Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Banjo twang

I put on some new strings,elixir coated. They’re good, but the first string, D, has developed a twang to it. I keep making sure it’s in tune but it sounds louder and twangier than the others. Any suggestions?

If it is a wider diameter maybe you are getting a slight fret buzz? Is the string in the nut properly?

It seems to be sitting fine in the slots. Could it be the slots are too wide?

Perhaps, but fret the string at each fret and see if the tone changes. Also, did it do this with other strings at all?

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The last set of strings were fine I thought, but ill check what you said. Thanks.

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More often than not, a buzz or twang which appears after changing strings is due to debris in the nut or bridge slot. As the string passes through these slots as it’s brought up to tension, a very small particle can flake off and prevent the string from making solid contact in its slot. How you can tell which one it is (bridge vs nut) is simple. All you have to do is play the string open, and also play it fretted. If it only does it open it’s the nut, if it continues to twang when fretted it’s the bridge. To correct, remove the string from the slot and carefully clean out the slot with a slot file ideally, but if one is not present you can use a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper. Be careful not to lower the slot too much…so you want to try to clean the slot out at an angle where the playing surface of where the string rides remains the same height. It’s either that, or a defective string which has a kink or burr. If all contact points are solid and smooth, no twang or buzz. Hope that helps.


Did you sort this out? Would be great to hear the outcome and what you discovered in the end. :+1:

great title post Banjo Twang… perhaps a BB tune idea :grinning:

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