What Does A Scoop On A Banjo Do?

by David Bandrowski

You might have heard of or seen banjos with "scooped" fingerboards. A banjo with a scooped fingerboard is, usually starting after the 17th fret (the 18th - 22nd frets), the frets are not installed  and the fingerboard is scooped down.

vega-old-time-wonder-scoopWhy might someone want this feature? This is really only done on 5 string banjos that are meant for clawhammer playing. The closer to the bridge you play, the brighter the tone will be. As you move your picking hand further from the bridge, your banjo's tone becomes warmer and darker. Many clawhammer players prefer this darker tone and play above the fingerboard. By not having the frets in the way and the fingerboard being scooped down, it makes it easier for clawhammer players to play above the fingerboard.



Deering Rustic Wreath banjo ad
Goodtime Banjos

Search Blog Post


May 23.2021

Can You Play Clawhammer Banjo On a Resonator Banjo?

"Can you play clawhammer banjo on a resonator banjo?" It's a question that comes up fairly often both on online forums and out in the public. The answer is...

May 12.2021

Irish Tenor Banjo - What Is the Standard?

When it comes to Irish tenor banjo, it is hard to define exactly what type of banjo that is. Yes, it is a four string tenor banjo. But is it a 17-fret or a...

Sep 11.2019

Ever Considered a Linseed Oil Finish?

At some point or another we have undoubtedly all experienced playing instruments with satin or gloss finishes, normally favoring one over the other. And while...

sign up for our newsletter


see all