Three tuning options make our Tenor Banjo a very versatile instrument!
Are you a guitar player? Try the Chicago tuning. It is tuned just like a guitar but is missing the 2 lowest strings. So guitar players feel right at home with this tuning.
Do you play mandolin or violin? The Irish Tenor tuning has the exact same notes, just an octave lower. So anything you can play on the mandolin or violin will translate directly into this tuning.
The Standard Tenor tuning is the same as a mandola or viola. This tuing is fun for mandolin and violin players too. The fingerings, scales, and chord shapes are all the same, only you get to play in some different keys.
Below you will find three videos featuring the Tenor Banjo demonstrating a tune in each of the three tunings.
Standard Tenor (CGDA)
Irish Tenor (GDAE)
Chicago Tuning (DGBE)
Standard Tenor Tuning
3-ply Hardwood Laminate
The Musicmakers Warranty
We allow returns of finished products still in mint condition for refund or credit within 30 days of purchase. Such refunds will be for merchandise returned only, not shipping, handling, or insurance fees.
Limited Repair Plan
We will repair or replace, without charge, within five years from date of purchase, any instrument that we built if the materials or workmanship are defective. You must present proof of purchase from MUSICMAKERS to verify the date of purchase.
For the price, this is a really great way to start with the tenor banjo. The kit was well laid-out, with all the parts you need, including drill bits and an Allen wrench. The materials were also of good quality. The instructions were clear, but not always consistent. For instance, they recommend installing the frets in the fingerboard before attaching the fingerboard to the neck, however, the pictures show the fingerboard being glued to the neck without the frets installed. That may be confusing, but just follow the instructions (install frets first) and it will work great. There are a couple of things I'd recommend to the builder. First, the shape of the neck will make a huge difference on the playability of the banjo, so spend some time on this step. Additionally, setting the string height via the slot depth in the nut will also affect playability. Again, take time to do this well.
I have some experience building instruments so I did a few additional "tweeks" for sound and playability. First-time builders may not want to venture that far, but I thought I'd just mention them:
!. I found the leather protective patch to dull the sound of the strings a little, so I fashioned a piece of ebony to match the curve of the body. It sits between the strings and the body just as the leather is supposed to. The tone was brighter and louder with the ebony than the leather.
2. I spent some time leveling the frets to improve playability. This required re-crowning the leveled frets with a crowning fret file (and some experience).
It took three days to complete the kit, most of which was waiting on the finish to dry, but it was quite easy.
Overall, I'm very pleased with how this turned out.