Six String Banjo
Although it has been in existence for more than a century, a six string banjo is one of the hardest musical instruments when it comes to classifying it. Many people simply assume it is a banjo but those who know better will disagree. The real banjo instruments that are quite common include the 4 string banjo and the 5 string banjo. However, the six string banjos can still do a lot that 5 string banjos can do. A six string banjo even provides much wider range of musical expression than real banjo instruments as it can still be played as a guitar.
You can play it in place of a solo guitar for your improvisation experience. This allows musicians used to playing guitars to use the instrument in their compositions for the advantage of getting the sounds of banjos without having to go through a long process of learning how to play one. This in most cases may not however be welcomed by the real banjo players who do not recognize a six string banjo as a real one but a guitar.
Because of the deceiving looks of a six string banjo instrument, many people cannot believe that it is not as real banjo instrument. If you try to play it before such people, they would still wonder why you won’t be able to play some popular banjo tunes. You may think this can possibly be achieved but the truth be told that a 6 string banjo cannot completely replace the 5 string banjo. This does not however translate to mean that the six string banjo is not a useful instrument. It has the advantage of somehow being used to imitate some banjo sounds while at the same time serving as a guitar. That’s what makes it a good choice for most musicians who want to get the best from both worlds.
The reason why the instrument is called a banjo is because many people think it is one because of its appearance and the fact that it can still produce some sounds of a banjo. Those people with that knowledge make up the majority than those few who know the facts. It’s mainly the players of these two different types of instruments who actually know better. A real banjo instrument like the 5 string banjo cannot produce the sounds of a guitar but the six string banjo can do that pretty well. It is very much comparable to an 8 string guitar.
Because of its wide range of musical expression it allows, a six string banjo can imitate most popular sounds such as bluegrass, claw hammer, Irish, Dixieland, berry licks, baroque, Celtic and others. However, you can’t use the six string banjos to play tunes like Deliverance or Hillbillies as these can only be played with a 5 string banjo. So you may wonder why most average people may not appreciate your effort despite trying hard using your six string banjo to imitate the 5 string banjo instrument sounds. Only a few who know the difference like the real banjo players may appreciate because they know the effort it takes. A six string banjo is therefore a great instrument that doubles both as a guitar and somehow as a banjo through sounds imitations that enrich music.