Queens Bush

Good Tone Influences For A Banjo

Tone of a banjo is very controversial, like taste, everyone will be different. Many things influence the banjo tone. You may choose which you like best. All the pieces on the banjo contribute to the tone. Even your playing ability and where you play it determine the sound. Lets start with the pieces themselves.


The type of wood used in the neck, rim and resonator are very important. The softer the wood, the more mellow the sound, and the harder the wood, the more clearer and louder the sound. Mahogany is a very soft wood, easy to use in production, and very common on beginner banjos. Mahogany makes a very warm and mellow sound even in expensive banjos. Maple, walnut, rosewood, and ebony are hard woods. Banjos made from these woods produce a louder, clearer sounding tone.

All of the wood parts on a banjo, inside and out, should be finished with a laquer or wood sealer to keep the moisture in the air from swelling or shrinking the wood.

Finishing the wood keeps the banjo sound consistient. Lower quality banjo are usually painted to hide the wood grain or wood defects such as knots, filled holes, or glue joints. Good banjos, like good furniture, will always have the wood grain visible. Many are stained with a shaded effect to highlight the wood grain patterns.


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