Tailpice & Tone

     Banjo Tailpiece

5th String Conversion Kit

     Will it fit my banjo?



     Tailpiece and tone

     Anders Sterner


     Prices - Order

As being the fastening point for the strings in one end, the tailpiece is of vital importance for the volume, tone quality and tuning stability of the banjo. A mellow tone requires a lot more energy to cut through than a trebly tone. Here are the factors of importance.

                                      STABILITY, WEIGHT, MATERIAL
A heavy and stable tailpiece will give you more volume and a richer tone than a light and unstable tailpiece because it absorbs less energy (=vibrations) from the strings. Also the material matters. Steel is e.g. less vibrant than brass.

A stable tailpiece is of course the prerequisite for tuning stability. When you tune or when a string break you want the other strings to be affected as little as possible.

The length of the strings between the tailpiece and the bridge determine how freely the bridge and the membrane can move. A short tailpiece allows wider vibrations witch enhances the bass response. The tone will be more mellow. A long tailpiece inhibits the movement of the bridge and the membrane and gives a more trebly and brilliant tone.

The slanted front of the Sterner Flattop model will give you a wide tone spectrum. Brilliancy in the treble and nice response in the bass.

The pressure on the bridge by the strings also determine how freely the bridge and the membrane can move. High pressure (lowering the tailpiece towards the banjo head) will inhibit the wider vibrations and make the tone more trebly. Low pressure (tailpiece lifted up from the membrane) allows wider vibrations and increases the bass response.