Sunday, 24 June 2012

Why Banjolele Set up is important, and why 99% of mailorder Banjo Ukes are not set up upon arrival.

The Banjolele Is Back Baby!
Banjoleles need a proper setup before they can be played.

When purchasing a Banjolele do you know it will probably arrive with a loose skin and the bridge not in place.  It will need work before you can even play it and you will be disappointed you can't immediately play your new instrument..

 I see this all too often, people buy a Banjolele mailorder and a box arrives with the Banjolele unplayable just as it left the factory.  That's when people call me to set up their Banjolele.

 My Advice is to ALWAYS ASK FOR A SETUP when purchasing a Banjolele.
When I sell ukuleles they arrive at your place fully set up and ready to play right out of the box.

So the question is;
Do you how to tension the skin? You want the skin to be tight, but evenly tight with no ripples, you don't want the skin to exert torsional forces on your body and force it out of shape.  Too tight and it can tear the skin. Too loose and the bridge will not sit correctly, and worse bow out of shape.  Incorrect skin tension ruins your tone.

Do you know how to place the bridge in the proper position so the intonation is right?  An incorrect placement will mean that your fretted notes never play in tune.

Do you know how to adjust string height for best playability?  Too high and it will feel awful and fretted notes may be driven sharp.  Too low and it will rattle like an old red hen train carriage, and at the extreme some frets may not even play.

If you do not know how to do the Setup work it will mean a trip to your local Luthier and more $$$$$ out of your pocket.

   Purchase the Kala KA-BNJ-BK-C  Concert Banjolele with PayPal   
Set-Up of your Choice,
Gig Bag,
FREE Postage within Australia

SET-UP Request
The banjo ukulele is recognized for its distinctive tone and ability to project sound in solo and ensemble settings. The banjo ukulele was originally designed by Alvin Keech in 1917 and was popularized by musicians such as George Formby and Roy Smeck. George Harrison favored the instrument in later years and recorded his song “Any Road” on banjo uke.

Banjoleles or Banjo Ukuleles are they are sometimes called are fast becoming my favourite type of Ukulele to play.  They are loud and proud!  But being so loud you have nowhere to hide if yo hit any bum notes.

One final note at the Pooraka Sunday Markets last Sunday Donna sold a very nice concert sized Banjolele with hardcase, the customer was all smiles at his new purchase, and rightly so.  He now has a very nice playing instrument.  I know this because I setup his Banjolele up myself,  the frets were levelled,  re-crowned and polished, the Skin is tensioned right and the Bridge is correctly placed for intonation and string playing height, I also fit a set of proper Banjolele Strings by Aquila, or you can have Worth Strings for a more Mellow Sound.

Cheers CC
The Ukulele Trading Co Australia.

MANY MORE Ukuleles, Strings, Tuners, Cases, Capos & Accessories in-stock.

I Carry a Huge Range of Kala & Ohana Ukuleles, Aquila & Worth Ukulele Strings.

Fancy Something Else?

Please Contact me and I can arrange to make it happen.

Please Call 0432 306 920 9am to 5pm


Most of my Products are FREE Postage Australia Wide!



Ukulele Workshops & Private Tuition: Corporate Training Days, Community Centres, Local Councils, Schools... please contact me to arrange a program tailored for you.



  1. Fantastic news. The Kala Banjoleles have arrived in OZ. Arrived on Christmas eve. What a present.

  2. I have a new Gretsch Clarophone Banjo-ukulele. I toned it down by replacig the bridge with one that is 4 inches long, about 1/4 in thick and shaped like a mandolin bridge. it is about 7/16 inches high. This lowered the action somewhat and the mass of the bridge produces more mellow tones.

    On my other Banjos (Tenor and Mandolin banjo) I have used a rolled up woolen sock wedged under the skin between the bridge and the dowel sticl. This acts as a mute and tames some of the harsher sounds, especially on the mandolin banjo. Because there is more space between the skin and the metal Dowel rod, I inserted a 4 inch long piece cut from a high pile paint roller. this acts in the same way as the wool sock.

    I may adjust the neck angle a bit more and shim the end of the neck. I would use a round file to elongate the rod's hole at the tailpiece so the rear of the rod would be higher. I did this on my Vega Mandolin banjo to change the angle.

    I like the Banjo uke that I have.

    Glen Simpson
    Nova Scotia