Most people believe these stringed instruments are similar to one another while only experts can define the difference between the guitar or banjo. Do you want to learn to play such a stringed instrument for the first time yet aren’t sure which one you should practice? You have to separate between these two musical instruments first. 

If you have never touched a banjo or guitar, you might find them hard to play. The contest between the guitar or banjo can be a tough one, especially when you are new to music and learning to play the right musical instrument. To make the right decision, think about the following factors in this article, and decide what will be the best stringed instrument for you to play. 

What is a banjo?

The first modern banjo was introduced during the 1800s. The shape of a banjo is round; some people may find it like a toy. This stringed instrument is a long musical instrument that is fretted with strings. Normally a banjo is played by playing or plucking the strings. There are 4 string banjo, 5 string banjo and six strings banjo, which can be difficult to learn for beginners.

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Thus playing fingerstyle notes with banjo can be very challenging. But banjo is harder than guitar or not it depends on your passion for learning. If you have a passion for banjo, you might find banjo is easier than the guitar.

Is Banjo harder than Guitar

What is a Guitar? 

Nowadays, people use the guitar more that you don’t need to have the talent to learn to play. But a classical guitar is harder to play with because of its large neck. 

The first classic guitar was introduced in 1779 by Gaetano Vinaccia in Italy. It was considered as the ‘guitar of love’ due to mostly usage for ballads.  A classical guitar’s strings are made of nylon. The number of strings may change and can be up to 12 strings. 

Banjo vs Guitar: The differences

The first guitar or banjo were introduced around the same time, but each one has grown in different manners. There are many differences between guitar or banjo. 

The size of a banjo is smaller than a guitar. However, it is quite bigger than a beginner’s ukulele. Now, what do you think? when it’s about the size, is banjo harder than guitar for you?

Because of a banjo’s size, it’s easier to move it everywhere. If you are going somewhere, you can take banjo with you. On the other hand, the banjo is suitable for beginners more than the small guitars.

The normal guitars are bigger with a fretted neck, which is not easy to reach. A classical guitar has its neck bigger than the other stringed instruments and different guitars. However, the guitar is more reasonable for adults and young players who have reached an advanced level. But without a special belt or a seat to remain down, it is difficult to learn to play the guitar.

Banjo Vs Guitar

The size of a banjo is suitable for young players. They may find banjo is easier than the guitar, but it can cause arm pains. 

A great classic guitar comes with deeper standard tuning than a banjo. The deep standard tuning means power, which is suitable for concerts to play with the crowd while the banjos are more used for self-entertaining.

There are 4 or 5 strings for a banjo while a standard guitar has six strings. The bass guitar has 4 strings but you cannot use it for every song. Now, when it comes to strings quantity of guitar or banjo; the more will be several strings, the more difficult it will become to play the instrument. This is why you may feel more comfortable with banjo than the guitar.

See more: 4 string vs 5 string banjo

We have mentioned the difficulty level between these musical instruments. The discussion will be the same based on the size and the number of strings of a guitar. This stringed instrument will be harder to learn to play. 

A guitar has standard tuning in a unique way than a banjo according to the number of strings. The banjo is tuned to an open tuning, which is known as open G tuning. On the other hand, a guitar tune means that each string has its place – E, A, D, G, B, E. This standard tuning cannot make an open tuning like a banjo does. In this circumstance, playing the banjo without tuning it will sound wonderful. 

Learning: is Banjo harder than Guitar? 

When we differ the level of difficulty while playing the banjo or guitar, we find playing the guitar is harder compared to the banjo. The good thing is you can get the most precise and satisfying standard tuning due to the variety of its strings. 

A guitar has more notes and more complicated fingering than a banjo, which makes it harder than a banjo to play. Both instruments will be hard to learn if you are a beginner and if you are playing the guitar in standard tuning. This is also combined by their variation in the number of strings.  It is important that in a guitar the strings are further from the fretboard meaning the player requires some expertise to make notes and chords.  

On the other hand, the beginners and children may find it easier to learn the banjo than the guitar. A few things about the banjo can be viewed as easier; the strings are lighter than a guitar and easier to push down. It doesn’t take long to expert a couple of basic things on these musical instruments.

To play in a different style of music with a banjo will need more practice than playing a rhythmic guitar in a different style of music band if the player is playing chords. If the person who plays guitar plays solo, then it will need more practices. The banjo player has few benefits using three fingers instead of only one flat pick a person who play guitar uses while playing different style of music. 

source: The internet legend channel

Things to Consider 

Despite the fact that there are few differences between the guitar or banjo, but you don’t have to learn to play them separately. If you manage to learn one-stringed instrument, you have almost learned the other one too.

Banjo or guitar are stringed instruments and all you have to learn is fingers position over the strings. You will have to figure out is banjo harder than guitar for you or not and how to adjust your fingers together over that musical instrument to create various sounds. 

If you choose to pick the guitar to learn, then learning the banjo would be easy. Due to the complexity of guitar compared to the banjo. However, learning how to play these musical instruments won’t be easy as this requires more than a lifetime.

These two instruments need your hand to figure out how to make moves it isn’t familiar with, but this will get easier. It will need a lot of time to master a skill.

But if you want to start with the banjo, what will be a good banjo to start with? 

The banjo should not have the strings high up over the fretboard or too low, which makes the strings to buzz. This can be balanced in various ways, but if it’s a secondhand banjo it can show problems with the neck or a broke rim. It is necessary to start with a good banjo. If you are ready to pay $350 to $650 for a new beginner banjo, that will be okay. It will support your progress, but a terrible banjo will slow your progress. 

Related: best affordable banjo brands

Final Verdict

The final choice comes down to which stringed instrument makes you happy. We don’t think that there will be any confusion. You can certainly choose which one you should purchase and practice banjo or guitar; which one is easier for you? Which one do you like playing the most?  

Whatever you conclude, you will find that similar skills you learn on the banjo allow you to effectively take up the guitar later on, and vice-versa.

The most ideal way to end the discussion between the guitar vs banjo is to try some private lessons. Despite which instrument you pick, when you start your musical journey on the banjo or guitar, it will be one of the most pleasant choices you ever make!


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Epiphone Mb 100

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Ibanez B200

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Ibanez B50

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