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Banjo Ideas?

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I would like to be able to play the banjo model on the JTV like a 5-string banjo...which at a first glance presents a bit of a problem, since the 5th string starts at the 5th fret.  (I think otherwise it should be within the virtual tuning range.)  Anybody have suggestions for how to rig up what amounts to a 2 string capo?

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The 5th string on a banjo is tuned to a high G (the one on your guitar's first string).  So not only do you have to capo up, you have to virtualy tune the guitar to get that string up that high.  I've never understood why Line 6 didn't make the A string for the banjo model virtually tuned up an octave or 2.  They do it for the 12 strings, why not the banjo?  Any way here's a page of partial capo's.  Most are for 3 strings.  I've used the Third Hand (very cumbersome), the Shubb model C7B (made for 3 middle strings so is kind of a balancing act to get it to work) and the Woodie's G band model 2 (easiest to use but wish there was a Shubb model designed for it).   Here's the page.

 

http://www.partialcapo.com/devices.htm

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The 5th string on a banjo is tuned to a high G (the one on your guitar's first fret).  So not only do you have to capo up, you have to virtualy tune the guitar to get that string up that high.  I've never understood why Line 6 didn't make the A string for the banjo model virtually tuned up an octave or 2.  They do it for the 12 strings, why not the banjo?  Any way here's a page of partial capo's.  Most are for 3 strings.  I've used the Third Hand (very cumbersome), the Shubb model C7B (made for 3 middle strings so is kind of a balancing act to get it to work) and the Woodie's G band model 2 (easiest to use but wish there was a Shubb model designed for it).   Here's the page.

 

http://www.partialcapo.com/devices.htm

Cool, the G band model 2 looks like just what I'm looking for. Although... actually, I guess that means it's not really in the retuning range?  If I need a G at the 5th fret, then I can tune the string to D, but to get it equivalent to the high G then I would need to tune the A string to the D up an octave and a "half."  I haven't played much in workbench, but the tuning is limited to an octave in either direction, right?

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Why not just virtual capo it to the correct tuning?

If you look at how a 5 string banjo's neck is set up (or how I described it in my post), you will see that isn't really possible...

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If you look at how a 5 string banjo's neck is set up (or how I described it in my post), you will see that isn't really possible...

So you need to turn the 6 string guitar into a 5 string banjo tuned to g, correct?

 

So fire up Workbench, turn down the volume on the low E all the way. You're now a 5 string guitar.

 

Now you set your tunings for each string to match the banjo tunings.

 

E = muted

A = G = fret 22 (10 frets up)

D = D = fret 12 (0 frets up)

B = G = fret 20 (8 frets up)

G = B = fret 16 ( 4 frets up)

e = D = fret 15 (3 frets up)

 

What am I missing? I'm not a banjo player, but this seems doable. None are over an octave higher

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First, based on what brue58ski said, it's tuned to the G on the first string.  From the open 5th string A to the G on the high E string is almost two octaves.

 

Second, I think what you're missing is the fingering. Assuming I could crank the tuning that high, sure, playing the open string would be fine.  But what if I want to, say, bar at the 7th fret?  The four full-length strings are correctly 7 half steps above their open tuning; the 5th string is also 7 half steps above its open tuning, when the correct behavior would be for it to be 2 half steps above its open tuning. 

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First, based on what brue58ski said, it's tuned to the G on the first string.  From the open 5th string A to the G on the high E string is almost two octaves.

 

Second, I think what you're missing is the fingering. Assuming I could crank the tuning that high, sure, playing the open string would be fine.  But what if I want to, say, bar at the 7th fret?  The four full-length strings are correctly 7 half steps above their open tuning; the 5th string is also 7 half steps above its open tuning, when the correct behavior would be for it to be 2 half steps above its open tuning. 

 

Yes.   It needs to be tuned up higher than you can with workbench. (22 frets up on the A).  Workbench only goes up 12 frets

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you can tune 2 full octaves within workbench (24 frets from nut) am i missing something?

 

 

Yes.   It needs to be tuned up higher than you can with workbench. (22 frets up on the A).  Workbench only goes up 12 frets

 

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First, based on what brue58ski said, it's tuned to the G on the first string.  From the open 5th string A to the G on the high E string is almost two octaves.

 

I see what you mean. The banjo's 5th string G is an octave higher than the guitar's A string G note (10th fret)

 

Would the rest of the guitar be tunable to a 4 string banjo though? It seems that this would be possible (based on listening to an online banjo tuner)

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you can tune 2 full octaves within workbench (24 frets from nut) am i missing something?

 

 

Is that within Workbench HD? I remember tried getting a banjo tuning in regular Workbench and couldn't because it only went up 1 octave.

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you can even do it with the 89 manually since it has 24 frets (the 24th fret would tune you a full octave from standard tuning)

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I thought it was 24 frets either way; 12 up or 12 down, not 24 frets up.  Remeber if you setup a tuning on your JTV guitar you use the 12th fret as the nut so again, you can tune down 12 frets or up 12 frets but not a full 24 frets.  If I'm wrong that would be great.

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i think you're correct, and that's what i was trying to say.... didn't realize that you wanted to alt tune 2 octaves up.

 

I thought it was 24 frets either way; 12 up or 12 down, not 24 frets up.  Remeber if you setup a tuning on your JTV guitar you use the 12th fret as the nut so again, you can tune down 12 frets or up 12 frets but not a full 24 frets.  If I'm wrong that would be great.

