The debate is endless between the banjo and guitar. For beginners, it’s become quite hard to decide which style of music they want to learn. So, beginners who are in a dilemma on choosing any one style, this guide is for them. Here, we will show you whether the banjo is harder than the guitar or not.
Both the instruments offer an exceptional and interesting sound in any genre of music. Each instrument comes with different learning curves. But the thing is, learning banjo compared to a guitar is much easier. To begin playing songs with the banjo is more than easier when comparing it to a guitar.
Is Banjo Harder Than Guitar
Both the guitar and banjo come in different shapes, coordination levels, tuning, pitch, etc. Aside from that, people find learning or using banjo easier than guitar. In this phase, we will provide why is banjo easier than guitar.
Banjo is designed with a slimmer neck; thus, it is easier to fret the strings. You can easily reach your hand around the banjo’s neck and fret the strings. Beginners find it hard to play the guitar as it has more strings close to each other.
Lighter Gauge Strings
With the lighter gauge strings of banjo, you can easily fret without hurting your fingers much. Banjo has a minimum of 4 strings and a maximum of 6 strings. In all musical instruments, the less and thinner the strings are, the more ease of playing.
The guitar’s standard tuning is E, A, D, G, B, E. Whereas the standard tuning of a banjo is G, D, G, B, D, which is open G tuning. To get started playing the open tuning, G provides much ease. Because when you strum the string with G chord, it offers a very good sound.
On the other side when you strum the strings of a guitar, it provides a dissonant sound. So, if you are playing the banjo for the first time, you can play the first chord. But, for playing the first chord on guitars, you have to control the fingers in several shapes.
Difference Between the Banjo and Guitar
So, in the debate between guitar v.s banjo, clearly, banjo wins. Now that you know learning and using banjo is much easier, let’s see the other differences between them. Hopefully, these differences will clear all of your doubts.
The size difference between banjo and guitar is the first noticeable thing for everyone. Banjos come in a smaller shape than guitars. The smaller size of the banjo makes it the best alternative for beginners.
Unless you are a professional guitar player creating notes and chords may feel difficult to you. The frets of guitars are usually placed far from the strings. So, for beginners and younger players, the banjo is the most straightforward instrument.
There are strumming, fingerpicking, and clawhammer banjo style, which can produce different types of sounds. These styles make it easy to tune to a G chord with the 5-string banjo.
As banjo offers a smooth transition than playing guitar, first-time learners can start with banjo learning. In contrast, quality guitars make a beautiful deep tone sound. Therefore experienced guitarists don’t require a banjo to achieve any specific note.
There is a misconception roaming around about banjo that it is only limited to bluegrass and folk music. This concept is absolutely wrong. Banjo is as versatile as the guitar. You can use the banjo in rock, jazz, classical, blues, world music, hip-hop, and almost all today’s genres.
From the above discussion, it is clear that, for beginners, to get started, banjos are by far easier than guitar. Thus, you should learn banjo first and then go for learning guitar.
Common Myths About Banjo
There are numerous misconceptions and myths about the banjo. Here, we will clear all the myths for your better knowledge.
Banjo Is Hard to Play
It is a common misconception that we have already cleared in this article. The five-string banjo is the easiest instrument to get started with. The main reason is its open G tuning. To make a C chord, you can make a bar by using your index or middle finger.
Then simply push every string down at the 5th fret. For making a D chord just slide the neck 2 frets up to the 7th fret. You are ready to start playing thousands and thousands of tunes. There is nothing hard with learning the banjo.
Heavy to Sound Good
Actually, the weight of banjos has nothing to do with the sound quality. Due to the large metal parts on the flange and tone, the weight of the banjo comes. But, all banjos don’t come with these parts. Some banjos come with resonators that are very light in weight. So, to sound good, the banjo should not be heavy.
Real Banjos Have 5 Strings
Many people think that 4 strings and 6 string banjos are not real, which is not correct. Banjos come in three types of strings; these are 4-strings, 5-strings, and 6-strings.
We admit that the 5 string banjos are much popular, but the others are also real. All these banjos have been around for 100 years. For creating some great recordings, musicians use these 4 and 6 string banjos.
Older Banjos Are Better
You will find some great vintage banjos out there, and they play pretty well. But, now, many builders create banjos. These are absolutely fine and don’t cause any issue with older instruments.
The battle is very tough between the banjo and guitar. Especially for those who are newbies to music and are deciding the right instrument for them. This guide provides a clear view about whether a banjo is harder than a guitar or not. Hopefully, after understanding all the differences and myths, there will be no confusion whatsoever.
It is easier to press down the banjo’s strings and form chord shapes than guitars. After learning the banjo, you may find that you can easily apply the same skill to take up the guitar. Whatever you choose, your musical journey should be beautiful enough and make you feel rewarded.