Standard banjo has 4 string diagram?

I’m working on a piece with a standard 5 string banjo. I see Dorico offers a “Standard” banjo, but it only has 4 strings. There is also a Tenor banjo listed. How do I make a standard G tuned 5 string banjo chord diagram? Thanks!

Dorico shows only four strings because the fifth string only begins at the fifth fret. You would need to edit the banjo’s strings and tunings such that the fifth string begins at the nut in order to see all five strings in the chord diagram.

Thanks. Makes sense. How can I do that? Even though the string begins at the 5th fret, you can still play the 5th string open in the lower frets, and so I need to be able to have it there.

See here:

Thank you! I created the new tuning by following the page, but I don’t see how to save this as a new preset and/or apply this to the banjo. The chord diagrams still have 4 strings even though I moved the 5th string down.

Yes, you’re right, because of course the chord diagrams use a standard tuning as specified in the context menu for the player in Setup mode. I’ll need to check with my colleagues tomorrow whether there’s something I’m forgetting.

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Thank you!

My understanding is that it’s the standard convention that banjo chord diagrams don’t show the bottom string. The idea (as I understand it) is that it’s mainly used as a rhythmic pedal point and doesn’t form part of the main chord shape. (A bit of quick googling supports this e.g. Banjo Chord Chart )

Well, then we can call it an extended technique. I’ve played banjo all of about a week, and I’m using voicings where I need the 5th string (fretted or not).

EDIT: I take that back, the second and third images in Google show me banjo diagrams with all five strings, so I don’t think there is a blanket answer. As a simple example if you want to play a Fmaj9 in first position, you need the open G and the other four strings.

Is there a workaround for this? I desperately need 5 string chord diagrams for my performer. Can I use a different instrument that has five strings and change the tuning to fit? Thanks!

I am not minimizing your ask - but as a workaround I think a few bars at the top with tablature would communicate the needed information. The Tab does have 5 strings for a standard banjo,

I don’t hear it as minimizing, but you are making an assumption that I’m needing only a few bars. It’s a 70 page score.

I think the original suggestion will actually work, it’s just that you need to save, close and reopen the project before the new tuning will turn up in the menus. In other words, you can do this:

  1. create two banjos in your score, one using the default tuning, one with the tuning edited to remove the offset starting fret on the bottom string
  2. save, close and reopen the score
  3. on the banjo tuning with the correct (default) tuning, set the tuning to use for chord diagrams to the user-defined tuning that will now appear
  4. delete the banjo with the edited tuning as you no longer need it

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Thank you! I will give it a shot in a couple hours.

No worries - I was just thinking of a set of chord diagrams in the beginning or on a separate page. For myself, I wouldn’t want diagrams throughout a large score like that.

Indeed, when I searched again after reopening the project the added 5 string option is there and it’s working great. Thanks!
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Excellent, glad to hear it.