Copy of Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Banjo Bolster work and why is it better than using foam rubber or other conventional stuffing methods?

The banjo’s circular tone chamber creates enhanced opportunities for reflected sound inside the banjo pot. Reflected sound is a by-product of the fundamental sound created by the transference of energy from a vibrating string through the bridge and onto the banjo head. Reflected sound is most often perceived as undesirable overtones and/or reverberation which has the effect of muddying the banjo’s tone, making it sound out of tune, as well as reducing note clarity and articulation.

Conventional stuffing methods most often apply direct pressure to the banjo head, dampening the head’s vibrations in an effort to attenuate unwanted overtones/reverberation. An example would be using a piece of foam rubber placed between the dowel stick/coordinator rod(s) and the underside of the head. Unfortunately, they have the undesirable side effects of reducing the banjo’s frequency response as well as a noticeable reduction in volume, often resulting in an overly compressed and flattened sound.

The Banjo Bolster attenuates unwanted overtones/reverberation while preserving the all-important fundamental sound with minimal reduction in bass, treble and volume. By treating the banjo’s tone chamber as an acoustic space and focusing on dampening reflected sound, the Banjo Bolster functions as a sound absorber, designed specifically to remove unwanted sonic energy from the sound chamber caused by reflected sound.

How do I measure my banjo?

Every Banjo Bolster is custom made to fit your banjo perfectly! All we need is your banjo’s Measured Length and dowel stick type.

Determining your banjo’s Measured Length is quick and easy. Simply measure the length of your dowel stick or coordinator rod(s). Please see the How to Measure Your Banjo page for helpful instructions.

Where is the best location to place the Banjo Bolster inside my banjo?

Please check out our How to Configure the Banjo Bolster for Optimal Tone page for helpful instructions and demonstration videos.

How do I adjust the shape and position of the Banjo Bolster to get the best sound from my banjo?

Please check out our How to Configure the Banjo Bolster for Optimal Tone page for helpful instructions and demonstration videos.

You will need to experiment with the various position options to find the one that works best for your banjo and your taste. Have fun exploring!

Does the Banjo Bolster work with banjos that have a dowel stick with curved edges?

Yes. In order to ensure that your Banjo Bolster holds its position when contacting a curved edge dowel stick, we reduce its length by a small amount.

If your banjo's dowel stick has curved edges, please be sure to select "Dowel Stick with Curved Edges" in the Dowel Stick Type dropdown menu when placing your order. 

Does the Banjo Bolster work with all string types?


Does the Banjo Bolster work with both hide and synthetic heads?

Yes. An added benefit of using the Banjo Bolster with a hide head, especially when playing outdoors, is that you can make quick adjustments to the Banjo Bolster’s shape if you notice an increase in overtones due to humidity/temperature changes. Simply reorient the Banjo Bolster's shape so that additional pressure is applied to the underside of the head. Extreme environmental changes may still require an adjustment to your head tension, but you may find that reorienting the Banjo Bolster’s shape/position does the trick. Once you’re back in your normal environment you can quickly readjust the Banjo Bolster back to your preferred shape/position.

Do I need to readjust the Banjo Bolster each time I play?

No. Once you’ve found the best shape and position for your Banjo Bolster it will hold its shape even when placed inside your case. Please be sure not to place anything inside the banjo pot that might inadvertently move the Banjo Bolster.

Why do I need to measure my banjo?

The Banjo Bolster holds its position by placing a small amount of pressure on either the dowel stick or coordinator rod(s). By doing so, the Banjo Bolster can be shaped into a variety of positions where you determine how much, if any, contact is made with the underside of the banjo head. In order for the Banjo Bolster to accommodate this adaptability and hold its desired shape/position it must be made to accurately fit inside your specific banjo.

Banjos with the same head size may require a different length Banjo Bolster due to the thickness of the rim and the thickness of the dowel stick/coordinator rod(s). As a result, each Banjo Bolster is custom made to fit your banjo perfectly.

When ordering a Banjo Bolster, why do you need my banjo make, model and head size?

In an effort to assure your Banjo Bolster fits perfectly, we are keeping track of each one we make, noting the Measured Length as well as the maker, model, tone ring type and head size. This will give us an opportunity to detect if someone has indicated a potentially incorrect Measured Length when placing their order. When this occurs, we will contact them to double check and make any necessary corrections to their order. 

How do I clean my Banjo Bolster?

