What Are The Differences Between Banjo And Guitar?

Guitar, piano, banjo and all other musical instruments are hard to learn if you are not a dedicated learner. When it comes to banjo and guitar, a lot of students willing to join music classes in Brooklyn have a question to ask. Which of these two is hard to learn? However, this is not the only question a student should have in his mind. There are several things you should consider while making this decision.

Banjo vs. Guitar

Musical Style & Preferences

There are different styles of music and the selection of the instrument depends on the style you want to learn. The basic concepts of music are similar for all musical instruments. So, when it comes to teaching the basic skills required to be a musician, either instrument will serve the purpose.

Once you have started getting the understanding of the intricacies of a specific musical style, you can move onto the instrument you want to learn. There is a common misconception about the banjo. People believe that the banjo is used for bluegrass only. However, just like the guitar, the banjo can also be used in a wide range of genres. You can use it in jazz, blues, country, folk and even pop.

Both banjo and guitar produce interesting sounds that are ideal for all genres of music. Banjo was first introduced to classical musicians in the late 1800s. Even they found it fit to use. So, both banjo and guitar are very versatile. Both can be used in different styles of music.


This depends on your size. As a banjo has a smaller neck, it might be a little easier to play. This musical instrument has less strings. However, some banjos are a little heavier for children. When it comes to ease of pressing down strings, you can adjust this on both instruments. It does not matter whether it is a guitar or a banjo, if it has thinner strings, it is easy to play.

The ease of playing also depends on the tune you are learning. A banjo is tuned to Open G Tuning. A guitar, on the other hand, is tuned to Standard. These are the notes including E, A, D, G, B and E. Tuning a guitar to the standard does not create an open chord created in banjo tuning. So, when you are picking up a banjo across the strings, it produces a very pleasant sound as strings are already tuned to the chord you want to learn. So, the banjo wins here. However, dobro and some other guitar styles used in bluegrass music are tuned to an open G string.

Learning and Playing Chords

When it comes to learning and playing in open tunings on a banjo, you can learn two and three finger chords. These chords are the basic chords needed for playing bluegrass music. G, C and D are the chords you can learn in open G tuning this instrument. As it has more strings, people often think that learning chords is difficult on a guitar. However, chord shapes on both of the instruments fall into five basic categories. After learning the five basic chords including C, A, G, E and D, you can play any of the chords you want to learn for either instrument.

Making The Final Decision

The selection of the instrument depends on what you enjoy to play. Whether you are learning a guitar or a banjo, skills you have learned on the guitar can be of great use when you are taking up a banjo, or vice versa.

When you are joining music classes in Brooklyn, you can give a try to both instruments. Your music teacher can also help you in making the right choice.

Join a music school in New York now.    

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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One comment

  1. The guitar has more notes and finger athletics to master than the banjo. This will make it harder to learn the banjo than the guitar for some people. The banjo has fewer strings, which can make it a bit easier to play. … If the strings are too thin, they might cut into your tender, un-calloused fingers.

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