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Oct 29, 2020 - 8:59:06 PM
1 posts since 10/29/2020


I have just purchased a banjo and it just arrived. I notice that the tailpiece was held down by a screw. Is that screw supposed to be loose if you release the tension on the strings? It even comes off completely if all tension is released.


Oct 29, 2020 - 9:54:35 PM



440 posts since 8/9/2019

Yes that's correct. String tension keeps the tailpiece upright. It's 'free floating' meaning you can only adjust it up and down using that screw at the bottom. When you go to change strings, if you remove all the strings at once, the tailpiece will fall off the rim of the banjo.

Here's a really great video by John Boulding explaining that type of tailpiece:

Oct 30, 2020 - 5:07:09 AM



21943 posts since 7/6/2005

There is supposed to be a nut on the bottom of the screw. Most often, it is the same as the nuts on the j-hooks.

Oct 30, 2020 - 5:21:02 AM



13095 posts since 8/30/2006
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I came Soooooooo close to losing that little nut off my tailpiece over in Germany on tour. I caught it just before I played in Rodolstadt.

Once, I was changing strings, the nut fell off, the 5th string tuner came loose, the bridge hit the floor and the tailpiece was swingin' in the wind.

Oct 30, 2020 - 5:27:43 AM
like this

56047 posts since 12/14/2005

Welcome to the Wonderful World of tinkering with banjos.
And to the HangOut.
The good news is:
No matter WHAT the problem, you now have over one hundred and twenty THOUSAND spare brains to help think up a solution.

Free advice from an Old Person:
Do NOT take off all the strings at the same time.
Also: Once you have the bridge set properly, trace around the feet with a pencil, so that IF it gets knocked awry, you can just put it back where it was.

Oct 30, 2020 - 6:54:51 AM

7877 posts since 8/28/2013

I once had a banjo with a tailpiece attachment with a missing nut. The threading of the screw had enough friction against the endbolt to keep everything in place.

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