I have a 5 string banjo which I cannot keep in tune…the 5th string always breaks when I try to tune it
I want to get a new banjo but since i don’t even really know how to play I don’t know what to get.
I am an average size woman and the one I have is a bit large for me anyway. Do they come in smaller sizes?
Can you direct me where to even look or start? I can’t afford a lot, but am so anxious to start working with your lessons….yet so frustrated that I can’t get past tuning!
If you have a moment to advise I would appreciate it
Patricia, I would start with purchasing a tuner to help with tuning. I use light gauge strings and put a new set on about once a month. This should probably be the minimum if you want to keep a good tone depending on how much you play.
Your strings shouldn’t be breaking when you tune. The small nut or fret that acts as the nut for your fifth string could be breaking the string or you could also be tightening the string too much.
It’s best to change your strings one at a time so that there is not a huge amount of movement with your banjo.
To the best of my knowledge there is only one size of bluegrass 5-string banjo. I can imagine that your banjo does get a bit heavy, sometimes I wonder why I didn’t take up the mandolin for that exact reason. A good wide leather strap will go a long way in helping you adjust to the size and weight of your instrument.
When it comes to finding a new banjo I always recommend a Gibson. In my opinion they’re the best. I have heard many good things about huber banjos as well. When it comes to lower end banjos you’ll probably get what you pay for. But you can find some good deals on ebay and craigslist occasionally.
I’m sure the fellow visitors on the site might have some good suggestions as well when it comes to instruments. I’m hoping to get an For Sale page up soon that will aid with folks buying and selling instruments.
Thanks so much for the great questions. I hope this helps and gives you some guidance. Keep on picking!