One of the most important things to do is to get your banjo in tune. If it is not
in tune it really won't sound right. Learning how the strings should sound takes
a lot of time. Electronic chromatic tuners make tuning fast and easy.
"G tuning" is the most popular banjo tuning. Use the guide below to tune your banjo.
D - 1st string
B - 2nd string
G - 3rd string (one octave lower than the 5th string)
D - 4th string (one octave lower and the 1st string)
G - 5th string (the short string on top when holding the banjo)
Changing banjo strings is part of regular maintenance and is easy once you have
done it a few times. You will want to change only one string at a time. If you are
having problems just look at the way the other strings are fastened to the banjo.
The first thing you need to do is slip the loop of the string over the peg on the
tailpiece. If you are having difficulty slipping the loop over the peg, you may
want to use a pencil to make the loop more round. Once you have the loop over the
peg you need to feed the other end of the string through hole in the tailpiece.
Then all you have to do is feed the end of the string through the tuning peg and
tune the string. It will take a few days for the new strings to fully stretch. Cut
off the excess string with a pair of wire cutters.
Maintenance and Cleaning
You should wipe instrument off and polish all metal and wood with cloth after every
playing. Using a different cloth wipe strings thoroughly (be sure to clean under
them). You may also want to apply a string conditioner to the strings.
Change the strings every 4-6 weeks or when they feel "dirty". Apply pencil lead
to nut slots to keep them lubricated. Use extremely fine steel wool to clean and
polish fingerboard and frets. Apply lemon oil to fingerboard.