The banjo and the guitar are both the same stringed instrument, but they differ greatly in the number of strings, tuning, and the structure of the instrument itself, and they are also different instruments in terms of tone and playing style. In this article, we would like to introduce the charms of the banjo and the guitar and compare the differences between them.
The number of strings is different.
The main difference between the banjo and the guitar is the number of strings and the structure of the instrument. There are many different types of banjos, some with four or six strings, but generally speaking, “banjo” refers to the five-string banjo used in bluegrass music.
It features a structure where the fifth string is strung from the middle of the neck.
The first four strings of a five-string banjo are wound by the pegs on the headstock, just like a guitar, but the fifth string is wound by a peg attached to the fifth fret of the neck. It is this fifth string that is essential for playing the arpeggios that are characteristic of the banjo.
Banjos and guitars are tuned differently.
Like the guitar, there are several different ways to tune the banjo, but the most basic tuning is the G tuning. The G tuning on the banjo is an open G chord, which becomes a G chord when the open string is played.
The fifth string is a G, an octave higher than the third string, and the highest note.
On the guitar, the first string is the highest note, then the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, and so on, getting lower and lower, right? On the banjo, the first through fourth strings are also lower in pitch, just like the guitar, but the fifth string is the highest G of all. This is found to be a G note, just one octave above the G note of the third string.
The fifth string of the banjo is essentially fingered-free!
On the guitar, the six strings are pressed to form a chord, but on the banjo, the fifth string is essentially unpressed, but strings 1-4 are pressed to form a chord. In this case, the fifth string is not played, or by incorporating the fifth string into an arpeggio, it becomes Dsus4, which can easily be used as a non-chord note to create a stylish sound. This sound gives the banjo its unique timbre. The banjo has a large number of chord forms to learn, more than the guitar.
There are far fewer chord forms to learn on the banjo than on the guitar.
With fewer strings, the banjo has far fewer chord forms to learn than the guitar, making it much easier to learn chord forms. Also, as mentioned before, it is much easier to master than the guitar because you basically don’t have to hold down the fifth string and use strings 1-4 for the chord forms.
Banjos are wrapped in leather-like drums.
Another major difference between banjos and guitars is the top material. When it comes to guitars, more and more guitars are now made of plywood, but what wood is the top material on the front of the guitar made of? Many people check the material first when buying a guitar because the top material has a big impact on the tone. But in the case of the banjo, the top is not wood but is covered with leather-like a drum. Despite the leather, banjos are more resistant to changes in humidity and temperature than guitars, plus most models today use plastic heads.
Anyway, the banjo is a very heavy instrument.
Banjos are different from guitars in that they use a lot of metal in their materials, so they are heavy anyway! The average weight of bass is about 5 kg, so a load of playing the banjo is like holding a bass and an acoustic guitar at the same time. It’s a battle with physical strength at first, but if you stick with it, you’ll get used to it, even if you’re petite.
In this article, we describe the appeal of the banjo, while focusing on the differences between the banjo and the guitar. If you’re a little curious about the banjo and if you’re not sure if you want to give it a chance, or if you just like bluegrass music the banjo is a really fun instrument to play, give it a try!
BANJO VS GUITAR: WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THEM?
- Jul 20, 2022