Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe



User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Joe Richman Tune Req: Fretless banjo (23) RE: Tune Req: Fretless banjo 11 Nov 06


The fretless "capo" (if you want to call it that) is to slide the bridge back and forth. Closer to the neck gives higher tnings, closer to the tailpiece gives lower tunings. I have 2 gut string fretless Fleshers. Fretless banjo tunings from the old days fall into high bass and low bass. The high bass tuning is equivalent to a modern banjo's G tuning, and the low bass tuning is equivalent to the so-called standard C tuning. Only the bass string gets changed back & forth to go between these two tunings. My "Boucher" model is tuned in D high bass or G low bass, but with the "fretless capo", it'll do E and A also. This D is a third below a typical modern bluegrass banjo in G. My "Dandy Jim" model has a longer neck and a bigger pot and heavier strings. It is tuned in A high bass or D low bass. (That is A nearly an octave below a modern bluegrass banjo in G.) With the "fretles capo", it'll go to B and E.

Other tunings besides the traditional minstrel tunings I have mentioned would also work on a fretless banjo, same as on a fretted instrument. Again on a minstrel instrument they will be lower in pitch than on a modern instrument.

I have a lot of songs I love to play on my fretless banjos. I play "Little Mohee" and "When you and I were young, Maggie" on the "Boucher"in high bass, and "Jordan is a hard road to travel" on it in low bass. I love "My old Kentucky home" on the "Dandy Jim" in high bass, and "Arkansas traveler" and "Chicken reel" on that one in low bass. Sounds like a "Chicken reel" for "Foghorn Leghorn"!

Joe


Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.