Banjos are loud instruments that can be difficult to practice. Apartment dwellers, as well as novices with roommates, face volume challenges when attempting to practice. While professional mute devices usually work well, they are often expensive. However, there are many ways to mute a banjo with low-cost items that are often readily available in the home. Save money and time with an at-home, do-it-yourself banjo mute.
Locate the coordinating rod(s) inside an open-backed banjo, where the backside is open and the rod(s) can be clearly seen. Coordinating rods extend the length of the resonance chamber and should be the only pieces visible inside. Banjos either have one or two rods, depending on their age and style. Fold the piece of cloth into a small square and wedge it tightly between the surface of the banjo and the nearest rod, directly underneath the location of the bridge on the front surface. The tighter the cloth fits, the more effective the mute will be.
Roll a piece of cloth tightly and place it against the front or back of the bridge, underneath the strings. Allow the strings to press into the material. The cloth should fit snugly, but should not be bulky enough to force the strings out of position. Foam can be used instead of cloth.
Pressing something against the strings will also mute the instrument. Tie a piece of fabric, such as a handkerchief, around the strings near the bridge to quiet the sound.