Notation for the fifth string on a 5-string banjo. . .
A common folk instrument, the 5-string banjo, has an unusual string arrangement that MuseScore appears unable to accommodate in TAB format.
The 5-string banjo has one string (the "5th string") that is 5 frets shorter than the other four. It extends from the bridge to a small "nut" at the 5th fret.
In the common G major banjo tuning the strings are tuned to the following notes, starting with the 1st string: D4, B3, G3, D3, G4. Note that the 5th string is higher in pitch than the other four.
It is the convention for TAB notation that a "0" on any string stands for the "open" or unfretted string. This is true for the 5th string also, even though it only extends to the 5th fret. However, when the 5th string is fretted two frets higher the convention is to write a "7" on the 5th string, presumably because that location on the fingerboard is "the 7th fret."
In other words, the TAB notation for the 5th string only uses the numbers 0, 6, 7, 8, up to 19. And in the common G major tuning those numbers represent G4, G#4, A4, A#4, up to A5.
To put it another way, in G major tuning the 1st string is tuned to the D above middle C, and the 5th string is tuned 5 semitones higher to the G above that. Noneteless, any notation greater than 5 (e.g. 6, 7, 8, . . . , 19) produces the SAME note on either the 1st string or the 5th string, however 0 produces different notes on the two strings, and the numbers from 1 to 5 are meaningful on the 1st string but meaningless on the 5th string.
Although MuseScore includes a Banjo instrument with a 5-string TAB staff, it misinterprets fret numbers (other than 0) on the 5th string by treating the fifth string as if it extended all the way to the 0th fret. This means that on playback a "7" on the fifth string sounds a D5 note in G major tuning instead of the correct A4 note.
Is there a workaround? Is it possible that someday there will be a provision for dealing with strings of different lengths? Ideally the pitch of a banjo string should be calculated as:
pitch (in half steps) = base pitch + max(nut location, fret notation)
where nut location is 5 for the banjo 5th string and 0 for the others.
Thanks for any info, help, or ideas.