Philes Home


Basic Banjo Anatomy

"How to find your way around the round thing"

Let's look at some basics about banjo anatomy, and then how to find the serial number.

The two main parts of the banjo are the Neck and the Pot.  The Neck has the frets and a headstock with tuners. 

This is the Headstock
There could be a serial number on the back



The Pot is the round part and everything connected to it.

This is generally referred to as the "pot", which is the main body of the banjo

The resonator is the "Back" of the banjo, normally held on with either 3 or 4 Thumbscrews. 

TB3 Resonator

The Thumbscrews are visible from the top, and very easy to remove, which allows

the resonator to come off:


Once you get the resonator off, you can look for a decal and/or serial

number inside the rim:

Gibson Mastertone Decal

This is a Mastertone decal, used from the mid 1920's to through the 1930's

Gibson decal

A typical serial number (Factory Order Number) stamp from the 1930's.