universal scale and chord finder for the 5-string banjo
Select notes to display on the neck of the banjo
A A#
B C C#
D D#
E F F#
G G#
Select your preferred tuning

banjo neck
Instructions: Choose the tuning to the left of the neck, choose the notes above it. For example, to find C major chord shapes in Open G tuning, set the strings to gDGBD (going from 5th string to 1st) and select the notes C, E, and G. That's about it, really. JavaScript must be enabled, best viewed with a screen resolution at least 1280 pixels wide.

Note: Be kind to your banjo, don't overtighten the strings. On a G-scale neck as shown above, that means not straying too far up from tunings like Open G (gDGBD) and Double C (gCGCD). Use capos and/or spikes to tune well up, or get a banjo with a shorter neck.

Why: Every time I run into a tuning or chord that's new to me, I end up putting my banjo down to dig up a pencil and make smudgy little chicken scratches in the margins of tabs. This interrupts picking time and makes me cranky.

I figured the Internet ought to be able to solve this problem. None of the scale finders I turned up handled more than one common tuning, much less the sixty-something known tunings for banjo. So I took a picture of my old Vega and came up with this. I hope you find it handy.

I plan on adding chord and tuning resources to the site. Until then, knowing which notes are in the scale or chord you're looking for is entirely your problem. I recommend that you visit the fine folks at Banjo Hangout for advice.