There are two varieties of Banjos available. One is the resonator and the other is the open back. Once you understand the difference it shall become easier for you to pick the one for your style of playing. Although both these Banjos have the same design, with little differences too. In a resonator, there is a wooden bowl that is mounted at the back. When you pick up the chords, the sound gets projected toward the audience.
It also gives weight to the resonator Banjos. On the other hand in an open back Banjo, just as the name says, you shall find the back open. With your fingerpicks on the Banjo strings, it gives you a sweet and tangy sound. It also has a soft and mellow sound too making it perfect to be used for bluegrass music. Other than this, you also get the option for left handed Banjo which makes it very easier to play if you are a left handed person.
Choosing The Right Banjo
It is important that based on your style of playing, you must choose the right Banjo. The right Banjo cords shall efficiently elevate your style of playing. There are six types of Banjos to choose from. And all these Banjo strings produce sounds that are fit for different genres of music. But also other than these six types, there are many more hybrid forms of Banjos too.
- Four String: These are versatile and almost play like Ukulele. It has two tenors for tuning and gives a sound that is more in the lower octave. This Banjo is perfect for using during tap dancing or giving a basic rhythm to any music. This same Banjo with twenty-two frets is also known as the plectrum Banjo.
- Five String: It is the most commonly used Banjo because of its versatility. All its strings are tuned to G. Due to the great diversity in its sound, it is used especially for Bluegrass, classical, and even folk music too. It is the most commonly used left-handed Banjo.
- Six String: It is best suited for guitarists who are keen on learning different other stringed instruments. It is also very versatile too having smooth tones. The six-string Banjo is also called a Banjitar. It comes having different sizes. In this Banjo bridge, there are a variety of measurements too. The sound of it is more like the Guitar, and Ukulele. Just like the guitars it has powerful pickups and so many popular artists use this Banjo too.
- Long Neck: In this Banjo you will get three extra types of frets. On the whole, you will find that this type of twenty-five frets. This Banjo is mostly tuned to E. This Banjo has a similar sound to the fiddle and so it is commonly used for folk music.
- Electric Banjo: It has a short pick-up range which the musician can adjust as per his liking. Many popular artists use the electric Banjo during live shows because of its loud range in sound. This Banjo tuner does not clip and combines with a metronome. Due to its upgraded mechanized sound, this Banjo is very much used in modern music and recordings.
- Parlor Banjo: It is more like a smaller version of the five-string banjo and has nineteen frets to it as well. You can even tune it to G. It plays similar tunes to the twenty-two-fret Banjo. Being very small and lightweight in nature, it is very easy to carry this Banjo anywhere you want. If you wish to play old music then these Banjos are perfect. But it is also important to remember that these Banjos may require a tone ring and a resonator too.
I own a music instruments shop. My go to instrument is a banjo. My business makes it easier for me to access the instruments from various brands and of various types. I will give my honest opinion here to help out others in choosing the right instrument for them.