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How necessary are Scruggs tuners when playing Scruggs-style banjo? They seem like something of a novelty to me, and I'd rather just not install them or learn how to do it, but don't want to leave it out if it's an integral part of a Scruggs-style banjo player's toolkit?

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Seems this questions should be more "Is Earl Scruggs' style defined by his tuners?" –  NReilingh Nov 8 '12 at 15:00

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You can't do Flint Hill Special without them, but you don't have to play Flint Hill Special. I don't think I've heard Bela Fleck use them.

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Scruggs-style definitely does not require Scruggs tuners. Bill Keith also invented a similar device, but those are not required for "Keith style" (melodic) banjo playing. Even Scruggs rarely used them in his playing, and most listeners would not miss them except for on certain songs.

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