Well of Souls: Uncovering the Banjo’s Hidden History

By Kristina R Gaddy (Author), Rhiannon Giddens (Foreword by)   An illuminating history of the banjo, revealing its origins at the crossroads of slavery, religion, and music. In an extraordinary story unfolding across two hundred years, Kristina Gaddy uncovers the banjo’s key role in Black spirituality, ritual, and rebellion. Through meticulous research in diaries, letters, (read the rest…)


This Builder’s Choice banjo is a custom built Rambler Dobson featuring a standard scale length, Walnut neck, and 12″ stainless steel spunover rim. The Dobson tone ring combined with goat skin head gives this banjo a warm tone with good sustain and resonance. Built with Nickel plated hardware from Balsam Banjoworks, this banjo features a Hawktail tailpiece and JB Schall ball style bracket shoes. Truly a joy to play. Grab it while it is available!

Wire Armrest

These Vega Style Wire Armrests give the look and feel of vintage armrests from the turn of the century. Made in raw brass, they are made to match an 11″ rim, but can be carefully bent to fit other sizes including banjo ukuleles.   These armrests are fully adjustable and can sit high or low above the banjo head, depending on your needs.  Easy to install, this armrest attaches to your existing brackets.  All that is needed for installation is a bracket wrench that fits the size of your tension nuts. Can be used by both right and left handed players.


Banjo bridge innovation just raised the bar!  These beautiful “Fiddle Banjo Bridges” from Seeders Instruments are handmade using quarter sawn Maple and Ebony. It takes influences from the traditional violin bridge and its unique sound and vibration transferring principles. Every bridge has hand carved details and a compensated center string for improved intonation.  Add one to your banjo bridge collection.  It’s a joy to play!

The Pisgah Eclipse Compensated Bridge

Check out our new compensated bridge – the Pisgah Eclipse!


The Pisgah Eclipse is a precision manufactured compensated banjo bridge which combines proven design with modern technology to offer a truly first of its kind bridge for all styles of banjo playing. The Pisgah Eclipse improves intonation, enhances tone, and provides a proven solution for upgrading your banjo to its fullest potential.  The Pisgah Eclipse is precision high quality 3-D printed from sustainable plant based bio-plastic featuring a continuous foot which will improve your banjo’s intonation for a lifetime. Designed by Patrick David Sawyer and Kyle VanMeter, the Eclipse uses a 4″ radius, 10 degree back draft, and 3 degree front draft and is hollow on the inside for a perfect weight.  Try one out today! Return for a full refund if this doesn’t improve your banjo’s intonation!

SOLD! #2065 Custom Cherry Possum

Builder’s Choice Banjo #2065 is a beauty! This Custom Possum is made in cherry with a short scale and 12″ pot. It features our new slotted head stock design with Gotoh tuners, as well as a frailing s-scoop. The fingerboard on this banjo is made from some really nice persimmon with a natural, unique pattern. The built-in persimmon tone ring gives it a nice, warm sound. Equipped with a Remo Renaissance drum head and antiqued brass hardware from Balsam Banjoworks, this banjo is ready to go, complete with an upgraded Pisgah Hawk Tail tailpiece, and optional brass Kat Eyz Capo designed specifically to fit our neck profiles perfectly. Comes with Access Stage One Gig Bag with PBCO logo.

Spikes are available upon request for an additional $10 per spike.


Grab it while it last, it won’t be around long!




Slotted headstock with Gotoh tuners

Renaissance head by REMO

S – Scoop

Folk heel

Antiqued Brass hardware from Balsam Banjo Works

12″ pot

Persimmon tone ring

Short scale (25.5″)

Cherry neck

Cherry rim with walnut rim cap

Standard maple bridge

Hawk Tail tailpiece

Delrin nut

Persimmon fingerboard with face + side dots

PBCO Old-Time Clawhammer Medium Gauge Strings




The Pocket-Dial is a simple, convenient and precise tool used to help measure and adjust the tension of your banjo head, – one of the most critical factors in helping your banjo sound its best. It is small, lightweight, fits easily in your banjo case, and specifically designed to work with both synthetic and natural skin banjo heads.

