What are coordinator rods?

You’ve likely heard about coordinator rods (also called rim rods) but might be unsure as to what they are and exactly what their purpose is. Coordinator rods run from the base of the rim – the circular wooden piece that makes up your banjo’s body (also called ‘pot’) – through the centre and into the banjo neck.

Their primary purpose is to connect the neck of your banjo to the body, but they can also be adjusted to alter the neck angle of your banjo to change its action and the way it feels to play.

Coordinator rods aren’t visible on resonator banjos as they’re hidden by the resonator – you’ll have to remove the resonator to get to them. They are visible and more easily accessable on open back banjos.

Some banjos feature one coordinator rod, others feature two. Although it does add a little more weight to banjos, a second coordinator rod enhances the stability of the body of the banjo. It’s common for bulkier and weightier resonator banjos to feature two coordinator rods. Where two rods are used, only one is used for neck adjustment – the second simply acts as an additional support mechanism.

To ensure the highest level of playing and tonal stability, the majority of Barnes & Mullins banjos feature two coordinator rods.

It’s important to consider that adjusting any instrument without suitable knowledge and experience can cause permanent damage and we therefore always advise you to take your banjo to a trained luthier for any extensive set-up work.