Scruggs Banjo Tuners – are they necessary?



Asked by: Lori Pelz

Usually they are set to change the B string to an A and the G string to an F#. There are a few tunes that want the B to go UP to a C instead. They are by no means necessary but they are also fun to use!

What do banjo tuners do?





The Keith D tuner is a tuning machine that has stops built into it that allows the player to “set” a note and then re-tune to another note and “set” the second note so that he can change from one note to the other and the stops will prevent him from tuning too far or not far enough.

What is Scruggs style banjo?

Scruggs-style banjo is played with picks on the thumb, index and middle fingers; the pinky and/or ring fingers are typically braced against the head (top) of the instrument. The strings are picked rapidly in repetitive sequences or rolls; the same string is not typically picked twice in succession.

How do you make a banjo D tuner?

So let's start with our second string so first string is gonna say the day on a D. And then the second string and we'll turn my tuner on.

How do you use a Keith tuner?

So that's how you want to set it and then the lower note you're coming down to it. And that's what you want to do you want to come from above. Go down to that note then set the setscrew.

Where do you put a banjo tuner?





The lowest string on our banjo which is the D note and we're gonna tune each string to the tuner.

What should a banjo be tuned to?

Open G

G, D, G, B, D



The most standard 5-string banjo tuning. This is referred to as “Open G” Tuning because the banjo is tuned to an open G chord, meaning that if you strum the banjo without fingering any of the strings on the neck you will be playing a G chord.

What is the easiest banjo style to learn?

The 5 string banjo is actually the easiest stringed instrument to get started playing.

Do you need finger picks for banjo?

Almost without exception, the consensus is a resounding, “Yes, you need to use banjo fingerpicks if you are going to play Scruggs-style bluegrass.”



What gauge strings did Earl Scruggs use?

Item Description

Style Gauge G-3rd
Earl Scruggs Signature Light .013
Medium .014


What is double C tuning on a banjo?

One of the most common and one of my favorite alternate tunings is called Double C Tuning (G,C,G,C,D). This tuning is used very often in old time music. The sound of this tuning gives your banjo a lower voice since we are lowering the lowest pitched string (the 4th string) from a D to a C.



What are planetary tuners?

A planetary tuner is usually a 4:1 ratio, meaning every four rotations of the button creates one rotation of the peg. This allows for some level of precision, while retaining the ability to retune quickly. This is important, since it is common to change your banjo’s tuning on the fly.

What is Double D tuning on a banjo?

G, C, G, C, D



Often used in Old Time music, this is referred to as “Double C” Tuning because the banjo has two C strings. A capo is often put on at the second fret to bring the banjo into “Double D” tuning.

What is sawmill tuning on banjo?

Sawmill tuning (gDGCD or aEADE) is very common tuning in Old-Time banjo music. It is one of three or four “standard” Old-Timey tunings. It is used for tunes such as Shady Grove, Pretty Polly, Cold Frosty Morning, Betsy Likkens, Cluck Old Hen, Cuckoo and some other hundreds of well known traditional tunes.

What is the fifth string on a banjo for?

The short fifth string is what makes the banjo unique. The fifth string is also called the “thumb string” or “drone string” because the early “clawhammer” banjo technique involved the thumb picking the fifth string often creating the syncopated sound that is associated with the banjo.



What tuning is clawhammer banjo in?

G Tuning

There are several different tunings commonly used for clawhammer banjo. We are going to use the most common tuning called “G Tuning.” If you already happen to play bluegrass style this is the tuning which is most often used so you may already be tuned up in G tuning.

Is clawhammer banjo easy to learn?

Traditionally, clawhammer style has been thought to be easier to learn than bluegrass Scruggs style banjo. That’s because once you learn the basic clawhammer stroke, everything else easily falls into place. It’s like the old analogy of riding a bicycle. Once you learn to ride the thing, everything else is easy.

Can you tune a banjo like a guitar?

Tune your five string banjo to guitar tuning by only raising the first string one whole step. Yes… you heard me right…. That’s the ONLY difference from a guitar. Then, on the first four strings, play any guitar chord that you would play on the first four strings of the guitar.