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Banjo
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angled banjo

upright banjo The banjo is a plucked instrument consisting of a fretboard attached to a metal hoop over which parchment is stretched. It has from four to nine strings which resonate in the body of the banjo producing a bright sound when played.

Tuning depends on the amount of strings, the 5 string has four of its strings tuned to C, G, B and D (from the bottom up) plus a high string tuned to G which is positioned next to the lowest, shorter than the others it is often used as a drone string, although it can also be fretted. The Tenor banjo is tuned in 5ths.

small angled banjoThe instrument is believed to have originated in North West Africa and brought over on slave ships in the 18 & 19 centuries, where it was later used by minstrel, folk and jazz bands.

Played by strumming or picking the notes, the banjo is an alternative to the guitar and is most widely used in country and western, bluegrass, jazz and country rock music.



Banjos, Mandolins & Ukelele
Banjo Books
Banjo Lessons
Banjo Links
Banjo Online Applications
Banjo Tab
Banjo Webring


banjo strings divider

Banjo Tab



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banjo strings divider

Banjo Lessons & Apps

banjo player

  • Banjo Hangout
    Lessons & more.


  • String Pedagogy Notebook
    A resource for teachers and performers provided by the University of Vermont containing an introduction to string instruments, techniques for left and right handed players with instructional movies, teaching process plus instrument care and maintenance.


  • Banjo - Instructional Methods
    Browse and buy books, software and other educational products for learning the Banjo from SheetMusicPlus.


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Banjo Online Applications

small upright banjo

  • Arto's String Calculator
    very comprehensive online program with full instructions for calculating where a string can be used by setting the diameter and more. Measures string tension and diameter for a number of instruments, in a variety of settings.


  • Arto's String Diameter/Tension Drawer
    alternative java applet from Arto which allows the user to select note name, octave, tuning, string length and density then draws the tension/diameter on a graph.


  • Doug Sparlings Lutherie Pages
    Fret Placement Calculator-Free Download-Windows95/98/NT/2000 FretCalc is used to find fret placement for fretted stringed instruments. Any combination of scale length and number for frets can be chosen. The fret placement from the nut to each fret and the distance between adjacent frets is shown in a chart that can be printed out. Site also contains online Fret Placement Calculator, Dulcimer Fret Placement Calculator, Lutherie FretCalc Calculate stringed instrument fret locations and Mandolin Chord Finder.


  • Experimental Musical Instruments Fret Placement Calculator
    an online fret placement calculator to calculate fret locations for fretted stringed instruments including mandolin, banjo, guitar, ukelele and dulcimer.


  • Java Tuner
    This Java applet demonstrates various historical tunings and temperaments and allows one to experiment with them. It was developed to accompany a text on Understanding temperaments, and is complemented by a set of MIDI files demonstrating various tunings and temperaments, full instructions and a variety of modern and archaic tuning modes. Also provides selected intervals and a chord player.


  • MPUSTC String Guage & Tension Calculator Check your string tensions based on pitch, guage and type of string, also does the inverse calculation when you type in other string parameters.


  • ukulele mandolin banjo chords generator
    Over 1,000,000 chords in an easy to read format. Display or print a list of your favorite chords.


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Banjo Links

animated frog playing the banjo



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