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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Locking nut for banjo?

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IPlayWrong - Posted - 01/27/2019:  17:24:26

Hi all.
Does anybody know of a locking nut system for banjo? I bend the crap out of notes and it pulls my little Deering out of tune in seconds. Having a heck of a time finding something so ridiculous.

Dan Drabek - Posted - 01/27/2019:  17:34:59

I've never seen one, but generally speaking, the fewer turns you take around your tuner capstan, the less flex there will be in the system.

Maybe you should shoot an email to Ron Block. He bends strings more than any banjo player I've ever seen but I haven't noticed anything weird about his banjo.

IPlayWrong - Posted - 01/27/2019:  17:39:36

Will do. Thanks a million.

beegee - Posted - 01/27/2019:  18:39:43

I would open the nut slots a little and pre-stretch the strings.


Edited by - beegee on 01/27/2019 18:40:21

eagleisland - Posted - 01/27/2019:  20:09:34


Originally posted by beegee

I would open the nut slots a little and pre-stretch the strings.


Yes. Also, rub a little graphite from a mechanical pencil lead into the slots on the nut (and those on the bridge) while you're at it. Graphite is a fine dry lubricant.

If the strings can easily through the chafe points, they're less likely to give you rude surprises.

Mooooo - Posted - 01/27/2019:  20:19:33

If the above doesn't work, check your upper rod to make sure it's snug. A loose pot to neck connection can cause all kinds of out of tune.

pickin_fool - Posted - 01/28/2019:  03:46:00

string gauge has a bit of influence too..i have noticed that if i use light gauge strings and bend a note...the string has a tendency to stay bent..more so than with a heavier gauge

Ken LeVan - Posted - 01/28/2019:  07:19:10

Here's one idea.

Aradobanjo - Posted - 01/28/2019:  07:32:30


I am a Bill Baker’s fan. I use this method on all my stringed instruments.


rudy - Posted - 01/28/2019:  07:45:19


Originally posted by Aradobanjo


I am a Bill Baker’s fan. I use this method on all my stringed instruments.

Also commonly referred to as the "Taylor" method, I also prefer it.  I used to do the string lock method for years, but the Taylor method makes it MUCH easier to change strings quickly.

Dan Gellert - Posted - 01/28/2019:  17:47:17

I habitually use the "lock", and haven't thought much about it.

After watching those two videos, I might just change that... maybe. A habit is a habit.
But it got me thinking, and I figured out something that should have been obvious all along: Locking (what I always called hitching) the string on the tuner post must have been learned from classical guitarists. It really is effective at keeping a nylon string (or an even limper, more slippery fluorocarbon one) from slipping.
For a steel string, 2 sharp bends at the ends of the hole are what will keep it in place, no matter what you do with the loose end. Looping that end back and hitching it is at best a belt-and-suspenders approach, and I can see how it might actually weaken those bends, especially on wound strings.

Aradobanjo - Posted - 01/29/2019:  05:48:33


The Taylor Method Target is 2-2.5 wraps. The Bill Baker method Target is 3 wraps. Bill uses Three fingers from the post. Bill’s Method requires a 90 Degree bend.

Winding from below brings the exit string pushing against the 3 coils. Bending a string compress the coil. When the string is back to steady-state, the coil is back in tune. The first bend is captured by the compressed coil.

This the best setup for string bending. The string is allowed to compress and relax. It works.

Edited by - Aradobanjo on 01/29/2019 05:49:52

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