Which is easier to play ukulele or banjo?

Which is easier to play ukulele or banjo? Banjos and ukuleles are both stringed instruments that are played similarly. This is why when you’re choosing what instrument to pick up, you may wonder which is easier to play. However, there is no direct answer. There are many factors you have to consider before deciding on whether you want to learn how to play the banjo or the ukulele. So which instrument is easier to play? Let’s find out!

What Is a Ukulele?

A ukulele is a small, strummed instrument that originated in Hawaii when it was introduced by Portuguese immigrants. There are many different types of ukes including tenor, soprano, concert, and baritone which all correspond to different size ranges. Each size has a different sound and tone, making it fun to play with the various sizes.

Ukuleles also come in several shapes: round, oval, square, rectangular, and octagonal. The difference between these shapes is quite simple: round ukuleles have rounded edges, while others have pointed ones. Depending on what feels comfortable when playing, some people prefer one shape over another.

What Is a Banjo?

The banjo was created by enslaved people from West Africa during the 1800s. During their time off work, they made musical instruments for themselves and used this free time to create music together. Eventually, other musicians began using them too. 

Today, there are two main kinds of banjos: acoustic and electric. Acoustic banjos produce sounds through vibrations caused by plucking the strings, while electric banjos do so through an amplifier. Banjos are typically made from wood such as maple or mahogany with an ebony fingerboard. They come in many different sizes, ranging from small to large.

Differences Between Ukuleles and Banjos

1. Ukuleles are much smaller than banjos.

One of the most obvious differences between a ukulele and a banjo is its size. Most uks are around 10 inches long, but banjos can range anywhere from 12 to 18 inches depending on the type. Because of this, a ukulele can be held comfortably in your hands whereas a banjo requires more space. This also makes traveling with a ukulele easier than traveling with a banjo. 

2. Banjos have a deeper tone and louder volume than ukuleles.

Because of the banjo's deeper tone, it can be more suited to play in front of crowds or larger venues. Banjos are also often used for folk music genres such as bluegrass, jazz, and country, so if you're more inclined to play these genres, then you're probably better off with a banjo.

On the other hand, a ukulele's mellow and soft tone makes it more suitable for playing at home or when practicing alone. Ukes tend to sound best when played softly, which is why they make great instruments for genres like blues, rock, pop, and fingerstyle guitar.

3. The strings on a banjo are made of steel, while the strings on a ukulele are made of nylon polymer.

The strings on a banjo and ukulele can also affect your ability to play each instrument. Banjo strings are usually made out of steel, while ukulele strings are typically nylon or gut. 

Steel is harder than the other two materials, so it's easier for you to press down hard on the strings. But if they're too stiff, then you'll have trouble bending them back up again when playing chords. Nylon polymer strings don't require as much pressure, but they tend to be more flexible, which means that they may not hold their shape well enough during strumming.

4. Ukuleles have four strings while banjos usually have five, six, or eight strings.

The number of strings on a ukulele and banjo is also different. Ukuleles have four strings, while a typical banjo has five strings, although some are made with more than ten strings. This means that the chords played in each instrument can be quite different from one another.

What’s Easier to Play?

When it comes to deciding whether the banjo or ukulele is easier to play, the answer all depends on you. Learning an instrument takes time and dedication, but once learned, both instruments are easy to learn new songs with. 


The only difference between them is that a banjo has more strings than a uke, so if your fingers can reach those extra strings then there's no reason not to pick up one of these two great instruments! As long as you have patience and practice regularly, there should not be any problems learning the ukulele or banjo. 

Instruments at Bondi Ukuleles

If you’re interested in learning to play the ukulele or a banjo ukulele, then you can pick one up here at Bondi Ukuleles. We have a wide range of instruments from beginner level through to professional grade, and everything in between. Our team is always happy to assist and answer any questions you have about our products. Happy playing!

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