I just got a Fender Robert Schmidt 4-string plectrum banjo and the bridge string spacing is extremely wide. It seems to be about 10/16" between each string. I play Dixieland jazz and would prefer a much closer string spacing for fast strumming. I was previously playing a 5-string banjo with the 5th string muted.

My main question is it ok to use a tenor banjo bridge on a plectrum banjo? Is there any difference between a "tenor bridge" and a "plectrum bridge" or is it just marketing?

Other questions: Can I use a file or something to cut new slots to reuse my current bridge and get the strings closer together? Or if I do need to buy a new bridge, is it ok to get a shorter bridge?

Basically, the bridge that came with this banjo is not working for me but I have no idea what options I should get when looking for a new bridge so any advice is greatly appreciated!

1 Answer 1


I own both a tenor and a plectrum banjo and use the same bridge on each so that shouldn't be an issue.

What may be an issue for you is the string length of the plectrum banjo. The shorter string length of the tenor banjo gives you a tighter feel when you strum quickly. The plectrum banjo's strings are going to feel floppier compared to the tenor so you may not get the precision you want from the closer string spacing on the bridge. But if you just want to be able the finger the strings closer together then there shouldn't be an issue.

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