Anatomy and Design: Understanding the Construction of the Banjo

banjo maintenance, banjo parts

The banjo might seem to have a simple design on the surface, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Banjos have an intricate design that consists of several parts.

The construction of the banjo can be thought of as two main parts, called the neck and the pot assembly, that both contain several components. The neck consists of the following three sections:

  1. Peghead. Also known as the head stock, the peghead is the part of the neck where the tuners are. The peghead has an overlay, a truss rod cover and a nut made of bone, wood or plastic.
  2. Body. This is the area of the neck that you play on. It contains a truss rod where you’ll find a fingerboard, inlays, frets, strings and spikes.
  3. Heel. This area has hanger bolts that attach the neck to the pot, as well as a heel cut.

The pot assembly part of the construction of the banjo has the following components:

  • Banjo rim. The wood rim is the main part of the pot. Depending on its quality, it can affect the sound the banjo produces.
  • Co-ordinator rods. These steel rods keep the rim stable.
  • Tone ring. The tone ring gives the banjo added volume and dimension.
  • Banjo head. The banjo head is typically made of mylar.
  • Banjo bridge. The bridge’s height should match the heel cut.
  • Tension hoop. This metal rings helps maintain tension in the head.
  • Hooks and nuts. These keep the tension hoop in place.
  • Flange. The flange attaches the resonator, and there are several types available.
  • Armrest. This helps make playing the banjo more comfortable.
  • Tailpiece. The tailpiece maintains tension in the strings.
  • Resonator. This sounding board increases the banjo’s volume.

At, we carry and ship several high-quality Deering banjos, including a deluxe 5-string banjo and a Sierra openback 5-string banjo. We also provide assistance with these banjos, so don’t hesitate to contact us for help. We also have an entire section of our store devoted to banjo parts. 

Interested in browsing our selection of Deering banjos? Visit to see what we have in stock.

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  1. Pingback: Basic Banjo Tuning & Maintenance

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