As a rule the banjo has got four or five strings, but some other kinds of banjos with more strings are available, too.

The four string banjo is called tenor banjo and is usually played in Dixie music as a chord instrument.

Five string Banjos are mainly used as melody instruments - especially in Bluegrass music.

The five-string standard-tuning is:
  • d
  • g
  • b (h)
  • D'
  • G'
(below you can listen to this standard tuning!)

Since the banjo sounds one octave lower than shown in the notation, a small 8 under the treble clef is needed for an accurate notation. However, the eight is often omitted.


On the right you see the open strings of a five-string banjo and their corresponding notes on the piano. The lock symbol makes the search for the middle c (c ') easy for you.

If you donīt possess a piano, if you have a piano without a lock, no tuner, a key allergy or any other problems, just click the diagram. You'll hear the standard tuning then.