|Hobgoblin Music - Banjos|
TenorThe Tenor Banjo is used extensively in both Irish traditional music, and Traditional Jazz. It has a shorter scale than the G Banjo, and 4 strings tuned CGDA, but it is common for Irish musicians to retune down to GDAE using thicker strings. Used in jazz and popular music earlier this century the tenor has 4 strings and is usually tuned CGDA.
The Irish and Scottish traditional players put heavier guage strings on them and tune them down to GDAE, an octave below mandolin, fiddle etc.
They also favour instruments with a shorter scale length (17 frets rather than 19) because it makes using the same fingering as the fiddle possible.
Tenor banjo should not be confused with plectrum banjo which was used much like the tenor but has a longer neck (22 frets) and a different tuning. Jazz players like the extra frets because they can use the same chord shapes and patterns in different positions.
Five StringThe 5 string is used for Bluegrass music, usually in the style popularised by Earl Scruggs, and players look for a resonator and tone ring. For old time clawhammer or frailing styles, an open backed simpler model is better. Finger style classical also uses the 5 string, but is less common now. Used for bluegrass and country music. But is also used for old time and song accompaniment in the British Isles.
Bluegrass players favour banjos with a resonator back. Old time players often favour the open back variety. Many tunings are used, especially in old time music, but the most common are gDGBD and gCGDB.
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