The Banjo Glossary Project 2018  
Monday, December 10, 2018

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Glossary Term
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Tailpiece or Tail piece The tailpiece is the attachment point for the ends of the strings after they pass over the bridge. Typically, it attaches with a long screw that passes through the end bolt. Some are simple anchor... read more
Tenor Banjo (TB) The initials TB 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
Tension Hoop The Tension Hoop of a banjos is usually a metal hoop that is drawn down to tighten the head of a banjo. Some hoops have notches for the tension hooks, some have a groove that goes around the entire... read more
Tension Rod A Tension Rod is an adjustable neck reinforcement made of steel and threaded for a nut at one end, usually the peg head end. Tightening the rod can reduce neck bow, loosening it reduces neck warp.
Thick Ebony Fingerboard Old banjos from the late 1800's are often advertised for sale having thick ebony fingerboards. The reason this is significant is that these instruments use no internal neck reinforcement and a thick... read more
Thin Rim Earlier banjos tended to have a thinner rim or shell than modern banjos. The typical modern bluegrass banjo has a rim that is 3/4" to 7/8" thick. Early instruments often had rims as thin as 1/4". When... read more
Three Finger Style Playing the banjo using the thumb, index and middle finger is loosely termed Three Finger Style. [This method was first used by "classical" banjoists in the late 1800's, who adopted the style from the... read more
Three Ply Rim Three ply rims are used in the best quality bluegrass banjos (excepting, of course, Stellings that use block construction) Such rims are made of three plies of 1/8" thick Rock Maple. Cheaper... read more
Three Star Rodgers, a past producer of fine calfskin banjo (and drum) heads, produced a line of heads called Three Star.
Tone Chamber The Tone Chamber is another name for Tonering. See Tonering.
Tone Ring A Tone Ring or Head Bearing is usually a circular metal piece that fits on the top of the rim. The head makes contact with the tone ring, not the rim. Simple banjos may have no tone ring or a small... read more
Top Tension Top tension banjos use bolts that pass down through holes in the tension hoop to tighten the head of the banjo, and are usually threaded directly in the flange. These were used originally to avoid... read more
Trap Door The Gibson Trapdoor banjos of the early twenties had a closed back with a D-shaped door that could be opened or closed to increase sound and alter tone. There is an oval hole in the trapdoor and a... read more
Truss Rod See: Tension Rod
Truss Rod Cover The Truss Rod Cover is a decorative cover for the area behind the nut at the base of the peghead where the tension rod nut is accessible. It is usually plastic though other substances are used... read more
Tubaphone The A. C. Fairbanks Tubaphone was developed in 1909 as a top flight professional banjo that produced a strong, loud tone that could fill a concert hall. It uses a square tube with a heavy wire bead... read more
Tube And Plate A Tube and Plate Flange or Two Piece Flange was used on certain Gibson Mastertone banjos. One piece is a metal tube that encircles the rim and is pulled up against a corresponding wooden lip that is... read more
Tuners The part of the banjo that adjust string tension. There are many different kinds of tuners from simple violin type tuners that are made from wood, ivory, cellulose or plastic and rely on the friction... read more
Tuning Pegs See: Tuners
Tunings The banjo can be tuned a number of different ways. Bluegrass players usually use the tuning of gDGBD with the occasional foray into gDGCD and a few others. Old time music on the other hand, has... read more
Two Star Neck A banjo neck with a star in the peghead and another at the fifth fret is often referred to as a two star neck. The other position markers are usually simple dots.