banjo vs mandolin

Banjo vs Mandolin | Which Is Better?

There are many different stringed instruments, each of which has its unique sound, and capabilities. In this blog post, we will compare the Banjo and the Mandolin, two instruments with quite a bit in common and some distinct differences.

So let’s get started with Banjo vs Mandolin.



It is a musical instrument similar to a guitar with 4 or more strings. The first creator is the Mandolschi family in the late 18th century. Nowadays, mandolins are made by many companies. There are different types of Mandolin based on the shape of the body, number of strings, and playing technique.


Banjo Brands To Avoid

It was created in the early 19th century and was influenced by an Oriental instrument called “gobur” (a long neck string instrument). Banjo has a different number of strings and techniques for playing, but mostly it is played by picking the single strings with the help of a plectrum or fingers.

What is the difference between Banjo and Mandolin?

banjo vs mandolin


The body of the Mandolin has a bowl shape. It’s usually made of wood, but some exceptions are made of plastic or other materials. The Banjo can be made out of almost any available material when it is being built. Typically, it has a roundish wooden body with metal hardware and a tensioned head on which you put on the drum skin.


Mandolin is smaller than Banjo even if there are different instrument sizes. The largest size of Banjo is almost as big as Mandolin. The Banjo and the Mandolin both have a variety of adaptations, but when it comes to standard sizing, they are distinctly diverse.


The Banjo and the Mandolin are two-stringed instruments that belong to entirely different genres. The Mandolin has 4 or 5 strings, and the Banjo has 5 to 10 strings. The number of the string depends on the skill of the banjo players and mandolin players.


The sound of the Mandolin banjo is bright, clear, and usually softer; on the other hand, the Banjo creates a much more robust and louder sound than that of a Mandolin banjo.

Playing Style:

Banjo players play different musical styles, but it is mainly used in American folk music, country music, Irish music, and jazz improvisation. It can be heard playing with the violin in classical music.


Banjo needs to be tuned once or twice per day if used frequently, while Mandolin only needs to be tuned before playing.

Fun Facts:

The Banjo played several roles in popular culture: for example, it was used as a prop by the early 20th-century comic “Little Johnny.” And now, it is frequently used as a marching instrument for novelty bands. The Mandolin banjo appeared on many Bob Dylan’s albums and became popular in the 1960s with bands such as The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel.

Banjo vs Mandolin: History

banjo mandoalin

The Mandolin originated in Italy, where it is considered an important instrument in the American folk music of many regions. The Mandolin is a contemporary member of the lute family from the 18th century in Italy. The name is derived from “mandolino” ( diminutive for mandola ).

Banjos were first introduced to the world by enslaved people from west-central Africa in the 18th century, who blended native instruments with their Portuguese captors. The word “Banjar” was used by early explorers and slaves who brought over their instruments to America, using them as substitutes for guitars because they were cheaper than guitars.

Banjo vs Mandolin: Which One Should You Choose?

banjo and mandoalin


The Banjo is known for its bluegrass music style, but its versatility has been used throughout history in various genres. The Banjo is one of the loudest instruments in the bluegrass style of music, which is preferred for the genre of music. The Mandolin’s versatility has not been as widely used as the Banjo’s. Instead, it is often played with other orchestral instruments, mostly country music.


Banjos are generally cheaper, but the price will be determined by quality in most cases. Banjos range in price from $200 to several thousand dollars. An excellent starter banjo will set you back between $500 to $700. Mandolins can cost as little as $100, but the top end can cost up to $10,000+, so it’s important to be realistic, especially if you’re a beginner seeking to buy one.


Which is easier to tune banjo or mandolin?

Banjo is slightly easier to tune than a mandolin.

How do you restring a banjo?

First, remove the old strings. Second, thread the new string through the bridge and peghead. Third, tighten the string to the correct tension. Fourth, cut off the excess string.

How do you restring a mandolin?

Get rid of the old strings. Second, pass the fresh string through the peghead and bridge. Third, adjust the string tension to the desired level. Cut the extra string off in the fourth step.


The Banjo and Mandolin are both stringed instruments, but they have their biggest differences. We recommend going with a banjo; it’s a little easier to learn than the Mandolin. So I hope the blog helped you choose the right stringed instrument for you. Thank you for reading.

You can also learn Banjo vs Ukulele and Banjo vs Banjolele.

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