So, what sets a plectrum banjo apart from a standard one? The simple answer is that, where most banjos have the shorter drone string, these have no string at all. Another key difference is that this instrument is traditionally played with just a single guitar-style pick, which reflects its origin as a banjo designed specifically for music with strummed chords. You can tune a plectrum banjo in C3 G3 B3 D4, or try your hand at Chicago tuning, which simply means matching the highest 4 strings on a guitar.
If this sounds like an instrument you could see yourself playing, there's no time like the present to choose one! Start by taking a close look at each of the 4-string plectrum banjos in this section. Are you looking for something accessible to try out for the first time? Check out the Gold Tone CC Plectrum for a great introduction. Maybe you're already passionate about the 4-string and searching for an instrument that really goes the extra mile? In that case, you're probably familiar with Deering's reputation, and their professional-grade plectrum banjos like the Boston, Classic Goodtime 2 and Sierra are all fantastic options to consider.
No matter how new you are to 4-string plectrum banjos, the right instrument for you is certainly waiting somewhere in this section. The good news is that you won't have to search through dozens of choices to find it: this is a segment of the banjo family that's small but impressive. Any instrument here is a worthy addition to your collection, so don't hesitate to give them all a careful look.