Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Banjo string Buzz help

I’ve just recently noticed that the first string on my gold star banjo is buzzing very slightly, I think its only just started. Do you think the nut has worn down slightly as it only seems to be this string. I was going to adjust the truss rod but when i inspected the hex socket I could not find a hex key to fit it. Seems an in between size.
Anyway, do you think maybe the first string nut slot needs filling and filing again?
How do you think I should proceed?

If you’re good at that sort of thing then doing the nut slot is a possibility but if the banjo was fine before, then it might be a weather related truss rod issue.

You can always stick a little bit of paper in the nut slot to raise the string a bit and see if that helps.

First thing to do is pull the string out of both the nut and bridge slot and lightly clean it out with a thin, folded piece of sandpaper. Many, many times the buzzes are from junk getting in there. Do that first then post back if the issue is still there.

I was given a great tip by a luthier years ago and that was to scrape some pencil lead (graphite) into the wire slot on the nut and bridge . It acts like a lubricant. I do it each time I change my strings

Thanks Ben and everyone. I will try that first Ben. It could be weather related as we have had a hot spell in the UK (Don’t laugh yes we do get them :wink:) it’s a very slight buzz but I just notice it.

Hi Jon

Just a thought. Do you pick hard when play? I seem to recall when I started out learning I had a tendency to give the strings a good tug in the hope of producing a louder sound. The heavy picking caused the strings to vibrate excessively causing some strings to buzz as they rattled against the frets. Over time I come to realise what I was doing and eased off a little. Since the buzz is on the first string maybe your angle of attack or the effort your using to pick the string might just be the cause.

I think I have been trying to pick a little harder Archie. I found an Alan key that fitted my truss rod and just eased it off a smidgen. Seems to be OK now. I think the hot weather we had, may have just caused a slight alteration of the set up.


Hi Jon glad to hear the problem has been resolved. Nothing worse than a buzzing string to drive you to distraction. In my case it was a crash in the fifth string pip on my very first banjo. A rather poor quality Asian banjo which I quickly replaced with a higher quality instrument.