I have a Mike Ramsey student model banjo. I ordered it originally without a neck scoop thinking I'd rather have the frets, but I like frailing over the neck more now than I did then. Would it be ok to have a luthier (assuming I can find one who would do it) add a scoop to the neck? Or is there some reason I'm not aware of that would make that a bad idea?
Scoops are added to banjos all the time. They can be an issue if the fingerboard is thin and to get an effective scoop you would have to remove all the fingerboard wood. Especially if the neck has a truss rod installed right beneath the fingerboard.
I know some guitar luthiers and some violin luthiers in this area, and some bluegrass banjo luthiers, but nobody for whom this would be a familiar job (except one guy, whose health I've heard is in decline and is no longer taking jobs). I'd be tempted to ship it to someone who'd be more comfortable doing it. I certainly wouldn't be comfortable doing it myself. Biggest "surgery" i've done myself is installing spikes, and that was, uh, let's just say less than pretty.
I have to point out two things in Mike Gregory's comments.
The first is that although "adding a scoop" may, in fact bhe technically incorrect concerning the procedure (removing wood) it is actually correct in that by cutting away wood, one is actually adding a new feature to the neck.
Second, a neck scoop can in fact go down the back, so it is not necessarily a means for "an uneven tan in the chestal area." (Here, I have to indicate that Mike may be a bit of a boob by using the psuedo-word "chestal," which does not appear in my dictionary.)
I must also say that in England, a banjo neck can sometimes be called the "arm." That pretty much throws everything out of whack (defined as a sharp or resounding blow; a condition: proper working order; the sound made by a sharp blow). I don't recall, offhand. that there is such a clothing feature as an "arm scoop," so the scoops compared by Mr. Gregory might not be the same.