What is a Banjo?
A Banjo is a string instrument generally consisting of four, five or six strings attached to a stretched membrane to a frame that resembles a resonator and is typically called a head having a circular shaped structure. The membrane usually comes in plastic or sometimes animal skin. Its instrumental quality is typically centered around folk and country music.
Techniques related to playing Banjo
Traditionally, the five string banjos were used widely and so does the techniques adapted from it. The main two types of techniques that were used then and even now, they can be termed as Rolls and Drones. Rolls technique generally involves right hand fingering patterns that are used to create rhythmic and harmonically themed music, it consists of eight notes that are later subdivided into specific pieces. Whereas drones are quick paced notes that are mainly played on the fifth string to fill the gaps for the melodious notes. But in the modern times, the four string and six string variations are widely popular too. The Clawhammer style was also popular during the ancient times and also now.
In the modern times, new methods or playing styles has also evolved. And it is being used to produce music that are unique to it.
Types of banjos that are available which are suitable for beginners as well as professionals
Below are the main types of banjos available that can be used by all types of instrumentalists:
- 4-string: – As the name suggest it is a type of banjo that consist of 4 strings attached to the membrane. It is usually considered as a base instrument but can be used for other purposes too. One can use it to go for chord melody, string play or tremolo too.
- 5-string: – It is considered as the original banjo traditionally and is considered as the best for beginners due to its design and operation. It has some really efficient tuning options that helps to switch between pitches easily. It is mainly popular for its versatility in producing classic and folk music.
- 6-string: – It is often considered as a guitar in terms of its playability. Significantly its main difference is that it still sounds like any other banjo. It is quite complex and one has to give some decent amount of time to master its operation.
Thing to keep in mind when choosing a Banjo for beginner
When choosing best banjo for beginners, one must keep some key points in mind. These can be described as. Firstly, it is the tuning functions, it is advisable that beginners must use a geared tuner to allow them for easy tuning and also in preventing the instrument’s dilapidation. Secondly is the material that it is being made of, wood is preferred over any other material as it produces the most quality sound that is required of a musical instrument. Thirdly, looking for adjustable features, this is like a bonus feature that comes with all types of instruments, it gives some extra for manual customization, be it in the form of note change or string patterns or sound variations.