How to String a 4 String Banjo

Written by mitchell holt
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The banjo is an instrument with a lot of history, commonly played in bluegrass, folk and country music. Restringing a banjo is much like restringing a guitar, but with different tuning and a different number of strings. There are certain idiosyncrasies about restringing a banjo that make it different from restringing other instruments. The task takes between 15 and 30 minutes, and can be done without tools and in the comfort of your own home.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Remove the old strings by unwinding the tuning pegs. Unwind the strings from the head stock end, then from the tailpiece -- which is the metal piece on the body of the guitar. Dispose of the old strings in a place where they can't be stepped on.

  2. 2

    Attach the new strings starting at the tailpiece of the banjo. The tailpiece is different from banjo to banjo, so the stringing method depends on your banjo. Some banjos require you to loop the strings to the tailpiece, some require you to string them through a hole (kind of like an electric guitar). Regardless, find out what your model requires and attach your strings accordingly.

  3. 3

    Stick the other end of the strings through each tuning peg. Turn the knobs and tighten the strings until they're tight. When one is tight enough, move to the next.

  4. 4

    Tune each string to the correct key, stretching each string as you do so in order to keep it in tune. Don't stretch too hard, however, or you will snap the string.

Tips and warnings

  • Four-string banjos can be tuned for Celtic music in GDAE (tuning for the bottom four strings of a guitar) or for Chicago tuning in DGBE (tuning for the top four strings of a guitar). Other tunings exist, but these are the main two methods, according to Banjo Wizard.

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