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Help with tuning short scale banjos

How is this banjo tuned compared to a regular size banjo?

Take a regular sized banjo tuned to "G" tuning. If you play in this tuning of course you are playing in the key of "G". Now put a capo around the strings at the 12th fret, or the octave. Now your fingers are still playing in the key of "G" but at a higher pitch.

Now back off your capo towards the peghead one fret at a time. After two frets, or at the 10th fret, you will now be playing in the key of "F". If you go one additional fret, or at the 9th fret, you will now be playing in the key of "E".

The actual notes will be (5th-->1st) for open G tuning:

E  B  E  G#  B

Theoretically one can tune up this short a scale length to the octave but the strings become too taut for good playability. Therefore, I have found the best overall playability of this short a scale length for clawhammer banjo tends to fall in this range, or at least a tone and a half(3 frets) below the octave(12th fret).

Since I tuned my Piccoleles in the videos to our slightly flat piano, it is a 1/2 step lower than expected. It is as if you had capoed a regular length banjo at the 8th fret rather than the 9th fret.

You can tune these piccoleles from around the key of D to E in G tuning. Piccolo banjos with a slightly longer scale length sound good from around the key of C to D.

Most of the piccoleles here are set up with Nylgut or lighter LaBella classical strings. I don't recommend using metal strings as the tunability becomes very difficult for small scale length banjos.