The banjo is a stringed instrument that is commonly associated with country music but is also very common in Irish music. The high-pitched tone makes it a great addition to any music collection and it is very similar to the guitar in terms of the solid body and stringing technique.
4 String Banjos
There are two different types of 4 string banjo available; the plectrum and the tenor. The plectrum is very similar to the 5 string banjo however it doesn't have the drone string. It is common in Dixieland bands and it is nearly always played with a guitar pick. The tenor banjo has a much shorter scale when compared to other banjos and it is very much suited to Irish music players however it is also suited to country music.
5 String Banjos
Unlike other instruments, the banjo doesn't go from lowest to highest with the strings. Instead, they are set in the following layout: 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 5th. The 5th string is a drone, and it is often referred to as being the thumb string. It is attached to the tuner on the neck and it is ¾ the length of the other strings. It is very suited to Bluegrass and other more traditional music styles.
6 String Banjos
The 6 string banjo has been used since the 19th century. It is possible to get a hybrid banjo that utilises the playability of a guitar, while still sounding like a banjo. This is great for guitarists who want to learn a new instrument. It is also possible to install pickups in a 6 string banjo as well, while also having the option to connect it up to an amplifier or a speaker of your choosing. 6 string banjos are incredibly suited to country music with stars such as Keith Urban using them on most of his records.