Comment by Jody Stecher on September 3, 2020 at 20:49

A banjo that frets true?  I've never met one!  The interval between the G and B of the third and second string (and the b and d of the first and second string) assures that somewhere on the b string something is going to align poorly with the rest of the banjo. What goes wrong depends on how one hears a major third and minor third. No matter how, Something Somewhere will be wrong.

Comment by nick stephens on September 4, 2020 at 19:34

Howdy Jody, I am just back from a gig and received an email telling me you had responded here, I enjoy chatting to other enthusiasts from around the world via the interthingy ! you are probably right and, I have heard it said before that banjos cannot be played 100% in tune but, my guess is that so long as they conform to what our ears expect from a banjo then all is well, I have not had one yet that required the bridge to be skewed at a ridiculous angle but, I have found that a decent instrument gets close enough for most of us ! I probably dont sing in tune either but nobody notices and I always get paid .

Comment by Jody Stecher on September 4, 2020 at 21:29

I keep my bridge straight on all banjos.But guitars and banjos are equally untunable.  I expect that all your guitars, which have the same problematic major third between strings 3 and 2 that the banjo has, probably have a  bridge saddle which is on an angle. This helps. Even so, changing keys usually involves a slight adjustment to the pitch of the second string. Just intonation, Pythagorian intonation, equal temperament, tuning to the overtone series, tuning to our preferences, each one of these postulates  a major third that is different from the others.  And in any one of these, B in an E chord will need to be higher than B in a G chord or the G chord will sound hideous if it's as high as E or B minor needs that b to be. ("B to Be" is a good rhythm and rhyme. HMMmmm   the start of a new song.......

or a parody of an old one:  Oh I come from hello grandma with a banjo b to be.....

sorry. couldn't resist. 

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