How many strings does a banjo have? There is a lot of confusion prevailing around the number of strings that are in a banjo. Most people think it has five strings. Some think four, and some think it’s six. However, it is slightly more complicated than that. Let us see how many strings does a banjo have.
The first thing you have to understand is that there are many types of banjos. Each banjo has a different number of strings. The most common type of banjo comes with five strings. There are standard and authentic banjo types in the world. However, other kinds of banjos have four, six, or even twelve strings.
How many strings does a banjo have?
As we have seen, the five-string banjo is the most common and popular kind of banjo. Country pickers and bluegrass players commonly use the 5-string banjo. However, they can be played for any type of music if we replace their closed-back resonators.
The 5th string of these banjos is shorter than the rest of the strings and is not connected. It has a separate tuning peg attached to the neck’s mid portion. Usually, the fifth string tuner is friction based. This type of tuner can slip and lose the tune you set. Many expensive banjos will have geared tuners that won’t slip or lose tune.
The open string notes of a 5-string banjo are G-B-G-B-D. This combination of open notes in this banjos makes the C and D chords completely easy. This allows banjos to be quickly learned, making them one of the most accessible instruments in the world.
4 String Banjos
4-string banjos are not quite popular as the classic 5-string banjos. However, they can be considered the second or third most popular type of banjos. A 4-string tenor banjo is the most popular type of 4-string banjo. It is not quite popular in the USA. However, it is quite famous in other countries in Europe.
Irish tradition has a long history with the 4 string banjos. This banjo is widely used in Jazz music. The open notes of a 4-string tenor banjo are different from a 5-string standard banjo. The tenor banjo is tuned like a viola. The open notes of the tenor banjo are C-G-D-A.
6 String Banjos
This is another favorite type of banjos. In the USA, it is the second most popular banjo after the 5 string banjos. Some consider this instrument the best country genre alternative for classical guitars. Even the open notes of 6-string banjos are the same as the standard guitar. The open notes of 6-string banjos are E-A-D-G-B-E.
12 String Banjos
The 12-string banjos have several names. Most banjo experts call this banjo the “Grand Piano Of Banjos.” It is a magnificent piece of instrument that every banjo player likes to get her hands on. The 12-string banjo and 12-string guitar are quite similar and almost identical. The same chords, fingering technique, and open notes of the 12-string guitar are present in the D 12 banjos.
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.