HOW TO SET UP YOUR BANJO
To make a good setup on your banjo is extremely important if you want to get the highest quality sound. Each Prucha banjo is set up to perfection before it is allowed to leave our shop. However, over time different variables can affect the original set up. It is good to check your new banjo after 5 or 6 months to see if it has changed. After that, it is good to check it regularly twice a year. The most common variables that change the banjo can include any temperature changes from extreme hot to cold, or how it is stored and how much it is played. Also, if you take it on any trip in an airplane the altitude can change the action of the neck or the head tension.If you need help, I recommend that you ask a banjo luthier or any friend whose style of set up you like. Very often there are setup workshops at many banjo camps or festivals. I am happy to demonstrate the setup process to anyone who wishes to stop at my booth in either Frankfurt Musicmesse, IBMA in Nashville, the Wintergrass Festival in Tacoma – Seattle, festivals in Europe or Czech Republic or in my workshop in Prague.
I know banjo players like to experiment with their instruments. If you follow the steps outlined below, your banjo is sure to produce a clear, clean tone.
Step #1 - TUNE YOUR BANJO Next page (STEP #2) »
It is good to use a tuning machine to get exactly the right note. Tune as follows :
1st string D - 2nd string B - 3rd string G - 4th string D - 5th string G
Then you must fine tune the strings.
Fret each string as the following. They should each have exactly the same pitch as the 5th G string:
1st string on 5th fret - 2nd string on 8th fret - 3rd string on 12th fret - 4th string on 17th fret.
Hot tip: When you change strings, tighten each new string several times after the first tuning, pull it up from the fingerboard with your finger. This will help to stabilize tension on the tailpiece, bridge, nut and tuning peg and thus eliminate problems with tuning.