Your Banjo Bolster is made from the highest quality 100% cotton poplin fabric. We recommend that you use a soft, wet cloth and gentle soap to spot clean as needed.

What fabric is used on the Banjo Bolster?

We use a custom designed cotton poplin fabric made specifically for the Banjo Bolster. After months of testing various fabrics and fill types, we found that this fabric has the best sonic properties as well as just the right stiffness to hold its position once placed inside the banjo.

If you need to clean your Banjo Bolster, please see our "How do I clean my Banjo Bolster?" FAQ for assistance.

Do you offer different fabric colors or patterns?

Not at this time, but it is something we are considering. Stay tuned!

Where are Banjo Bolsters made?

Every Banjo Bolster is handmade in New York, USA.

Is the Banjo Bolster protected by a US patent?

Yes. We currently hold a provisional patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

How long will it take before I receive my Banjo Bolster?

Our goal is to get you your Banjo Bolster as quickly as possible. At this time, each one is custom made for each order we receive, but it is our hope that in the future we will be able to make them ahead of time and ship them within a day or two of receiving an order. In the meantime, please be patient as we make each one to your specific length. You will receive an email when your order ships.

I have a bunch of banjos and would like to have a Banjo Bolster in each one. Do you offer a discount if I purchase more than one at a time?

If you're in the United States and purchase 3 or more Banjo Bolsters in a single order the shipping is on us!

Keep a lookout for special promotions and sales too!

What shipping options are offered?

For domestic shipping within the US we offer USPS First Class, Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.

For international shipping outside of the US, we offer USPS First Class International and DHL Express.

Do you ship internationally?


Do you ship to a PO Box?


Will I receive a tracking number when my order ships?

Yes. When your order ships you will receive an automated email with a link to your tracking information.

What should I do if my Banjo Bolster does not fit my banjo?

Please contact us and we will help you get an accurate measurement of your banjo. Please return the item to us. Once received we will happily make you a replacement.

Can I return my Banjo Bolster?

Yes. We want you to be 100% delighted with your Banjo Bolster. If for any reason you are not, you may return your unused Banjo Bolster for a full refund, less shipping and handling, within 14 days of receipt.

You will be responsible for paying your own shipping costs when returning your item, whether for an exchange or a refund.

Please contact us to arrange for a no hassle return.

Can I cancel an order before it is shipped?

Yes. Please contact us and we will cancel your order and issue a full refund.

Do you collect sales tax?

Yes. We collect sales tax on all orders with a New York ship to address.

Do you ever run sales or specials?

Yes. When you make a purchase we will add you to our email list and keep you informed of any upcoming sales. And don’t worry. We promise not to spam your inbox. We hate that too!

Can I combine discount codes?

Sorry, not at this time, but it is something we are looking into. Stay tuned! 

How do I create an account on

Just click the “customer login” icon in the upper right of any page on, then click “sign up”. Please fill out the short form to create a secure password and answer the security questions. You will receive a confirmation email to complete the account creation process.

Not sure if you have an account or forgot your password? Click “forgot your password” on the customer login page and we will email you a reset link if you have an account. If you see the message “no account found with that email”, then please create an account.

How do I see my Order History?

Once you create an account, you can log in at any time to view your order history. Simply click on any one of your previous purchases to review the order details, including the measured length and other values you entered when you made your purchase.

I forgot my password, what should I do?

Simply click the “customer login” icon in the upper right of any page on, then click, “forgot your password”. If you have an account, we will email you a reset link. If you see the message, "no account found with that email", then please create an account.


Do you offer gift cards?

Yes. Please select “Banjo Bolster Gift Card” in the "Banjo Bolster" menu at the top of the page.

Do you offer gift wrapping?

Sorry, not at this time.

Do you or will you be selling Banjo Bolsters in stores or music festivals?

Not at this time. is the exclusive place to purchase a Banjo Bolster.

How do I contact Customer Service?

Please see our Contact Us page for the various ways to reach us.

How did you come up with the name Banjo Bolster?

The word "Bolster" is an interesting one. It is both a noun and a verb. The name Banjo Bolster uses both parts of speech in its definition. :-)
bolster [bohl-ster]
A long pillow or cushion.
To make something strong or better: to give support to something.

Banjo Bolster [ban-joh bohl-ster]
A purpose built, long acoustic cushion designed to improve a banjo's tone by removing unwanted overtones caused by reflected sound inside the banjo's tone chamber (pot).