Banjo Roots & Branches

Banjo Roots & Branches – Edited by Robert B. Winans tells the story of the banjo’s journey from Africa to the western hemisphere. Blending music, history, and a union of cultures, Winans presents cutting-edge scholarship that covers the instrument’s West African origins and its adaptations and circulation in the Caribbean and United States.

The contributors provide detailed ethnographic and technical research on gourd lutes and ekonting in Africa and the banza in Haiti while also investigating tuning practices and regional playing styles. Other essays place the instrument within the context of slavery, tell the stories of black banjoists, and shed light on the banjo’s introduction into the African- and Anglo-American folk milieus.

Wide-ranging and illustrated with twenty color images, Banjo Roots & Branches offers a wealth of new information to scholars of African American and folk musics as well as the worldwide community of banjo aficionados.

Old-Time Superhero Stickers

Designed and created by the very talented artist and musician Gina Dilg, these beautifully vibrant and durable screen printed stickers pay homage to our folk superheroes that heavily influenced the genre today. Designs are inspired by 1950s Superhero comics are high quality, weather and UV resistant.  Put them on your instrument case, laptop, water bottle, car, (read the rest…)

Pisgah-Aquila Nylgut Frailing Banjo Strings

Pisgah Banjo Co partnered with Aquila Strings to provide simply the best simulated gut strings on the market today for banjo. Formulated specifically for open-back clawhammer banjo, minstrel banjo, and other old-time styles, these strings add mellowness and plunk to your tone, making your banjo sound like it is from the turn of the 19th century. The nylgut strings are strong and resistant to changes in moisture and humidity. They stand up to any playing conditions and are perfect for festivals, jam settings, or playing at home on your porch. Truly a pleasure to play, these strings feel like butter as you plunk along to your favorite tune!


Made in the USA, Howard’s Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish & Conditioner is perfect for enhancing the natural beauty of your fingerboard! It penetrates deeply and provides added protection and shine to any fingerboard new or old.

Feed-N-Wax helps introduce conditioning oils that “feed” the wood while providing a protective coating of beeswax and carnauba wax. This unique blend of beeswax, carnauba wax, orange oil, and other beneficial ingredients help preserve and keep your fretboard from drying out, fading, or even cracking. Feed-N-Wax should be used on finished and unfinished woods whenever wood starts to look faded or dry. We recommend adding a thin coat to your fingerboard every 3-6 months depending on how much you play.

Snark Super Tight Banjo Tuner

Pisgah Banjo Company’s tuner of choice for keeping your banjo in tune! SNARK’s Super Tight Tuners tune tight so you sound better. These all instrument tuners are super fast and super accurate. 

The ST-8 Super Tight Clip-On All Instrument Tuner from Snark is a clip-on tuner with a high-sensitivity vibration sensor and easy to read, full-color high definition display with full 360° rotation. They feature a stay-put clip, a tap tempo metronome, and have pitch calibration from 415 – 466 Hz. The tuner features an extended frequency range and is compatible with all instruments. The best tuner you can buy!

PBCO Walnut String Swing

Made in the USA, this custom String Swing banjo wall hanger is made exclusively for Pisgah Banjos!  Crafted from beautiful black walnut and branded with a gold PBCO logo, this banjo wall hanger will beautifully display your Pisgah Banjo as a work of art on any wall in your home.  It safely supports your banjo anywhere, encouraging you to play your banjo as much as possible!  The wall hanger comes with two mounting screws and sturdy drywall anchors.  Get one for every banjo in your home!

Dimensions: 6″ x 8″ x 2″

J.B. Schall Style Ball Shoe

Solid brass, extra wide 3/4″  base, no “lifting”.   The only wide base ball shoe on the market.  Styled after original J.B Schall Shoes, this bracket shoe will give your banjo the 19th century look you were going for.  Small base ball shoes tend to “lift” and dig into the rim of your banjo over time.  These provide a stable base for your hook and nut and will never lift. Made in the USA.

Double-pointed bracket shoe

Made in the USA, the only reproduction cast “double pointed” bracket shoe available. This L style bracket shoe is considered to be the strongest bracket shoe style, allowing for great tension without any “lift” on the bottom of the shoe. With 12-24 threads, this shoe pairs great with any of our Rim hex bolts.

