The Banjo Glossary Project 2018  
Monday, December 10, 2018

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Glossary Term
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Pancakes See: Tuners
Pancake Tuners See: Tuners

The terms "peghead," "head" and "headstock" refer to the end of the neck that holds the tuning machines or pegs. Most banjo pegheads have four tuning pegs that pass through the peghead from the back.... read more
Perchpole See: Dowel Stick
Piccolo Banjo The smallest member of the banjo family. Banjo orchestras popular before the turn of the century used the piccolo banjo as the soprano voice. The scale is short, on the order of sixteen or seventeen... read more
Pie Wedge Construction Pie Wedge Construction is another term for Block Construction. The rationale is as follows. If you cut a wooden hoop out of a flat board, the grain would be all in one direction and as the wood dried... read more
Pie Wedge Resonator The Pie Wedge resonator is named for the wedge shaped construction that can be clearly seen from the back. The Vegaphone Pro of the 1920s and early thirties is an example of a banjo that used this... read more
Pin Bridge

A "Pin Bridge" is the standard steel string guitar bridge which anchors the strings to the top of the guitar by means of bridge pins. The bridge has a hole for each string, which passes through the... read more
Pinch In bluegrass style banjo, a "pinch" is using the thumb and middle finger to simultaneously pick the fifth and (usually) first strings. It is a rhythmic device and often is used on the second and... read more
Pinless Bridge

A "Pinless Bridge" is a bridge for use on steel string guitars without the use of bridge pins. The strings simply thread in from the back edge through holes in the bridge drilled in-line with the... read more
Player's Block "Player's Block" is a term that describes a temporary condition in which a musician reaches a point during his or her musical growth, where the progress made is perceived as not as desired or... read more
Plectrum A pick - usually what is now referred to as a "flat pick." Beginning in the ragtime era, banjos were used in dance orchestras that used pianos, violins and sometimes woodwind and brass instruments.... read more
Plectrum Banjo (PB) The initials PB are one of a group of initials that were and are used by the Gibson company to differentiate between types of banjos. The common ones are: RB - Regular Banjo (five string) PB -... read more
Position Markers Position markers are Inlays in the fingerboard. Their purpose is to make it easier to know which fret is which. A simple pattern my be small dots or diamonds. Usually the twelfth fret gets two dots or... read more
Pot Assembly The Pot is the entire assembly of the round part of the banjo. It consists of the Rim, Shoes or flange, Tone Ring, Resonator, Head, etc.
Presto Tailpiece

Presto tailpieces were used on many of the original Gibson Mastertone banjos. Many professional banjo players and collectors prefer this nonadjustable tailpiece for the traditional Scruggs' Bluegrass... read more
Prewar Planets See: Tuners
Proffit Style A type of banjo built by Frank Proffit. A simple mountain fretless banjo with a small head set into a larger wooden rim.
Pull Off Pulling off is a technique whereby a finger of the left hand initiates a note by releasing a fretted note suddenly with a plucking motion.