The Banjo Glossary Project 2019  
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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Scale Length  Change text size for readability...  Print This Page

01:26The Scale Length is the distance between the nut and the bridge. Banjo scale lengths vary somewhat but for standard size banjos (not banjeaurines, piccolo banjos, cello banjos etc.) tend to have scale lengths in the 26" to 27" range though there are many that are slightly shorter or longer. Notable examples of scale lengths are:

Fairbanks-Vega banjos tend to have scale lengths of 26" (with the 10 3/4" pot), 27" (with the 10 15/16" pot) and 28" (11 13/16" pot)

Gibson banjos usually have a 26 1/4" scale.

Many old time banjo players that play with fiddle players prefer a shorter scale, 24"- 25", that enables them to play in the keys of D and A without a capo and without the added stress of tuning a standard banjo up to pitch.

People who play both fretted and fretless often choose a "Scale" for their fretless banjos that is slightly shorter than their fretted ones due to the fact that finger placement on a fretted banjo is behind the fret and on a fretless it is ON the imaginary fret. Bear in mind that the "scale" of a fretless banjo is variable depending on the bridge placement.

Banjeaurines have scales usually in the 21" to 23" range
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LAST UPDATED 10-14-2014 05:17


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LAST UPDATE AUGUST 19, 2018 AT 12:25 PM