Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Nut/String Problem when in low E Tuning

So I was just playing around with some low E tuning on the banjo, and my high D string (in this case tuned down to a “B”) was not sounding correctly when played open (sounds fine when fretted). Most likely a nut issue. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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IF it sounds good when in standard tuning, try using a “b” string?


Taking a D string down to a B is a pretty big drop. I’m not surprised you’re having problems. The cause is likely that the slot in the nut is at the perfect height for open G tuning. Going lower than that relaxes the string to the point that it’s buzzing against the first fret.

There are some tricks you can use to fill that slot in and reslot it, but it’s best to have the files on hand when doing so.


Thanks, guys; just thought it was weird since I’d seen other people tune their banjos down to E without problems :wink:


Well it works for me…
You just wanna not pick as hard as you do in G, the strings have a wider vibration radius when tuned lower so they buzz against the frets if you pick too hard


When you detune, the action drops due to less tension. Unless you are going to play greatly detuned much, I wouldn’t set up an instrument for that scenario. It will result in higher action than I prefer for standard tuning.