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Jan 28, 2022 - 7:02:28 AM
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200 posts since 6/19/2017

Hello all,
Here lately, I have really been wanting to learn how to properly set up my banjo on my own. I love doing that kind of stuff anyway so I figured I should learn so I don’t always have to rely on someone else to do it for me. However, all I’ve ever really done is change bridges and tightened the head. Therefore, my question is, are there any good resources out there that can help me learn how to do it properly? There is, of course, YouTube but I know to be careful when it comes to such things. Any help would be much appreciated.
And just to clarify, I am talking about a bluegrass resonator banjo. :)

Jan 28, 2022 - 7:23:02 AM

5066 posts since 5/9/2007

Bridge placement, head tension and good strings are most fundamental.

Sounds like you are already on your way.

Trust YOUR ear.

Edited by - mrphysics55 on 01/28/2022 07:23:24

Jan 28, 2022 - 7:28:22 AM
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1660 posts since 10/12/2011

Theirs a few resources. If you can find it, their's a book by Roger Siminoff "How to set up the best sounding banjo." Warren Yates has some decent set-up videos on Youtube which I liked. I got a lot of info off from just searching here at the hangout. You'll get lots of different answers, and you can take or leave something if it doesn't feel/sound right.

I do all my own set-ups. Not many folks in Vermont who know how to do it right.

Edited by - buckholler on 01/28/2022 07:29:53

Jan 28, 2022 - 7:39:17 AM
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472 posts since 4/11/2019

Books are a great help, but nothing beats hands on.

Buy a piece of real junk on ebay or reverb and see what you can get out of it.

Don't spend too much money, just get your hands dirty messing around with it.

Jan 28, 2022 - 7:46:01 AM

heavy5

USA

2240 posts since 11/3/2016

Have you looked into "banjo set up" here in the FAQ section ?

If even a partial amount of this popular subject has made its way there , it should contain plenty of basics to interest you .  Don't suggest you get another banjo to experiment with .

Edited by - heavy5 on 01/28/2022 07:51:41

Jan 28, 2022 - 7:51:01 AM

366 posts since 5/21/2020

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoGil

Hello all,
Here lately, I have really been wanting to learn how to properly set up my banjo on my own. I love doing that kind of stuff anyway so I figured I should learn so I don’t always have to rely on someone else to do it for me. However, all I’ve ever really done is change bridges and tightened the head. Therefore, my question is, are there any good resources out there that can help me learn how to do it properly? There is, of course, YouTube but I know to be careful when it comes to such things. Any help would be much appreciated.
And just to clarify, I am talking about a bluegrass resonator banjo. :)


Check this out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJK1We_pAoA

Edited by - FenderFred on 01/28/2022 07:51:20

Jan 28, 2022 - 8:20:41 AM

185 posts since 11/1/2007

Steve Huber also sells a Killer Tone Banjo Setup DVD on his website for $25. This would be helpful. Put a Want To Buy ad on the Hangout and someone may sell you one. I no longer have mine to send you.

Jan 28, 2022 - 10:18:24 AM

230 posts since 11/28/2006

Tony Trischka has a multipart set of videos featuring Mike Mumford on his ArtistWorks site.

Jan 28, 2022 - 12:51:41 PM
Players Union Member

Edwards

USA

175 posts since 3/26/2014

Jan 28, 2022 - 3:55:05 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15427 posts since 8/30/2006

1. Tighten the head
2. Set tailpiece height
3. Place the bridge
4. Adjust the truss rod if needed
5. Adjust the rim rods if needed

In that order

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Jan 29, 2022 - 4:10:48 AM

DSmoke

USA

1180 posts since 11/30/2015

This is the best resource, everything you ever need to know is here on the Hangout, you just need to know how to find it. You can use the search feature here, or use Google to search and filter to the Hangout. I would suggest buying a cheap banjo and start trying different things, then take the whole thing apart and put it back together. If you get stuck search here or ask here for help. After that get ready for the addiction known as BAS.

Jan 29, 2022 - 7:05:19 AM

Bill H

USA

1888 posts since 11/7/2010

I have wondered lately exactly what does the term "banjo set up" mean. Does it mean something other than having everything adequately adjusted? People talk about this term as if it is some magical journey that only the wise and the brave can set upon. Other than bridge placement, most adjustments are a matter of personal preference. are they not?

Jan 29, 2022 - 7:06:33 AM
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hbick2

USA

584 posts since 6/26/2004

How come no one has mentioned the part about meeting the devil at the crossroads at midnight?

Feb 2, 2022 - 4:40:57 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15427 posts since 8/30/2006

hbick2 I thought you would never ask, The banjo player ties the knots in his tail. The dark side is afraid of us'n.

Feb 2, 2022 - 2:04:53 PM

11145 posts since 6/17/2003

The Stelling Banjo website has a good setup guide on it that you can follow. It will help you do adjustments in the correct order then you can experiment from there over time to help achieve your desired sound. Having said that, keep in mind that the sounds you hear from great players reflect their picking technique as much as setup.

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