So I put the new steel strings on the banjammer and it sounds GREAT! I did have to adjust the bridge a bit but it was easy.
I wouldn't have had the confidence to tackle this without the feedback here….Thanks again!
Strings for banjammer
Unless the vibrating string length is excessively short or extremely long you should be able to use standard dulcimer strings:
Melody Strings = .010 -.014
Middle String = .012-.014
Bass String = wound .022-.024
If you plan on using hammer on and pull offs, then a lighter gauge will have more flexibility and be easier on the fingers.
Locating the bridge is not too difficult. Measure the distance from nut to 7th fret. The distance from the 7th fret to the bridge should be approximately that same distance. If the notes go flat as you ascend the scale (fretboard) move the bridge a little closer towards the nut (small increments). If the notes go sharp as you ascend the scale (fretboard) move the bridge slightly farther away from the nut. Once you have located the bridge to get decent intonation all the way up the fretboard, mark the bridge location on the banjo head with a pencil. This will enable you to locate the bridge quickly in the future.
And, as you have already been advised, slanting the bridge slightly will sometimes improve intonation on the middle and bass strings.
Hi Linda. Congratulations on your new hybrid baby.
By all means, put steel strings on the banjammer. I would offer to do that for you, but if you sent it to me you might never get it back! Those gauges you list are about right. You can buy them at any guitar shop.
If the floating bridge is in the right place now, then just change one string at a time without moving the bridge. If it's not, then my suggestion is to put on the middle string first and adjust that one. Guess where the bridge should be and tune up the middle string using a tuner. Then fret that string at the 7th fret, which should be about halfway between the nut and the bridge. You should get an octave. If it's off, you need to adjust the bridge by moving it further from the nut if the octave was sharp and closer to the nut if it was flat. Once you have the middle string done, do the same for one of the other strings, but this time instead of moving the entire bridge to adjust it, angle it, keeping the middle of the bridge where it was when you set the middle string.
This sounds harder than it is. Just take your time and use your head and you can figure it out.
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
A friend has given me her banjammer… (can you believe it?!). It has nylon strings… they sounded pretty cool but seem kinda floppy to play. When I tried to tune up a step, the high string broke. Of course. I called a friend who has a banjammer and his has steel strings. 10-14-24. I can find nothing online about strings! Looked at Mike Clemmers site and left a voice mail at that number. I’d prefer to change to steel strings.
Question: Should it work to just put steel strings on it? It looks like it has a floating bridge which I have no idea how to adjust. Any input appreciated…