Five string banjos rely on a string that begins at the fifth fret. This gives you the ability to play with different tunings and to attain a higher tone not quite as easy to attain with a four string. This high note is very useful in a lot of Irish and Celtic music as much of this genre has songs that reach the higher registers.
If you’re considering buying a banjo you have to look the variations of rim and tone ring constructions. These components are critical to the overall sound of your banjo so you want to decide early on what you are after. If you’re just beginning, a multi-plywood rim that’s featured on the Recording King Dirty 30s banjo is a lightweight option that resonates crisply giving you a clear tone that projects well. For more advanced players, metal options like the brass featured on the Washburn B17 Sunburst projects even further than wooden models and are perfect for lightning fast bluegrass players who want the banjo to stand out over the other instruments.
The tradition of banjo music is certainly not limited to old timey barn dances. Whether you’re looking to continue the custom with your Celtic group or want to re-invent and incorporate the distinct tone into your own musical arrangements, there is a banjo that will suit your needs and ensure your personal technique stands out.