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Most Popular

Epiphone MB-200 Banjo Red Mahogany Brown

Epiphone MB-200 Banjo Red Mahogany Brown

Chrome hardware, resonant mahogany body, and rosewood fingerboard with decorative inlays. 26-1/4 scale bolt-on mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, and 1-1/4" nut width. U.S. Remo head.


Dean BW6 Backwoods 6-String Banjo Natural

Dean BW6 Backwoods 6-String Banjo Natural

You'll love the 6- string Dean Backwoods 6 Banjo If you're a guitar player looking for that banjo sound. With its familiar guitar tuning, this hybrid 6-string banjo requires no learning curve from guitarists. Fitted with an 11" Remo head, Grover tuners, 25" scale length, and 1-3/4" nut width, you'll be a-pickin' and a-grinnin' with the Dean Backwoods 6 Banjo in no time!


Recording King Bluegrass Series RK-R20 Songster Banjo

Recording King Bluegrass Series RK-R20 Songster Banjo

With its sharp attack and minimal sustain, the Bluegrass Series RK-R20 Songster Banjo is a great beginning resonator model. The banjo features an inlaid mother-of-pearl peghead inlay and heart-shaped position markers, plus a rolled brass, hoop tone ring, planetary tuners, and a bound rosewood fretboard.


Starter's Pack

 

Rogue Learn-the-Banjo Starter Pack

Rogue Learn-the-Banjo Starter Pack

The Rogue Travel/Starter banjo features 18 brackets, high-quality head, satin finish, first-rate tuning machines, and a road-ready open-back design that's light and fleet and produces authentic tone. Accompanying padded gig bag, Banjo Case Chord Book with multiple fingerings, and Beginning Banjo For 5-String Banjo DVD with special interactive features and tab charts make it a complete kit to get you started on the high road to the Grand Ole Opry!


Wiki

wikipedia iconWIKIPEDIA: BANJO

The banjo is a stringed instrument with, typically, four or five strings, which vibrate a membrane of plastic material or animal hide stretched over a circular frame. Primitive forms of the instrument were fashioned by enslaved Africans in Colonial America, adapted from several African instruments.[1] There are several ideas on where the name banjo came from. It may derive from the Kimbundu term mbanza. Some etymologists believe it comes from a dialectal pronunciation of the Portuguese "bandore" or from an early anglicisation of the Spanish word "bandurria", though other research suggests that it may come from a Senegambian term for a bamboo stick formerly used for the instrument's neck.


HISTORY

Enslaved Africans, living in Appalachia, fashioned gourd-bodied instruments like those they knew in Africa. 18th and early 19th century writers transcribed the name of these instruments variously as bangie, banza, banjer and banjar. Instruments similar to the banjo (e.g., the Japanese shamisen and Persian tar) have been played in many countries. Another likely ancestor of the banjo is the akonting, a spike folk lute played by the Jola tribe of Senegambia. Similar instruments include the xalam of Senegal and the ngoni of the Wassoulou region including parts of Mali, Guinea, and Côte d'Ivoire.[citation needed] It is probable that the banjo has migrated from Asia to Africa to North America, mutating from form to form for centuries. The modern banjo was popularized by the American minstrel performer Joel Sweeney in the 1830s. Banjos were introduced in Britain in the 1840s by Sweeney's group, the American Virginia Minstrels, and became very popular in music halls.


MODERN FORMS

The modern banjo comes in a variety of forms, including four- and five-string versions. A six-string version, tuned and played similar to a guitar, has been gaining popularity. In almost all of its forms, the banjo's playing is characterized by a fast arpeggiated plucking, although there are many different playing styles.

The body, or "pot", of a modern banjo typically consists of a circular rim (generally made of wood), a metal tone ring, and a tensioned head, similar to a drum head. Traditionally the head was made from animal skin, but is often made of various synthetic materials today. Some banjos have a separate resonator plate on the back of the pot, while others have an open back. There are also electric banjos.

The banjo is tuned with tuning pegs or planetary gears, rather than the worm gear machine head used on guitars.


USAGE

Today, the banjo is commonly associated with Dixieland, country, folk, irish traditional music and bluegrass music. Historically, however, the banjo occupied a central place in African American traditional music, as well as in the minstrel shows of the 19th century. In fact, African Americans exerted a strong, early influence on the development of both country and bluegrass through the introduction of the banjo, and as well through the innovation of musical techniques in the playing of both the banjo and fiddle.[3][4][5] Recently, the banjo has enjoyed inclusion in a wide variety of musical genres, including pop crossover music, indie rock (see Modest Mouse and Sufjan Stevens), and Celtic punk.


5-string banjoFIVE-STRING BANJO

The instrument is available in many forms. The five-string banjo was popularized by Joel Walker Sweeney, an American minstrel performer from Appomattox Court House, Virginia.[6] In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the crude gourd body of the banjar with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside the short fifth-string drone string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new banjo came to be tuned g'cgbd'. This is not quite a straight transposition of the e'aeg#b' tuning of the banjar; the B string of the banjo has the lowest pitch....read more.


4-string banjo

FOUR-STRINGS BANJO

The plectrum banjo is a standard banjo without the short drone string. It usually has 22 frets on the neck and a scale length of 26 to 28 inches, and was originally tuned cgbd'. It can also be tuned like the top four strings of a guitar, which is known as "Chicago tuning." As the name suggests, it is usually played with a guitar-style pick (that is, a single one held between thumb and forefinger), unlike the five-string banjo, which is either played with a thumbpick and two fingerpicks, or with bare fingers. The plectrum banjo evolved out of the five-string banjo, to cater to styles of music involving strummed chords. The plectrum is also featured in many early jazz recordings and arrangements.

The shorter-necked tenor banjo, which also has four strings and is also typically played with a plectrum, became a popular instrument after about 1910. Early models used for melodic picking typically had 17 frets on the neck and a scale length of 19½ to 21½ inches. By the mid-1920s, when the instrument was used primarily for strummed chordal accompaniment, 19-fret necks with a scale length of 21¾ to 23 inches became standard. The usual tuning is cgd'a', like a viola or mandola, but some players (particularly in Irish traditional music) tune it Gdae′ like an octave mandolin, which allows the banjoist to duplicate fiddle and mandolin fingering. The invention and/or popularisation of this tuning is usually attributed to Barney McKenna, banjoist with The Dubliners....read more.

(Wikipedia, "Banjo", Link to Article)

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Strum Strings

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