How To Make A Tackhead Banjo

How to make a tackhead banjo sounds easy but can be quite challenging if not done carefully. This musical instrument has an African origin and became popular in the United States back in the 19th century. The tackhead banjo is already an evolved version of the gourd banjo with tacks attached on its head as the name obviously describes. The materials can be purchased at music stores or online.

What you need:

  • Banjo head
  • Banjo neck
  • Banjo body
  • Bridge
  • 4 Strings
  • 1 Tailpiece
  • 16 Tacks
  • 4 Tuning pegs
  • Metal Clamp
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Long Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Nails (an inch tall)
  • Wood Glue
  1. Use the glue to attach the neck to the banjo’s body and strengthening it with at least a couple or three nails. Use the metal clamp to hold them together and wait until the glue dries out which for most takes about eight hours max.
  2. Check if the wood glue is already dry and the neck and the body of your tackhead banjo are attached together properly. Then place the tuning pegs into the holes located at the top of the banjo’s neck.
  3. Get the tail piece and carefully nail it at the bottom of the banjo. Use the ruler to makes sure it is aligned with the neck.
  4. Take the pencil and the tape measure to mark the sides of the banjo head with equal gaps. Sixteen marks all in all where the tacks will be placed.
  5. Put the head right over the banjo's body stretching it. Secure the edge with tacks following the pencil marks.
  6. Mark the center of the banjo’s head using the ruler and a pencil where you will place the bridge. Attached the bridge following where the mark is.
  7. Get a string and loop it through the tail piece. Stretch the string lightly and take it to the other end of the banjo and circle it six to eight times around the tuning pegs. The string should pass over the bridge. Do this step again for the remaining strings. Turn the pegs slowly to tune your own tackhead banjo.


  • When buying the parts you need for your tackhead banjo, you can always assistance if you’re not sure what to buy. If you’re okay with shopping online, there are some online stores where you can buy the banjo parts and have it shipped to your physical address.
  • Not all wood glue takes long to take effect so make sure to read the instructions of the glue you purchased about how long would it take to dry.
  • When waiting for the wood glue to dry, make sure to leave your unfinished tackhead banjo somewhere safe and dry.
  • Try to wait for the glue to take effect before continuing with the steps to avoid accidents and repeating the same step again.
  • Use a pencil with fine tip or if not then sharpen it. This is to avoid leaving messy marks on your tackhead banjo.
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