banjo vs. guitar

Banjo vs. Guitar: Which is Better and Why?

Banjo Vs. Guitar is a staple of rock n’ roll music. It’s been going on forever and has roots in the pre-war era when musicians were keen to have their bands. So there was competition at every turn for who was best and who would be the King of The Hill with different instruments.

Here, we’ll be looking at Banjo vs. Guitar in all its forms and detail of what makes each instrument great or ‘meh.’ We’ll end with a verdict on which one comes out victorious. So without further ado, let’s learn the differences between guitar and banjo.

What is Banjo?

Banjo vs. Guitar

Banjo is a stringed instrument with a plastic body, metal strings, and one or two prongs on the head to be held between the knees while playing. There are many other genres of Banjo played in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, etc., but this article will focus on the 4-string banjo, i.e. tenor banjo. The Banjo was initially used for song accompaniment – either vocally or instrumentally. It was adopted for singing songs and hollers with time because of its loud volume and portability by banjo players. Later on, it became a staple of American fiddle music. In this music style, the lead melody is usually played on a higher string while those following are tuned to a lower octave. There is a variety of types of banjos, like four-string banjo, 5-string banjo or six-string banjo, and many more.

What is Guitar?

Banjo vs. Guitar

The Guitar is a musical instrument with six strings, played by plucking the strings with the fingers of both hands. The Guitar is a trendy instrument worldwide, especially in folk music genres such as blues, country, flamenco, and rock & roll. The Guitar is an ancient musical instrument, probably more than 2000 years old. There are several guitars models, types, and sizes based on the performer’s genre and purpose of use. The bass guitars are harder than electric guitars when hearing rock music. This article briefly discusses a typical acoustic guitar’s types, sizes, and parts.

Which Instrument Came First?

The Banjo came first. There’s evidence to back this up as well because the earliest example of guitar music dates back to 1831, when a poet described it as “discordant.” Since then, its growing popularity saw it appear in various places worldwide, most notably during America’s prohibition era, when famous people adopted it as their instrument of choice.

The earliest mention we could find of the Banjo was in 1651; at that time, it had already been used for about 200 years. We had the first modern banjo in the 1800s. This makes it almost 400 years older than the Guitar making the Banjo the oldest musical instrument ever invented by humans.

Difference Between a Banjo and Guitar:

Following are the important aspects that differentiate a Banjo from a Guitar.


The most apparent difference between a Banjo and a Guitar is the shape.

The Banjo body has a circular shape, while the standard guitar has an angular one. There’s also the string count where the Guitar strings are only 6 while the Banjo can have up to 20 banjo strings! However, there are many other differences, such as size and weight, as Banjo is smaller than Guitar and heavier in weight than Guitar.


Another difference is how they sound – I don’t think any fan will disagree that Guitars sound better, but it’s not because of the notes they make but instead their loud volume output. Banjo offers a smooth transition. The guitars can be heard far away (apart from those weird Radiohead guitars), making them perfect for outdoor gigs like playing on stage or even weddings if you’re the musical type. Standard tuning is used in playing guitar.


The Guitar is made of more strings than Banjo. Thus Guitar is considered to be more versatile than Banjo. That’s why the price of Guitar is a little higher than standard Banjo. Apart from the instrument difference, the price mainly depends on the quality of the desired instrument.

Playing Style

There is a difference between the playing style of Banjo and Guitar. I wouldn’t recommend playing the Guitar sitting down because it takes up more space than a Banjo, meaning you can’t use one of those foldable stools to support yourself. They’re also harder to hold, which is why it keeps on dropping while played.

Banjo vs. Guitar: Which is the Best Choice?

Banjo vs. Guitar

The most obvious benefit with Guitar is that it’s lighter than a Banjo. You can use this to your advantage by having it on the go and carrying it around wherever you want with ease! However, there are some drawbacks to this, the main one being that you might break it if you don’t carry it carefully enough.

Banjos sound better, in my opinion, because they have a natural timbre which makes them more vibrant and alive! They also don’t need electricity or batteries, so they’re always ready for action when you pick them up for playtime. Plus, they’re cheaper too, meaning if you’re struggling financially, then go for a Banjo – it’ll be easier on the wallet as well as your arms!

Banjo vs. Guitar: Which One is Easier to Learn?

If you’re just starting with music, go for a banjo because it’s cheaper than Guitar and can get the job done. You don’t need 6 strings to get started. One should not buy any Guitar unless you’ve played one before or seen one in action first; otherwise, they might look too complicated for beginners.

But this is a case of one’s preferences; some people find guitar strumming easier than banjo’s fingerpicking. Also, there is more online material available for guitar compared to banjo, yet banjo is much easier to learn than guitar.


Is Banjo Easier or Harder than Guitar?

This is a difficult question to answer, as Banjo and Guitar are both instruments that require practice and patience to be able to play well. Banjo, in particular, is a very unique instrument that is easy to learn but hard to master. It has a very different sound than Guitar and can be used to create a variety of different songs.

Why do people like Banjo more than Guitar?

There are many reasons why people might like Banjo more than Guitar. For one, Banjo is a versatile instrument that can be used for a variety of genres of music. Additionally, Banjo is easier to learn than Guitar and is, therefore, more accessible to a wider range of people. Finally, Banjo is an instrument that is often associated with the country music genre, which is popular among many people

How can I learn to play one of these instruments and what kind of music should I play to get good at it?

If you want to learn to play an instrument, the best way to do it is to start with some basic lessons. You can learn to play the piano, the guitar, the drums, or any other instrument. The type of music you should play to get good at it is anything that you enjoy. If you want to learn classical music, you should play classical music. If you want to learn rock music, you should play rock music. The important thing is to find something that you are interested in and can put your heart into. With enough practice, you can eventually play the instrument well.


The Banjo and Guitar have their unique advantages depending on what you’re looking for in an instrument to play. Still, it’s essential to make sure you know which one is best suited for your needs before making a purchase either beginner banjo or guitar. I hope the above information helped you in making an informed decision.

You can also learn Banjo vs Ukulele here.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *