Major Difference Between Banjo and Guitar

There is a big confusion between banjo and guitar these days. Some people think that banjo and guitar are similar to each other while only an expert can explain the difference between two of these. Are you thinking to learn such an instrument for the first time but aren’t sure which one you should practice! You need to differentiate between these two musical instruments first.

Let’s first have a look at their definition!

Major difference of Banjo & Guitar


It is a stringed musical instrument that has round body and fretted neck. People play it by strumming or plucking its strings.


When it comes to guitar, it is also a stringed musical instrument having 6 strings and fretted fingerboard. The musicians play guitar by using their fingers or even plectrum.

Now, by definition, you have come to know a very basic thing that banjo has round body but the guitar does not have the body like this. However, don’t think that their appearance is the only difference between these two instruments but they differ from one another in various other things as well.

How is Banjo different from Guitar?

Still, want to know how a banjo is different from a guitar? Do you want to explore their differences in different aspects? Well, here I am going to state the difference between these two musical instruments:

They differ in size:

The most common difference between a banjo and a guitar lies in their size. The size of banjos is usually small as compared to that of guitars. Because of this reason, a banjo is more suitable to play especially for those who are beginners and just want to learn the music. The Fretboard of a guitar is farther from the strings and so the player needs to be an expert in order to create notes and chords. Usually, guitars are suitable for adults and banjos for the young players.

Both produce different sounds:

Besides the difference in their size, they are also different in terms of their sounds. Even untrained people can feel the difference between their sounds. If you have a high-quality guitar then it can produce deep and rich tones and so you don’t need to have a banjo. As the sound quality of the guitar is much better than a banjo so guitars are quite expensive as compared to the banjos.

No. of strings is different:

Although both banjo and string are strings based musical instruments they both have a different number of strings. There are four or five strings in a banjo, however, a standard guitar has six strings in it. There is just one type of guitar that is bass guitar and it has four strings. The more will be a number of strings, the more difficult it will become to play it and that’s why playing the guitar is difficult as compared to that of a banjo. On the other hand, the guitarists can produce variations in terms of chords and notes because of those extra strings in comparison with a banjo.

Difficulty level:

When we compare the level of difficulty while playing banjo and a guitar, we come to find that playing guitar is much difficult as compared to banjo because the guitar has more strings. You need to learn how to move your fingers of both hands over the strings in order to strum out the specific chord. Anyways, the good thing is that you can get the most accurate and pleasing sounds because of the variety of its strings.


Banjos and guitars also differ in terms of their pricing. The construction of a guitar is more complex as compared to a banjo and also, there are more strings. In simple words, you can get variety in the music of a guitar and this variety increases its price as compared to a banjo. Anyways, the expert musicians don’t bother this difference in price because they have to play on the best and highly professional instrument and that is guitar.

The above mentioned are some points that make a banjo different from a guitar. Now the choice is yours whether you want to practice your fingers over a banjo or a guitar.

If you learn an instrument, you become a guru of both!

Although there are some differences between banjo and guitar the great thing is that you don’t need to learn them individually. If you have learned one instrument, of course, you have automatically learned the other one as well. Both are stringed instruments and the most basic thing that you need to learn is fingers placement over the strings. In addition, you need to learn how to coordinate your fingers together over that instrument to produce different sounds.

So which instrument to learn first?

I would personally suggest you learn a guitar first because of you become an expert in playing this instrument then you can easily and independently play the banjo. The level of difficulty in a guitar is complex and therefore, a guitarist feels no problem in playing the banjo.


So finally, you have come to know about the difference between a banjo and a guitar. I don’t think so that there will be any more confusion. You can confidently decide which one you should buy and practice. Anyways, in my opinion, you should buy a guitar whether you are going to learn a stringed instrument for the very first time or even if you are an expert. It is because of the reason that guitar is more complex and once you learn how to play it, you can produce more sounds.