How to Play a Four-String Banjo

By Contributor ; Updated September 15, 2017

How to Play a Four-String Banjo. Some say that the banjo is the easiest instrument to learn. If you like the sound of banjo and want to learn to play you must be willing to spend at least 30 minutes a day practicing and playing what you have learned. Be patient and spend the time and you will learn to play beautiful banjo tunes on your four string banjo.

Wear the finger picks as you learn your chords. Wear two metal finger picks and a plastic pick for your thumb. Find ones that feel comfortable, but it is recommended to try to use the heavy gauge picks.

Listen to bluegrass music to hear the banjo music and get used to the sounds. Listen to how the music is supposed to sound will give you an idea of what your playing should be sounding like.

Place your ring finger on the head of the four string banjo under the strings. Your other fingers and thumb should reach the strings and almost lay across them. This is the best position to pick. Use double-sided tape or Velcro onto the tip of your ring finger and some to the banjo head. This will stop the temptation of movement from this position.

Your other hand, the fretting hand, should allow the wrist in to turn toward you under the banjo neck. This allows the pinky to reach the strings.

Find the correct strings and chords by playing slowly and practicing the same movements over and over until they become natural. Then you can move on to the next position and add them together. Speed will eventually come, but accuracy is better.

Buy books, videos and take lessons as you feel necessary. There is only so much you can learn on your own, especially on technique and if you haven't played an instrument before.

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