There are several different kinds of banjos but the one most associated with bluegrass and American folk music has five strings. The fifth string is a drone and is one of the things that gives the banjo its characteristic sound. Two of the most popular styles of banjo playing are three-finger or “Scruggs style” and clawhammer. Scruggs style is the fast fingerpicking style associated with bluegrass. Players usually use a closed-back or resonator style banjo. Clawhammer uses the back of the fingernails and the thumb. The banjo is usually tuned to an open chord, usually G. This can make it difficult to play in other keys without using a capo or re-tuning. Despite this, the banjo has a more interesting and varied range of repertoire than you might think.
Anything you have always wanted to know about the banjo but never asked?