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Just thinking out loud but is there any way to pitch shift just one string via pod HD?

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Just thinking out loud but is there any way to pitch shift just one string via pod HD?

 

Not that I know of.

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I would like to be able to play the banjo model on the JTV like a 5-string banjo...which at a first glance presents a bit of a problem, since the 5th string starts at the 5th fret.  (I think otherwise it should be within the virtual tuning range.)  Anybody have suggestions for how to rig up what amounts to a 2 string capo?

 

Dude I found a better answer!!!! 

There is a solution to tuning the Banjo to the 5 string tuning.  It requires using Workbench's parallel mode which gives  the strings on any model another virtual string a la the 12 string.  This gives you a 5th string tuned up an octave which you ca then tune up an additional 10 frets giving you that high G.  Hooray!! Here it is

 

There is a way to do this using Variax workbench: Start with a banjo body, and tune the low a string up to a G (+10), and the high E down to a D (-2), set the volume of the low E to 0%. Turn on the parallel pitch (12 string), add the +12 to your low A string (which you tuned to an upper G) and set the cents to 0 and the mix to 100%. On all the other strings leave the +12 off and set the mix to 0%. Tada! 5 string banjo... If you want a copy of the preset I made leave an email address here and I'll email it to you!

 

Credit where credit is due

This idea is NOT mine and was submitted by Joshua Duguid in the Line6 ideas area.  Thank You Joshua!!!!!

 

It isn't perfect but now you don't need to capo anything.  I think Line 6 could model the 5th string to sound better at that high tuning.  But definitely good enough for my purposes.

 

Keep in mind that this is only pitch accurate.  Since the "nut" on the banjo's 5th string actually starts at the 5th fret of the rest of the strings, in order to be physically accurate as opposed to only the tuning being accurate you need a partial capo  (only capo's the 5th & 6th strings). What this means is, if you fret all five strings at the 8th fret, for example; on a real 5 string banjo the 5th G string pitch only goes up 3 frets since it's "nut" starts at fret 5, but if you don't use a partial capo at the 5th fret so the 5th string high G's "nut" is the same as the other string's, the 5th G string pitch is, of course, going to be up 8 frets not 3 like on a normal 5 string banjo.  So if you ever plan on fingering that 5th string G the way it is on a real 5 string banjo, you need to use a partial capo on the 5th string at the 5th fret and leave the 1st four strings open.  This will give you the 5 string banjo's physical accuracy.  If you're just going to let the 5th string G ring and never finger it, then you're good with the suggested tuning.  And, don't forget, if you're using the partial capo at the 5th fret then you only need to virtually tune the 5th string up 5 frets not 10.  Hope this makes sense.

 

I think this is a better answer than the current best answer.  Anyway to change that?

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Cool, I wasn't sure whether you could put a pitch shift on top of the octave string up.  You would still need to do capo up just that string and tune it so that the capoed pitch is the G, though, unless you only plan on playing that G open :)

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Cool, I wasn't sure whether you could put a pitch shift on top of the octave string up.  You would still need to do capo up just that string and tune it so that the capoed pitch is the G, though, unless you only plan on playing that G open :)

 

Actually you wouldn't which is what's so great about this.  The parallel tuning section tunes up the sympathetic string a whole octave.  You then set the mix to 100% which means you only hear the octave sympathetic string.  Then in the strings section you go up 10 frets to G.  The 10 frets combined with the octave (12 frets) makes the total you've tuned the string up to 22 frets.  Which is what is needed.  I have done this and it works!!!  No capo!!!!  Wahoooo!

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Actually you wouldn't which is what's so great about this.  The parallel tuning section tunes up the sympathetic string a whole octave.  You then set the mix to 100% which means you only hear the octave sympathetic string.  Then in the strings section you go up 10 frets to G.  The 10 frets combined with the octave (12 frets) makes the total you've tuned the string up to 22 frets.  Which is what is needed.  I have done this and it works!!!  No capo!!!!  Wahoooo!

One of us still not understanding, although it could be me.  Let's imagine I want to play this chord on a banjo:

 

|-7-

|-7-

|-7-

|-7-

|-7-

 

The high G starts at the 7th fret, so we bar the other 4 strings and strum all 5.  If we use your awesome tuning scheme on the JTV, we do the same thing and, at least pitch-wise, it sounds right.  Now, I'm feeling chromatic and want to play this:

 

|-8-

|-8-

|-8-

|-8-

|-8-

 

On a banjo, I just slide up and now I bar all 5 strings, and there you go.  But if we use your tuning trick to tune the A string to the G open, this is how it looks on the JTV neck:

 

|-8-

|-8-

|-8-

|-8-

|-1-

|---

 

Right?  (And my hands are simply not that big ;)) But if you use a partial capo at the 7th fret and tune the A string such that the capoed pitch is G, then everything works right.

 

I'm still missing something here, then let me know--I would be happy to not have to track down one of those two string capos :)

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Aha,I see what you're saying.  Since the "1st fret" on the banjo's 5th string starts at the 7th fret of the rest of the strings, in order to be physically accurate as opposed to only the tuning being accurate you need the capo.  You are absolutely correct and I stand corrected.  I'll change my final answer to reflect that.

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