"As the General Sales Manager at Mark's Guitar Exchange San Diego, I always send my new customers to Paper Moon. THE best place for all ages to learn a stringed instrument. Great environment and great teachers who share the same principles we use here: kindness & patience." - Jeff L, Mark's Guitar Exchange
We’re hearing the banjo more and more these days. Thanks to bands like Mumford and Sons, the Lumineers and of course Steve Martin, just about everybody has heard the sound of this twangy and old-timey sounding instrument. Traditionally heard in Bluegrass and folk music, these modern musicians have proved that the banjo can fit into just about any musical genre. (Well, maybe not heavy metal, but only time will tell!)
There are 5-string banjos and 4-string banjos. There are also different banjo styles and techniques, namely Clawhammer style (or down-picking) and Bluegrass style (up-picking). Contact us to discuss your particular interests and goals for playing the banjo!
WHAT TYPE OF BANJO SHOULD I BUY?
There are 5-string banjos and 4-string banjos.The 4-string banjo is also called the tenor or plectrum banjo and is usually played in dixieland music. A plectrum is an old word for pick, so as you might imagine, this kind of banjo can be easier to play because you don't have to complicate matters by using your right hand fingers (which can be challenging on any stringed instrument). The 5-string banjo is probably the one you're most familiar with, and you'll see 5-string banjo players using their fingers often with finger picks attached to them.
If you're interested in banjo lessons, you might want to play the 5-string banjo, since that's what most people are thinking of when talking about the banjo. The 4-string banjo is more for strumming chords rather than playing melodies and rolls, but do some investigating on YouTube first and see which type of instrument most appeals to you.