Clawhammer Capo

Made exclusively for us by KatEyz Capos, this handsome solid brass capo is designed specifically for clawhammer style banjos.  Most banjo capos on the market today are designed for bluegrass banjos which have a much narrower width at the nut than open-back/clawhammer banjos. This one is 1 5/8″ wide on the inside and can capo all the way up to the fourth fret with no problem.  The V shaped clamp with leather cushion will fit a variety of neck profiles and holds a stable position without moving around.  Store this capo easily on your nut for easy accessibility when you need it quick.  Made in the USA.

Armadillo Armrest

The Armadillo Armrest is Pisgah Banjo’s feature wooden armrest! Ergonomically designed to improve playing and to have the most comfortable playing experience. This handcrafted armrest is made in the USA at the Pisgah Banjo Company workshop using only native Appalachian Hardwoods. Mounting feet are hand-made from antiqued raw brass that allows for easy installation and adjustment with only a bracket wrench or The Banjo Tweaker required to install. L-feet attach to the banjo’s bracket shoes and hooks using the tension nuts and are compatible with all hook mounted heads, regardless of bracket spacing. It is universally sized to fit any brand 11″ and 12″ open-back banjo by floating over the tension hoop and head while not interfering with your banjo’s tone. Select your choice of wood: walnut, persimmon or cherry.

No left handed version available.

Old-Time Banjo Strap

Easy to install/remove, high quality, fully adjustable old-time banjo strap!  No Tools Required!  Finally a strap made for old-time players and old-time banjos.  We understand the need to remove your banjo strap once in a while so we made it easy! Made from the highest quality bridle leather, this handsome  strap is the last one you will ever need to buy.  Simply slip the strap though 2 or 3 banjo hooks and fasten with the attached button studs.  No tying, no removing of brackets, no fuss.  Take on and off as much as you please…the more you use it, the easier it is.   Handmade by local leather smith Danielle Wright in Black Mountain, NC.

PBCO Trucker Hats

High quality Richardson style 112 Trucker hats in four different colors.

Clawhammer Banjo – Tunes, Tips, and Jamming

Wayne’s newest clawhammer book has something for everyone: beginners, intermediate and advanced players. Includes tabs and lyrics to 40 old-time banjo tunes, plus tips on learning tunes on the fly, how to jam, the art of faking it, and improvising.

Clawhammer Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus

The Ignoramus book is 40 years old! Originally written in 1973, this book has taught more people to play clawhammer banjo than any other book ever has! This brand new 40th Anniversary Edition is newly updated and improved, complete with spiral binding. It contains the same friendly, clear and simple instruction as the original book, and it will teach you to play 31 old-time classics from the ground up. It’s been said that “Wayne can even teach a frog to play! Give this fun book a try and you’ll see why Wayne personally GUARANTEES it will teach you to play! (How many books come with a personal guarantee by the author?) 64 pages, 9″ x 12″, includes instructional audio CD with 85 selections!

Banjo Adjustment Tool

This 6 n 1 tool is perfect for banjo pickers and builders.  Made in the USA, the “Banjo Tweaker” includes a 5/16″ deep well socket, perfect for all Balsam nuts. Also includes 1/4″ deep well socket, large and small slot head screw drivers, and large and small Phillips head screw drivers.  Use the flat head driver to remove dowel stick hardware for taking apart banjos.  Branded with the PBCO logo.

John Balch pre-mounted goat skin head w/PBCO logo

John Balch and PBCO have partnered with Balsam to make these pre-mounted goat skin heads more available to pickers and builders.  John hand selects each head for perfect tone and consistent thickness throughout.  Easy to install, simply remove your old head and replace it just like you would any standard head. Add one of these heads to your banjo to give it a nice warm and plunky tone that can only come from real skin. The logo is printed on the inside of the head and is barely visible once installed. We do not sell these skin heads without the logo. 

Tension Nuts

Ball-end Style

Designed in the Vega style, these reproduction ball end tension nuts will give your banjo that traditional openback look. Made in the USA, these ball end nuts are the most affordable ones available on the market today. With 8-26 thread, they pair nicely with our Round Tension Hooks. Use our “Banjo Tweaker” to make adjusting these nuts easy.

Bacon Style

Designed by us and manufactured in the USA, these Bacon Style nuts offer a different and unique styling to your banjo.  With open ends and 8-26 threads, they pair nicely with our Round Tension Hooks. Use our “Banjo Tweaker” to make adjusting these nuts easy.