the banjo. As always thank you for the help.My problem is that I don't read music notation, so I rely on tab.

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Don't panic - it's all relative. Everything you know already will be as you expect. It'll just sound lower.

 

Some of us keep our banjos in what we call "A" tuning so what you think of as a C chord would sound like an A . Your G would be an E and so on.

 

Some folks keep our banjos even lower in "G" tuning so your C chord would sound like a G and your G  like a D etc.

 

Hope this helps

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