How Hard is it to Learn Banjo? A Comprehensive Guide

Banjo is a popular stringed instrument. How hard is it to learn Banjo? Various people are fascinated with the tunes made from it and the instrument too. It comes in different variants based on the number of strings and other aspects. Harmony, Tenor, Fender, Clawhammer, Bluegrass, etc., are some types of Banjo.

In general, a 5-string Banjo is the most prevalently used. It is also the easiest of all to learn. When we think of how hard is it to learn Banjo, there are several misconceptions that the instrument is hard. Certainly not! The Banjo has numerous things that are far easier than most other stringed instruments.

How hard is it to learn to play Banjo? 

How hard is it to learn to play Banjo 

Any beginner comes across various myths related to a musical instrument. Banjo is no exception to that. However, the fact is every instrument has its set of curves and playing styles. So, we cannot decide on a general basis that a Banjo is hard to play. So, if you are worried about how hard is it to learn Banjo, this piece of information is for you.

The 5-stringed Banjo is considered the easiest of all stringed instruments in terms of learning and playing. It so happens that a person who hasn’t touched any musical instrument to date learns to play Banjo within five minutes! This is because the standard 5-string Banjo comes with an open G tuning. So, you can play a G Chord just by strumming the strings without pushing them down.

How hard is it to learn Clawhammer Banjo? 

Clawhammer style is traditionally the easiest to play when compared to Bluegrass and Scruggs styles. If you learn the basic clawhammer stroke, everything else is like a cakewalk. Based on your interest, it can hardly take any time to learn this trick.

How hard is it to learn Banjo if you know Guitar? 

How hard is it to learn the Banjo if you know Guitar

There is no direct impact of a Guitar on Banjo learning. However, if you know how to play Guitar, it is easy for you to learn Banjo. As we mentioned earlier, a guitar’s strings are harder than that of a Banjo. You need to put some pressure on the strings to play the G Chord too. So, if you’ve never played an instrument and started with Guitar, the Banjo can be easier for you.

How to learn Banjo by ear?  

Whenever we try to answer how hard it is to learn Banjo, we often come across people asking how to start learning Banjo by ear. It is a simple process, and the steps are as follows:

  • Strum your Banjo in open G Chord and establish a key.
  • Continue strumming the G Chord and listen to a melody you are quite familiar with, like a happy birthday tune or anything of that sort.
  • Sing the chosen melody loud in the G Key. Continue strumming if you feel the need for a reference.
  • Repeat singing the first line and play around with your Banjo until you find the right tune on your instrument.
  • It may be hard to find the song but, it is all worth the work once you find it.
  • Continue the process for the whole melody.

Now play the whole song and see the magic!


  1. How long does it take to learn Banjo?

It takes around 2000 hours of practice to play Banjo at ease. With this much practice, you can play pretty much any tune, as per most Banjo instructors.

  1. Is Banjo more difficult than Guitar?

The ease of learning any instrument depends on the style of music you are looking at. Having said that, a Banjo has relatively lighter strings than a guitar, so, the Banjo is easier to play.

Also, check out The 6 Best Tenor Banjo, if you are in the market for some great Tenor Banjos.