Three Tips to Changing Your Banjo Strings

banjo lessons
1. Change one banjo string at a time.

Banjos move and flex as tension is changed. In other words, if you were to cut off the strings all at once then your banjo neck would more than likely spring backwards.

This might not be that noticeable to you; however, it’s changing the composition of your instrument and can throw off your setup. This may be crucial if you’ve had your banjo setup by a pro and do not want it to change in an instant.

Your banjo can also experience cracking if you would allow for such a change in tension. Remember that it’s important to keep your banjo at a steady constant, whether you’re talking about temperature, tension, moisture or anything else. Wood usually doesn’t like dramatic changes.

2. Keep your banjo in tune.

While you’re in the process of changing your strings you should try to keep it in tune. After changing each individual string, simply tune the new string to the remaining old strings. This will also aid in the steady constant mentioned in the first tip.

It will also make it much easier to tune all the strings together when you’re finished.

3. Change your strings often.

I would encourage you to change your strings at least once a month. Playing a dead sounding banjo can become very frustrating.

It’s important to keep fresh strings on your banjo. It keeps you playing at your best. Changing your strings on a more frequent basis will give you that fresh crisp sound that lures us to this wonderful instrument.

p.s. A pair of side cutters can really come in handy for clipping off the top ends of your strings after you’re finished.

What are your favorite banjo strings?

How often do you change your strings?

Post your answers in the comment section below.


  • Ryan


    I like your quote! 🙂

  • Hey Ryan…you’re absolutely right. This is exactly how I change my strings and I change them about every 3 weeks to a month. I practice & play a lot so I need to change them often. I’ve tried many different strings and I ALWAYS come back to the Martin Vegas. I use the Light strings for easier playing and bending. I’ve seen some of your videos and have read some of your tips and tricks and you’re quite an impressive banjo player. Keep the tradition alive my friend!

    Play louder…I see canoes!
    Banjo player for Appalachia

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