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  3. Getting Started with Bluegrass Banjo
  4. How to Tune Your Banjo

How to Tune Your Banjo

Learn how to tune your banjo using an electronic tuner

First, let's go over the tuning of the banjo. Although banjo players use many different tunings when playing, the most popular one and the one primarily used for bluegrass music is open G, which looks like this - gDGBD. The lowercase 'g' refers to the 5th string, which is shorter than the rest of the strings. Memorize this tuning because it will be helpful when you use an electronic tuner.

Click the button below to use the online Tunefox banjo tuner.

Tunefox Banjo Tuner

The tuner will listen to the string's pitch and tell you what frequency/note it is currently at. Most of the time the banjo is close to being in tune, but it just requires some tweaking. The two main terms you'll hear in reference to pitch are 'sharp' and 'flat'. Sharp refers to the note being too high and flat means it's too low. For example, if you play your low D string and the tuner shows that the string is at an Eb note, you're tuned sharp and need to turn your tuning peg away from your body. For flat, you'll turn your peg towards your body. Watch the video below for a demonstration.

Once you're all tuned up move on to the next lesson on how to read banjo tab.