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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    Standard 5-String Banjo Tuning is Still Wrong

    The standard 5-string banjo tuning is open G - The notes from the 5th string to the 1st are G4, D3, G3, B3, D4. Two and a half years ago, I emailed ND support, because I noticed that the 5-string banjo "open G” tuning in Neck Diagrams was incorrect; it had had D4 for the 5th string, instead of G4.

    The response I received from Neck Diagrams in April 2018, indicated that this would be corrected...

    On Apr 5, 2018, at 4:24 PM, wrote:

    "Going forward we can enhance, introduce and support many new things
    In fact, Moveable fretboard markers, Banjo G string to the 5th fret, markers over the Fretwire for slide/lap steel players to name a few."

    It is now Jan 20, 2021, and after multiple updates, including the latest version 2.2, which I downloaded today, the standard 5-string banjo tuning still has not been fixed. The 5th string is still incorrectly tuned to D4 instead of G4. As a 5-string banjo player, I find it odd that so many irregular, modal, and infrequently-used 5-string banjo tunings are available in the program, yet the standard one still doesn’t exist. How many more years will it take to correct this? Am I the only one who noticed this?

  2. #2
    Hi whydavewhy,

    The standard 5-string banjo tuning is set that way to compensate for the fact that the string begins at the 5th fret in the real world.

    So when you use it in ND the notes placed on the 5th string actually show correctly. If the tuning was set to G4 then the notes will come out wrong.

    If you want such a tuning you can actually create one yourself in the Instrument Library View - if you're not sure how to create custom tunings then please take a look at this video:

    I do still plan to provide a realistic 5-string banjo representation but this is no trivial task due to the issue of the 5th string start location.

    Unfortunately I don't have the resources of a mega-corporation like Apple, Google etc! To give you an idea of the scale of work in ND2, I started on it in 2012 and the first 2.0 release wasn't until nearly 7 years later..

    Obviously with the situation of the pandemic working practices are very different - I have 2 young children at home as schools are again closed here in England - I have to keep the youngest "entertained" whilst my wife home schools the elder, so the amount of hours I can work on ND are unfortunately somewhat reduced..

    If things start to return to normal and the schools reopen then this banjo improvement is actually already something I'm hoping to now look into sooner rather than later. You patience is appreciated - I wish I could clone myself!
    Author of Neck Diagrams

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