Know the Difference between a Banjo & a UkuleleFor all the musicians, a small set of theoretical knowledge about the difference between a banjo & a ukulele is very important. Although a banjo and a ukulele is way different in their outlooks but their playing functions and a few manufacturing features are very closely related. However, the main output out of such instruments is the musical harmony and notes that different mainly in these two instruments. If you even listen to the music of these two musical instruments individually without any eye on them directly, you can easily differentiate the music. However, this guide will not only give you a bit musical note information but also a few features differentiation between a banjo and a ukulele.

Difference between a banjo & a ukulele:

There are a good number of differences in-between a banjo and a ukulele. For the reader’s convenience, few pints are detailed and the elaboration to those are stated right after the point-

  1. Origin/birthplace of the musical instrument: Although a banjo and a ukulele is quite a bit similar but their origins are different and are way distant from one another. The ukulele was originated in the late 1800s time whereas the best beginner banjo was innovated in the midst of the 1800s time. The ukulele is originated from Hawaii whereas the banjo was originated from the tribe of African Americans. Nowadays, both these instruments have their separate and unique flavor that has gained much fame all around the world.
  2. Shape of the instrument: Basically, a ukulele is just like a guitar only having the difference in its size. It is just a small-sized guitar in practical if you see it or take it in your hands. But if you give a banjo a closer look, you’ll see a different shape right at the body of it. A banjo typically has a circular shape at its back end where a membrane is stretched over the strings it possesses.
  3. Sizes: There are predominantly 4 different sizes for a ukulele available throughout the whole world which is- tenor, small soprano, baritone & traditional. These are the main four sizes that are easily available in most of the music stores where a ukulele is available. On the other side, the best beginner banjo mainly has the sizes like- hybrid banjo, mandolin, different configurations, customizing, etc. a ukulele is naturally steady and specific but a banjo can be made up according to your discretion if you order any. This is one of the prime advantages of having a banjo instead of a ukulele.
  4. Number of strings in the instrument: Typically, there are 4 strings that are mostly present in a ukulele. These strings are stretched over the hollow guitar shaped body with a small bridge just before the hole in the ukulele body. But as for a banjo, it can have 4 strings, 5 strings and even 6 strings. In most of the cases, people prefer to use the 5 string banjo because it is the mostly available and sold choice all over the world by musicians.
  5. String alignment difference: If you look closely to a ukulele and a 5 string banjo at the same time, you will see a small difference in their string pegs through which they are pulled and held on the instrument. A ukuleles 4 strings are pulled and settled on the top neck through 4 different pegs but in case of a 5 string banjo, you’ll see the 5thpeg settled at the edge of the 5th fret on the fretboard/fingerboard. Through this, you can easily differentiate which one is a ukulele and which one is a banjo. This is one of the prime difference between a banjo & a ukulele.
  6. Tuning/ tune setup: Tuning of these two musical instruments are different. In case for a ukulele, G-C-E-A is the basic tune setup. Through the permutation and combination, you can go for different chords and progressions pretty easily. But banjos have a different feature in its tuning. Basically, most of the banjos are open chorded tuned up. For example, banjos general tune setup is D-B-G-D-G. If you play the banjo with this tune without any finger on board, you’ll get the chord D but this isn’t generally used in case for a ukulele. That is why people sometimes refer best beginner banjo for beginners who like to start learning it.


For every musician, theoretical knowledge is always to get first rather than the practical experience. Theoretical experience will surely give you better explanation through notes in both these instruments. Understanding the reasons why banjos are open chorded and if you may be able to make the ukulele work as that of a banjo- won’t be pretty easy unless you have a broader knowledge on the difference between these two musical instruments. Therefore, make yourself well acquainted with all the reviews of both the instruments up – a banjo and a ukulele. Make sure that you are acquainted with all the chords patterns and playing rhythms and feel the music for the improvement of your sense. Surely you can lead to a good finish if you know all the major difference between a banjo & a ukulele.

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