[Dixielandjazz] History of the Tenor Banjo

Phil Wilking arnold.wilking at earthlink.net
Sat May 12 18:18:24 PDT 2012

Standard tenor banjo tuning is C-G-D-A, exactly the same as a viola. 
Standard mandolin tuning is G-D-A-E, exactly the same as a violin.

Standard plectrum banjo tuning is C-G-B-D, but many players tune it as the 
top four strings of a guitar and still others invent their own tunings.

Mike Pingatore's name ends in an "e," not a "y."

Phil Wilking - K5MZF

Those who would exchange freedom for
security deserve neither freedom nor security.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Mike Woitowicz

There is some interesting commentary in the article about Mike Pingatory's 
role as banjoist with Paul Whiteman's orchestra and his contribution to the 
development of the instrument.

For those that are not aware, the tenor banjo is one of two major types of 
4-string banjos used in jazz (the "plectrum" banjo is the other). The tenor 
banjo has a shorter neck and is tuned to a higher pitch. There are several 
tunings used for the plectrum banjo, but generally the pitch is lower. The 
higher pitch of the tenor allows it to cut through the other instruments in 
a combo, more so than the plectrum. This style of tuning was developed from 
mandolins and other similar instruments in the early 1900's (explained in 
the article). 

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