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Note: To play pieces marked 4th to B, tune Bass (4th) string one octave lower than first string (B).
Frets are used as a Guide to Fingering.
When there are no frets, they may be marked with a pencil, by dividing the distance from the Nut to the Bridge in eighteen equal parts for the first fret; divide again the remaining distance in eighteen equal parts for the second fret, and keep on thus dividing the distance from the last fret for the number of frets required.
The Bridge should be placed back of the centre of the head near the tail-piece, and notched for the strings a convenient distance apart so that the fingers may easily command them; let it be cut down as low as possible so that the fingers may press firmly upon the finger-board without much exertion.
To Tune the Banjo by the Frets.
After the A or fourth string has been tuned to the desired pitch.
The low E or third string is tuned by placing the second finger on the fourth string at the seventh Fret which produces E, then tune the third string in unison with the fourth string.
The second or G sharp string is tuned by placing the second finger on the third string at the fourth fret which produces G sharp, tune the second string in unison.
The first or B string is tuned by placing the second finger on the second string at the third fret which produces B and tune the first string in unison.
The fifth or thumb string is tuned by placing the second finger on the first string at the fifth fret which produces E, then tune the fifth string in unison which is an octave about the third string.
How to practice.
Practice very slowly at first, and when a passage can be played correctly increase the tempo (speed) to the proper degree of time.
If a mistake is made do not pass on, but repeat the passage from the beginning and continue doing so until it can be played correctly throughout.
If one or more measures are found more difficult than the other bars, practice them until they can be executed with ease, then practice the whole passage.
Let your motto be:
"PRACTICE UNTIL PERFECT."