Lesson #003, Anatomy of the Banjo

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lesson #003, Anatomy of the Banjo

Welcome back to the Moose!

I just thought I'd talk about the parts of the banjo in this segment so you can familiarize yourself to some of the terms that I'm going to be using throughout these lessons about the banjo itself like the resonator, peghead, tuners, etc.

The resonator basically increases the volume of the banjo and also can be decorative as you can see on one of my Nechville banjos.

The peghead is located at the very top of the banjo and is there to structurally have a place to support the tuners. The tuners of course are used to tune the strings on the banjo.

The nut is located just below the peghead and is important in the fact that its our starting point on the neck itself.

The neck is made for the banjo to support the fingerboard which is found between the frets and then the frets themselves are used to position notes on the banjo. You can see that we have the 5th string tuner here located just behind the 5th fret on theside of the neck that is used to tune the 5th string ofthe banjo.

The head of the banjo is what gives the banjo its distinctive sound, its basically like a drum that is connected to the neck. The bridge is an important part of the banjo in that it transfers the vibrations of the strings through itself and down through the head. The tailpiece is the end connector for the strings that is conected to the back of the banjo. Finally, the armrest is simply a place where you're going to rest your arm.

Thanks again everybody for tuning in and we'll see you next time right here on the Moose.


David Cavage

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In 2009, at the age of 60, I decided to learn to play the 5-string banjo. I searched the internet for lessons and struck gold when I found David Cavage's free banjo lessons at Musicmoose.org. His video hosting site revver.com was having some serious problems at the time so I downloaded as many of the lessons as I could whenever they became available. Revver.com stopped operating shortly afterwards and, sadly, Musicmoose.org is no more. I contacted David early 2020 and he told me he no longer had the original master videos and feared they may have been lost forever. This amazing course of free banjo lessons, from absolute beginner to advanced player, is too good to be forgotten, so this is my attempt to get David's work back out there again so that he can teach, inspire and spread the joy of banjo pickin' to more generations of budding musicians, just like he did with me. I've rounded up all the Moose stuff I could find and put it here, so start pickin' and enjoy!-------MooseHerder.