The 6-String Banjo
Do you know the 6-string Banjo was manufactured more than a hundred years ago, much before guitars were around the scene? Burt sadly never gained much popularity like the five-stringed one. Can you guess what is a 6-string Banjo called? Keep thinking about it while you read ahead and match it with the name you know, here.
The Name Of A 6-String Banjo
A 6-string Banjo is known by various names. The most popular name, of course, is the 6-string but along with it, it is also called a Banjitar, Banjo guitar, and even Ganjo by Australians. You tune a 6-string Banjo just like you tune a guitar with six strings. You begin with the lowest string and then move higher. These days although almost every 6-string Banjo has a guitar neck but, it is still not a guitar. Two types of 6-string Banjos were made and among them, one is still being made.
Types Of 6-String Banjos
- Zither six-string Banjo
Initially, the six-string Banjos had the traditional style of the body of that of the five-stringed. Although they had a similar drone string but made an addition of a bass sting between the fourth and the drone string. This made it possible to hit the very low G note. Based on its tuning, it gives a range very close to that of the guitar.
In Europe, it was very common for musicians to use a six-string Zither Banjo instead of guitars. It was also called by popular nicknames such as Guitjos, Six-string Banjo, and Banjitars.
- Banjos inspired by Jazz
The 5-stringed Zither Banjos were very popular in Jazz clubs in Europe. It was so much popular that it even broke many records in the US. The Dixieland or the Jazz belonging to traditional New Orleans became immensely popular. During the Rock and Roll festivals in 1920, Banjo became as popular as the guitars. String Tenor Banjos were the most popular for Jazz replacing the drone string. It was because the drone strings could not match up with th complex notes of Jazz music.
- Six-string Droneless Banjo
Because the Tenor Banjo was only capable of playing high music notes and for Jazz, versatility was needed so, it was abolished. The six-string Banjos replaced the Tenor Banjos as it was capable of hitting the lower octave notes. It even made notes that were very unique and seemed well-suited for Jazz music. The six-string Banjos had been manufactured for a long time back and were more popular than guitars. Even the guitar players found it easy to handle too as well.
The 6-string Bango soon began to appear in records too playing as a background musing to songs. Its popularity was due to its versatility, giving great baselines, and also for reaching the lower notes in G very comfortably 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.