The 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions

The most favorite part of my job is talking to customers! I love hearing their enthusiasm for and love of the banjo! There are some common questions, however,  that are shared by folks who have or are searching for banjos. I thought sharing those might help others who are on the same journey.
April 23, 2015 by Carolina Bridges

How To Attach A Cradle Strap To Your Banjo

The leather cradle straps are wonderfully secure and safe for your banjo. Since they are made of leather, they will not mar the finish of the banjo as straps that have metal clips can do.

The cradle strap is made up of three pieces of leather. There is a long, broad, flat piece( made of leather or woven material like cotton cinch) that is connected to leather ends with adjustment slots. From there you will see that each end has a long thin piece of leather with smaller holes and a slender black shoelace. The shoe laces will be used at the end of the attachment process to bind the loose ends of the strap together.  The 1” wide, thinner pieces of leather that will be threaded through the channel formed by the j-bolts/hooks that you will find around the rim of your banjo.

November 25, 2013 by Carolina Bridges

What are Capos, Spikes and Fifth String Capos?

Most five string banjos are tuned so that strumming across the strings produces a major chord; that chord being a “G”.  If you are new to music or banjo playing, don’t be too concerned about what “G” means.  For the sake of this explanation of spikes, playing a song where the “G” chord is the “foundation” or “starting point” for a song generally means that the song is in the “key of G”.  Just knowing that you are playing “in the key of G” will help you when playing with other musicians. 
November 23, 2013 by Barry Hunn

How To Install Spikes

1. Draw a line with a pencil using the 5th string as a guide. Draw the line using the inside edge of the string (that which is closest to the inside of the fingerboard.) This will be your vertical guide.

2. Measure .286 inches up from the fret you want (ie. .286 up from the 7th fret toward the direction of the 6th). This is about 1/3 of the way up from the fret; 1/4" would be .250". This will be your horizontal axis.

November 21, 2013 by Carolina Bridges

How To Change Your Banjo Strings

October 14, 2013 by David Bandrowski

What Are D Tuners On A Banjo?

The Keith D tuner is a tuning machine that has stops built into it that allows the player to “set” a note and then re-tune to another note and “set” the second note so that he can change from one note to the other and the stops will prevent him from tuning too far or not far enough. Earl Scruggs used these and is credited for inventing them on several songs. (Earl’s Breakdown, Randy Lyn Rag and Flint Hill Special are some classics.) D-tuners take some finessing and an “out of tune” situation is very common and easy to fix.
March 29, 2013 by Barry Hunn

How To Replace the 5th String Peg On A Banjo

What you are experiencing can sometimes happen if your neck has gone through some shrinkage due to environmental conditions. It is a simple process to replace the tuner.

1. Remove the peg from the hole.

2. Cut a small round circle out of white paper.

December 22, 2011 by Barry Hunn

Banjo Head Types and Descriptions

Each type of banjo head has a unique contribution to your banjo’s tone. Heads have different effects on different kinds of banjos.  For example, one head might sound right for one player on a five string banjo, but be disappointing on another players tenor banjo.  A head on a long neck open back banjo might sound completely different on a 12-string banjo.  The individual artist's touch on the instrument, the use of picks or bare fingers, the kind of bridge and the gauge of strings are all intertwined in a recipe that creates the musical product that you, the artist, have designed. Music and tone are completely subjective and there is no one answer or definition that can be truly considered final. Here are some brief descriptions that are only meant as guidelines to experimentation.
October 21, 2011 by Carolina Bridges