Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Tenor Banjo Thoughts

Hi All

Im very tempted to get a tenor banjo as some of our songs have fiddle tunes in i.e Banshee reel and soldiers joy are a few our fiddle player uses and i’m not sure if i can play along with him on the 5 string or not so could do with some advise…


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Hi Lee

Playing a tenor banjo is very much like playing a mandolin. I bought two second hand instruments two years ago when I turned 70, One of the banjos was a restoration project.

I was fairly enthusiastic to begin with and made fairly good progress at first then I kinda lost interest once I completed the online course. There are lots of fiddle tunes played on the 5 String. Banjo. Soldiers Joy is fun to p;lay in Drop C tuning, Capo up 2 frets and your in drop D, So you can play that with your fiddler. Go check out the TABs on the Fiddle Hangout there’s some great TABs there with BANJO tabs accompanying fiddle. Also check on the Banjo Hangout for TABs by Sean Ray I am sure Sean has some rolling backuo TABs to accompany fiddle .

Hi Archie

Ok thanks for that will have a look :+1:

Make sure to check Ben’s lessons, pretty sure he has soldiers joy, and a few others. You definitely could play tenor banjo along with a fiddle, just know beforehand that it’s a completely different instrument. I’ve played a couple tenors, and they’re really fun. Also, if you use Irish tenor tuning, you can learn all of Ben’s mandolin lessons too.


if anything i would go for the 19 fret tenor in Irish tuning just not sure if i could save the effort and play Irish fiddle tunes on a 5 string. I would like to learn the Banshee reel but not sure if to play in a Scruggs style or learn as a tune

guess this guy has answered my question…lol

Guess you really don’t need a Tenor when your Bella



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time to start some single string practice for me…

And check out Dave Hum. He’s passed now, but his music and videos are still out there. He did lot’s of jigs and reels and hornpipes and more. I downloaded his two albums from Amazon.

Here’s his YouTube page


Thanks for that :+1:


Hi Lee, This is the beginners online course I worked through with Lisa Canny she is a great teacher and her lessons are easy to follow. The more advance lessons are taught by Paddy Cummings and I really struggled to stay focused, it was difficult to understand what he was saying half the time with his strong Irish accent.

So being Scottish doesn’t help understand Irish accent? Interesting

For a second there, I thought “Drew Barrymore plays tenor banjo?” :laughing:

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There is a likeness for sure

Ok thanks for that pal just need a decent TB now :+1:

Being American didn’t help me understand those from KY or GA…

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