Tuning a banjo head

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Tuning a banjo head

Postby guitarslim101 » Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:18 pm

The head on my banjo is getting a little too loose. Anyone know how to tune them up?
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RE: Tuning a banjo head

Postby crowduck » Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:52 pm

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RE: Tuning a banjo head

Postby 1four5 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:01 am

I'm getting fairly good at "tap tuning" using the 4th (wound) string. Pluck a note, then tap the head. They don't sound the same at all, however, your brain can tell if the tone of the "thunk" is higher or lower than the fretted note. I've got both my banjo's head "tuned" to G#. That seems to be the standard starting point according to a banjo forum I read. Higher or lower is personal preference. If you really want to get technical, you could spend $50 on a "drum dial" and get it perfect. I have no idea what the unit of measurement is, but I read that 88-92 on the dial is the standard. I've also read about guys who use a torque wrench when they tune, and record the torque of the tension hook nuts when they get their banjos sounding how they like them, then periodically re-torque to that value. The bottom line is that it comes down to preference. If you want bright brilliant punch, go tighter, if you want mellow tubby, go looser.
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RE: Tuning a banjo head

Postby panhead74 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:04 am

...hmmmm...never thought of using a torque wrench...good idea! I bet it would work on my daughter's drum heads, to make sure there was even tension all the way around
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RE: Tuning a banjo head

Postby guitarslim101 » Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:48 am

Thanks.
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RE: Tuning a banjo head

Postby cheyenne » Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:02 am

http://www.astroshow.com/banjo/banjohead.html

This is an article posted ages ago in a similiar thread about tuning your banjo head..
I used it and found the sweet spot of mine after an hour of fiddling. It's been great sounding ever since.
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