Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Banjo strings New

Sorry I haven’t looked through all the threads and this may have already been covered. However, what are the best strings for a banjo to give the best sound?

I like Elixor nanowebs. They sound good and they last 3 times longer than most other strings. They’re more expensive, but not 3 times more, so you save money and do less work changing strings.

I also like the way they feel, especially on the wound 4th.

Mark nailed it. Many of the bluegrass purists will disagree. Not sure if the nanowebs are in production for banjo anymore, so I get the poly’s, when I’m willing to splurge a bit.

GHS is a good string at a low price.

I use Stelling Medum Heavies on both my banjos. I used to use D’ADDARIO Lights when I was a beginner to help with bending strings. I had a lot of breakages with lights especially the 5th string.

I use D’Addario J55, Medium, bronze. I don’t know if they give the ‘best’ sound but I like to get strings from a reliable string maker. Elixir, Stelling, GHS would all be just as good in my book (I don’t mean they’re all equal, it’s that I would trust a string from those makers too, and I have sets from each).

Banjo strings are really inexpensive but if you are in a pinch, here is a tip from electric bass players. If you want to give more life to your strings, boil them. This is especially true for wound strings (I just boiled my bronze 4th the other day). Just unstring the strings and drop them in boiling water for 5 minutes or so. Rinse in cold water and wipe dry.

It really works. Of course, don’t do this with Elixirs or coated strings.

I have been using GHS pf135’s. I’ve tried a few other brands but keep coming back to the pf135’s.

I tried a set of pf140’s and replaced them in about a week. They were too light.
I have not tried the elixir polyweb’s because I didn’t know of them. I can see a set in my future.

I switched to medium gauge banjo strings. Holy cow, what a difference in tone! Also, my banjo doesn’t need to be tuned as often. Not knocking the light-gage or med-lite, but LOVE the mediums for these reasons.

Happy Picking!

Tip of the Day: Never watch a movie without your headphones on and banjo-mute affixed so you can practice that troublesome lick over & over & over & over & over & over & over :wink:

1 Like

My faves are the Crowe Stage Lights that @5-StringPilgrim posted above!

What gauge are the elixir pal

I have the polywebs here:

I’ll have to look into getting the nanos, but you can get either lights or mediums of the polys currently.

would be great to get from you but i’m in the UK Ben…

I think they’re the medium lights. I’ll have to check when I get home.

1 Like

Hi Mark

i put a set of Elixer Mediums on last night and not sure after using the GHS 155 if i like them TBH

They are obviously thicker gauge and much warmer/dull being a 23 on the 4th and a 16 on the 3rd

I will defo try the Nano’s if i can get them over here as i cant seem to find them in the UK



Sorry I didn’t check for you. I’ve been putting in a lot of 15+ hour days lately. Just enough energy to eat, shower, and get in bed when I get home.

Definitely go for some lighter gauge strings.

1 Like

Ok thanks pal will try a few
Out :+1:

Wow, I can’t imagine doing that! You need to relax more, Mark.


Thanks. That’s just the nature of the IT consulting world. It has always been either drought or drinking from a firehose. This particular hose just happens to have the highest pressure I’ve ever had smack me in the face.


Yeah I know, I’m in the IT consulting as well. It is a different type of drought for me but I’m enjoying it. :wink: