How to Tune a Tenor Banjo: A Step-by-Step Guide

The tenor Banjo is a string instrument that has a circular membrane that produces captivating music. The strings on a Banjo are stretched from the head of the banjo over the neck to the circular membrane of the instrument. If you play the banjo, you need to know how to tune a tenor banjo. Tenor banjos have four stings and have shorter necks.

How to tune a tenor banjo?

How to Tune a Tenor Banjo

If you have a tenor banjo you must be wondering how to tune a tenor banjo. A tenor banjo is tuned using fifths. What this means is that these are tuned traditionally in the musical interval of fifths. All these chords help to produce distinct and clear sounds.

How to tune my tenor banjo?

Standard Tenor Tuning – C, G, D, A. This counts the lowest string to the highest string. This is also known as the traditional tuning method.

Irish Tenor Tuning – G, D, A, E. This tuning is used to match the fiddle. This is useful to learn melodies.

There’s a third way to tune which is called the Chicago tuning – D, G, B, E. This is tuned like the top four strings on a guitar. This is a tricky music theory but it’s great for rhythm sections.

Tuning a tenor banjo head

While tuning a tenor banjo it’s important to check that the head is tight and correct tension to produce energy from the strings to spread across its surface. You’ll find the tone to be feeble if the head is too tight and similarly if it’s too lose it’ll lack clarity and the sound produced will not be right. Various factors like the tuning of the tenor banjo head, the contribution of the resonator, and the air chamber’s resonant frequency affect the tuning. If any of these factors are altered, the sound produced is also altered so, it’s crucial to know how to tune a tenor banjo.

How to tune a four-string tenor banjo?

How to Tune a Tenor Banjo

This uses symmetrical tuning and which means having the same interval between each of the strings in the banjo. A violin, cello, and viola are tuned in fifths. Tenor banjos are available as 19-fret and 17-fret.


1.How to tune an Irish tenor banjo?

An Irish tuning is done by G, D, A, E. This is the same as tuning a violin or mandolin.

2.How to tune the tenor banjo?

A tenor banjo usually has 4 strings that can be tuned by Standard tuning (C, G, D, A), Irish tuning (G, D, A, E), and Chicago tuning (D, G, B, E).

3.How to check if your banjo is tuned?

This can be found with the strings and notes. Your open first string should be the same note as your second –string and so on. If this is alright, your banjo is well-tuned and you are set to start fireworks with your instrument.

4.How to find if it’s time to tune your banjo?

An electronic tuner can tell if you need to tune your banjo. However, it’s good to find this by practicing with your ears. It takes time and effort to fine-tune your ears to the sound.

Also, do check out Ultimate Guide On Best Banjo For Beginners, if you are a beginner and are looking to buy a new banjo.