The term ‘set up’ can be a bit of a grey area. To some people it means simply putting new strings on ,while to others it can be the start of an elaborate physics project concerning tuned air chambers and various bridge, head etc combinations. This stuff is valid and I personally find it very interesting but it can take you quite a long way away from your original goal, which was to play the banjo!

When I’m approached to do a set up on a banjo, the first thing is to evaluate the banjo and discuss what the player hopes to get from the instrument. I could put most of my set up work into four main categories

1 People who are new to banjo playing , or have a fairly inexpensive instrument they want to take around festivals etc and just want it to sound ‘good’  have a decent playing action and play in tune up and down the neck.

2 fairly extensive restoration of a historic or sentimental instrument

3 Players who play a lot of gigs and just wear stuff out, frets, nuts etc

4 players who have a higher end instrument , which should/or use to sound great but for some reason wont deliver.

So, there isn’t really a ‘one size fits all set up’ but its a fairly painless process to find out what needs doing to bring a banjo back to playing the way it should.

At the next stage I would politely point out anything that’s completely had it and make suggestions for affordable replacements, anything that’s close behind but salvageable and offer a few ideas and alternative prices based on these.

If you’ve got an old banjo , you may well be surprised how cost-effective this can be. Although sourcing original parts for one of the more hard to find or collectible makes can be time-consuming and expensive. To make that old Windsor back into a decent player is a lot more straight forward than you might think.

If you would like to find out more about a set-up for your banjo, please get in touch.