How to Tune a 6 String Banjo

How to Tune a 6 String Banjo | Everything You Need to Know

Banjos are iconic American instruments and are often associated with old-time country music. If you’re looking to add a bit of country flair to your music repertoire, then a 6 string banjo is a perfect choice. When tuned correctly, this instrument can sound surprisingly like a guitar or even an electric piano. In this article, we’ll teach you how to tune a 6 string banjo and give you some tips on how to make the most of its unique banjo sound.

What is 6 String Banjo?

How to Tune a 6 String Banjo

A banjo with six strings, instead of the four on a 5 string banjo or 4-string banjo, is known as a 6th string banjo. This supplementary string isn’t required for basic proficiency, although it may offer some variety to your playing.

If you plan to buy a 6-string banjo, read our buying guide on Best 6 String Banjo.

Tips to Tune a 6 String Banjo

You can use two methods when tuning your 6-string banjos: a full-step or half-step method. We’ll show you both methods in detail below.

1. By using the Full Step Method

The most common and simplest way to tune your banjo is this. Tune the 5th string to D, the 4th string to G, and the 3rd string to B at first. Then tune the 1st string down an octave to A and the 2nd string up an octave to E.

2. By Using The Half-Step Method

Tune your 6thstring (the one that isn’t connected to any other strings) down one whole step relative to your 5th string if you’re employing a half-step technique. Tune it DOWN (or UP if you’re using the full-step approach) to accomplish this. Then adjust the 5th fret string to D, 4th string to G, and 3rd string to B. Tune the 1st string down an octave to TOGGLES DOWN (or UP if you’re using the complete step technique), tune the 2nd string up an octave to E.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when tuning your 6-string banjo:

  • First, ensure that all of your strings are tuned evenly.
  • Second, be careful not to over-tune any of your strings. Finally, be sure to check your banjo for proper intonation every time you tune it.

Once you’ve properly tuned your 6-string banjo, try it and see how its unique sound can change how you play!

Few Safety Tips

Now that you’re properly tuned and ready to rock, here are some tips on how to make the most of your 6 string banjo player:

1. Learn basic chords and melodies – a well-tuned banjo will make learning new songs much easier.

2. Experiment with different sounds and techniques by playing along with recordings or practice tabs (or even written music). This will help you find new ways to express yourself as an artist and can also open up a whole world of possibilities for improvisation onstage.

3. Take your banjo on the road or camping trips; the open air will give it the perfect environment to sound its best.

4. Use a pick or fingerpicks to play delicate melodies or accompaniment; using fingers instead of a pick can produce an organic, more acoustic-sounding tone.

5. Be sure to practice regularly – even if you’re playing around at home, it’ll help improve your skills and keep your banjo in top shape.


Is a 6 string banjo tuned like a guitar?

No, a 6 string banjo is not tuned like a guitar. While they share some similarities in their construction, the pitch of the strings on a banjo is typically higher than those on a guitar player. This allows for greater range and versatility when it comes to songs that can be played on the instrument.

Why are banjos hard to tune?

Banjos are usually difficult to tune because the strings are narrow and tight at the bridge. This makes it difficult to adjust the string height, tension, and fingerboard radius. Additionally, banjo makers often use hardwood for the fretboards, which can make them harder to play.

How can I prevent tuning problems with my banjo?

You can do a few things to prevent tuning problems with your banjo. One method is to adjust the truss rod regularly. This will help maintain the neck tension and correct any slack that may be developing due to Banjocraft Regulations. Additionally, make sure your strings are properly stretchy and tight in relation to the fretting hand position. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, it might be necessary to have the banjo professionally tuned.

Check out our blog on How to tune a banjo.


After reading this article, you know that standard tuning a 6 string banjo is way more complicated than just adjusting the strings. However, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your instrument sounds amazing. For starters, start with checking the tuning while playing a few notes of different chords and progress accordingly. In case you’re still having trouble, feel free to hire an expert at any local music store or ask for help from your friends who are also beginners!

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