The banjo is a fabulous instrument that is used in Country folk music or Bluegrass. Like the guitar, the banjo is a part of the string family. A couple of things like the uniqueness of its sound and its playing style separates it from a guitar. Once you hear the sound of it, you will acknowledge why many people love the banjo. You may become passionate about the banjo after you hear its sound and you would want to know how to play banjo. Nonetheless, if you are wondering How Hard is it to Learn Banjo, then this article is just for you.

There is an explanation of why it would be hard for you to learn to play the banjo because it is different from a guitar which is played by strumming the strings or plucking with a pick. The banjo can be played using two distinctive methods such as 3-finger or clawhammer.

How hard is it to learn banjo: Myth & Reality

Keep in mind that figuring out how to play the banjo is considerably more of a physical challenge than a mental one. It would take you a lot of repetitions and physical exercise to develop the abilities that are required for you to play the banjo. 

The three-finger Scruggs’ style technique is the simplest technique for playing the banjo. It provides simple and solid rhythmic music directly. This technique makes it easy to play the banjo while delivering pleasant music.

Each instrument has different types of playing styles and learning curves so you would learn banjo as you would learn any other instrument. For some people, it might be easy and for some people, it might be difficult but that depends on how you learn to play it.

However, banjos are easier to play than a guitar because they use lighter gauge strings than a guitar. So, if you know how to play the guitar, it might not be too difficult for you to learn to play banjo. The light gauge strings it simpler to push the strings down on the fingerboard of the banjo and get a satisfactory tone.

Remember that learning an instrument requires focus, dedication and motivation. Like any instrument, the banjo requires your dedication and it needs you to practice playing it from time to time to get better at it.

The answer to the question of how difficult is the banjo depends on how you learn to play it. If you get improper training, then it would become hard for you in learning banjo.

How Hard is it to Learn Banjo

Is the Banjo Easier Than Other Instruments?

If you want to know is the banjo easier to learn than a guitar then, the short answer is no. It is not harder than a guitar. Other stringed instruments such as violins might take more time learning than the banjo.

A few things about the banjo could be viewed as easier like the strings are lighter gauge than a guitar and it is easier to push down. It does not take long to learn a couple of basic things on the two instruments.

If you play in a bluegrass band with a banjo, it may take more practice than if you play with a rhythm guitar in a bluegrass band if you are strumming chords. If the guitar player goes solo, then it would take more practice than the banjo. 

If you play the banjo, you have quite a few advantages using three fingers rather than using one flat pick that a guitar player uses when playing bluegrass music.

You will learn to play the banjo quite faster than learning to play the guitar. The question people get confused on is it hard to learn to play the banjo than it is to learn a guitar? As we have previously mentioned, a guitar and banjo’s difference is that a banjo has lighter gauge strings that make it easier to learn and play than a guitar.

You require a proper playing method along with a decent banjo and a lot of patience in case you are still How Hard is it to Learn Banjo. If you are patient and have an easy playing method, such as the 3-finger technique then the learning process will become easier than a guitar.

3 Challenges You’ll Face While Learning the Banjo

Mastering any instrument can become difficult at a point and you might find some challenges during that period. We have found three challenges that every beginner faces no matter how they learn the banjo. Here are three challenges:

Choosing the playing style

There are two common playing methods when it comes to playing the banjo. These methods are the 3-finger method and the claw hammer method. The most well-known style of playing the banjo is the three-finger technique since it is the easiest method. The three-finger method requires using the thumb. The claw hammer style is a more laid back method which makes it slower if you are just starting. We would recommend the three-finger technique for beginners as it is easier to use.


Finding the best banjo for you

There are various kinds of banjos that you can buy. If you are on a small budget, you can discover places online that offer refurbished instruments at a fair price. You will find decent beginner banjos that may serve you for a long time.

Not having sufficient time

Learning how to play the banjo needs both time and patience. If you want to master this instrument, you will need to have a lot of time on your hands as you would need to do a lot of practice. If you are unable to take classes or do not have time, then you can learn it online.

If you can overcome these challenges, then you would surely find it easy to learn the banjo. Most beginners would ask How Hard is it to Learn Banjo and the answer is very simple, if you pick the right playing style and find a decent banjo that fits your style and have time on your hands, the learning process will become much easier.

The Ideal Banjo for Beginners

There are different types of banjos out there such as 4-string banjos, 5-string banjos, 6-string banjos and more. The most common banjo is the 5-string banjo. It is famous for its simple playability which makes it the ideal banjo for you if you have just started playing the banjo.

The reason the 5 string banjo is easy to begin playing is due to its standard tuning which is an open G tuning. This implies when you play the strings without pushing anything down, you will play a G harmony. This banjo can make your playing experience easier.

You would have a fun experience with the 5-string banjo regardless of How Hard is it to Learn Banjo. You will able to master this instrument by having a lot of practice and you won’t need to worry about is the banjo hard to learn or not.

Also, don’t forget to see our post on best beginner banjo.

learning banjo vs guitar

Tips & Tricks to Learn the Banjo Easily

In case, the banjo is the first stringed instrument you are trying to play, it might seem that you have a million things to keep in mind at this first stage. Everything feels so unfamiliar and new. Try not to get disheartened! Banjo players try to be perfectionists, so do not let your desire to play accurately decrease your love for playing the banjo and know that everybody learns from the mistakes they make. Having fun is a higher priority than playing everything precisely. 

Instead of feeling stuck on the topic of how hard is it to learn the banjo and thinking whether you should buy a banjo or not, apply the tricks that we’re about to mention so that you could make your learning process much easier. With these tips, you will learn to play the instrument both quickly and easily.

Learning & Repeating basic techniques

The first task is to learn some basic methods and repeat them until they are strictly in your muscle memory and become natural. In case, you find yourself getting used to practicing and can’t put the banjo down, then you can nearly guarantee success. A lot of the students as they take up the banjo build up a physical sensation picking the strings and can hardly wait till they get the banjo again to play and practice.

 Tune & Hold Your Banjo

Keeping your instrument in tune is something that you practice each time you play and it is a significant ability when playing music with others. Tuning your banjo can be confusing when starting, yet with cautious listening to each pitch along with some experimentation, you can have this skill aced in a matter of seconds. After you are in tune, you need to embrace a comfortable playing position for both sitting or standing. You have many options regarding this. Remember not to raise the neck excessively high and use a strap.

 Fret your chords with your left hand

A chord is three notes or more sounded together. Chords support a melody and they pave the way for different musicians. The ideal approach to start playing is to get comfortable with well-used chords, for example, G, C, and D7. A left-hand position makes forming these chords way more fun. Let your thumb touch the top (of the back) of the neck of a banjo, loosen up your shoulder and elbow, and make sure you are using the tips of your fingers to press the strings behind the frets.

Apply these tips and notice a boost in your playing experience.

Wrapping Up

Figuring out how to play the banjo does not need to be an issue, regardless, there are a few people that do find difficulties that can make it hard to learn how to play. Luckily, the Internet has made it possible to limit or thoroughly get rid of the difficulties that might have scared a lot of people away from playing the banjo. We hope that we have provided you with valuable information regarding the banjo in this article that helps you out.