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Nov 28

Are they fastened together well enough to come out of the box in one piece? How tight is too tight? When you can barely see a depression under the bridge, you're probably tight enough. Once you have the resonator off, locate the little wrench that came with the banjo. Instead of getting out your manual and adjusting your banjo, try going to your local music store that carries a good selection of Deering banjos and try a few other banjos. The last few times I've set up used, but decent banjos or guitars, I've gone through this step several times. It is part of the big beautiful picture that is the world of banjos. This is normal. If you aren't used to setting up instruments yourself, get someone who is to look at it right away (while you still have return privileges). Your goal is to get the same amount of pressure on the head all the way around. If you can't see a depression at all, you're definitely tight enough. Note: - On "pop-top" banjos, the pot, tone ring, and resonator flange are all replaced by a single piece of metal, usually cast and milled aluminum. Greg pretty much needs a large car if he doesn’t want his knees on the dashboard or the top of his head pounded on the inside of the roof even with seat all the way back and down. Are all the parts there? The distance from the twelfth fret to the bridge should be about the same. Retune the strings. Well, having the banjo detune slighty when you change your body position radically is normal. Once they are the same, compare the octave overtone on the high D (first) string to the sound of the same string fretted at the twelfth fret. When you've got the bridge in the right place, you can retune. (Our Beginning Five-String Folk Banjo pages are to get you past the how-do-I-get-actual-music-out-of-this-thing hurdle.) Check Banjo's Pot-to-Neck Fit This keen awareness is showcased in the subtleties of banjo set up. We have had wonderful players who needed their string height to be ¼ inch at the 22nd fret. We have found that many players like our banjos when the head is tuned to approximately G#. If you find that the banjos you try in the store are all easier to push the strings down, then you might want to look at adjusting your banjo. If you bought a really expensive banjo, placing the bridge may be the only work you have to do before tuning and playing it. They're seldom metric, if that helps, and some instruments even come with them. Also, resonators are optional. At Deering we use two different head... Changing your banjo strings is one of the easiest and best ways to bring the tone of your banjo back to life. Check/Adjust Coordinator Rod(s) One of the most enjoyable things about trying different strings is discovering all the unique sounds from the different brands and the different gauges. Loosen all the strings so they're a few steps flat. Banjo terminology varies among player communities, so you might see or hear things called differently. Just like strings, the choice of head makes a tremendous difference in the sound of a banjo. Figure out which end of the bridge needs to go under the skinny strings, put the bridge under the strings, and start tightening the strings until the bridge stays in place by itself. But many banjos ship without other thing being tightened as much as they should be. - Most banjos are shipped with the head fairly loose. If you have a full-service music store near you and are willing to pay list price for a banjo that was really ready to pay (or else buy at a steep discount and spend maybe $75-150 paying for the setup separately) , you can avoid the hassle. Of course, it’s hard not to “try” what hot players do, because we hope that the same set up contributes to their skill and success and would also help us be successful. Your goal is to get the same amount of pressure on the head all the way around. Return to our Tabs and Instructions index page. One thing about them that is a disadvantage to me is the shape of the "flange" with all those points. Professionals have requirements such as blending with the band, having to have enough volume to reach into a microphone, needing more midrange response from a recording point of view, or blending well with the guitar, fiddle, dobro etc. I would personally be uncomfortable with strings this high but never would I argue against these great players…EVER. For more information about checking or adjusting your banjo's neck, check out the Deering article here. If you have this problem, you'll have to take the resonator off to fix it, but that's okay, since you'll probably have to take the resonator off to tighten the drum head anyway. Keep going until the neck seems fairly straight. I leave the old strings on for this step, since all this tuning and detuning is hard on the strings, and I would rather beat up the old ones than prematurely age the new ones. This gives them more volume and sustain than cheap wooden-pot banjos that lack a tone ring, but it gives them a harsher tone than high-end banjos with wooden pots, tone rings, and solid resonator flanges. For more information on bridge placement, check out the Deering article here. Vintage banjos on the other hand have head sizes that are all over the map. The good news is that tuning and setting the intonation on a banjo is very simple. My banjo was not set up for their style. Please get in touch.if you have found a resource you'd like us to add, if you'd like to ask questions, or if you'd like to sign up for our newsletter. contact us. But when you push down on the string, you are stretching it just a little, so if the distances are exactly equal, the fretted string will be a tiny bit sharp. Loosen the middle strings enough to get the nut or hex drive into the end of the adjustment screw and make at least a partial turn. Check/Adjust Neck Curve, String Height In fact, you may be a tad too tight. For example: Goodtime banjos all work best with a high crown head. Keep going until the neck seems fairly straight. Note: - On "pop-top" banjos, the pot, tone ring, and resonator flange are all replaced by a single piece of metal, usually cast and milled aluminum. Some people try to tune their banjo heads up to specific notes, the way drummers do, such as a "G." You muffle the strings and tap the head so that you can hear the tone behind the thunk. I prefer to see about 1/16" or less, but if this is your first banjo, you may want to err on the side of caution. Checking Under the Hood Otherwise move it toward the neck. On most guitars, you can get to the end of the adjustment screw by unscrewing a triangular piece of plastic on the head. Many folks have spent many hours trying to share their own "lessons learned." If the overtone is lower than the sound at the twelfth fret, move the bridge toward the tailpiece. So it will take you a little work to make all those pieces work together the way they should. If you can't find an adjustment screw period, the instrument may not have one, and the only "remedy" for a bowed neck may be to install lighter strings than you planned, which may reduce pressure on the neck enough for it to pull back a little. Now press the string down just behind the twelfth fret and pick it again. Please get in touch.if you have found a resource you'd like us to add, if you'd like to ask questions, or if you'd like to sign up for our newsletter. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell whether the following things are exactly right, so if you suspect the following thing are "wonky," you may want to pay a professional ot "set it up" the rest of the way or get a friend who knows banjos to show you how to do it. But most of the time the neck will either be straight or bow upward smoothly along most of its length, so that the fingerboard is slightly concave. However, some local “experts” told me my banjo “buzzed” because they played very hard.

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