5 String Banjo

5 string banjoIf you’re brand new to the 5 string banjo and you’re ready to get started then this is what you need to know.

Your bluegrass banjo has 5 strings.

Since you want to play bluegrass you’ll need a five string banjo, some picks, a pinch of guidance and you’ll be ready. When you go out banjo shopping you’ll find 4 string banjos and banjos with 5 strings. Bluegrass music uses the 5 string type unlike dixieland style.

Picks are crucial.

You’re going to need two finger picks and a thumb pick. My little rule of thumb is to make sure you use a stiff or hardened metal pick for your index and middle finger and a stout rigid plastic pick for your thumb. You can find these at most music stores. Just don’t make the mistake of buying a flimsy thin pick. It will cost you in tone and control when it comes to playing.

Get a teacher!

A good teacher will take you a long way. I recommend finding someone in your area who teaches and learn everything you can. You should also sign up for our weekly video lessons here on the site. We cover everything from beginner to advanced techniques.

If you have any questions feel free to email me anytime at ryan@banjoexpert.com. Enjoy getting started!


  • jpm1596


    I play a GoldTone and love it … its billed as the best banjo for under $1k and I totally agree. Of course Gibson sets the standard but you will be paying anywhere from $2k – $5k. If you are serious about learning my advise is to get what you can afford … it does make a difference!

  • Don


    I am new to the banjo could you recommend a good banjo to purchase

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