The classical banjo is a fretted instrument fitted with five nylon strings tuned to G C G B D. (Note: this is the normal tuning for the classical banjo) The instrument is played with the bare fingers, this method of playing is known as finger style.

NOTE: Classical banjo is a type and style of banjo playing, not to be confused with the playing of classical music on other types of banjos (e.g. the tenor banjo.) Any type of music can be played on the classical banjo.

 

 

 

The banjo had been in existence long before it was rediscovered in America at the beginning of the 19th century. During the 19th. century the classical five string banjo as we know it today was developed in America and Britain, by various players and musical instrument makers. (For a detailed history of the banjo see the links listed on the classical banjo links page.) During the late 19th. century and early part of the 20th. century, the classical banjo became one of the most popular musical instruments to play, hence a large amount of music was composed for it, by performers and composers, such as Joe Morley, Emile Grimshaw, Olly Oakley, Alfred Cammeyer, Vess Ossman and Parke Hunter etc. (For more information about Classical Banjo Composers see the links page.) By the second part of the 20th. century, the classical banjo had started to decline in popularity, and by the end of the 20th. century it would have disappeared for ever, had it not been for the efforts and enthusiasm of a few people worldwide who still listen to, and play the classical banjo. (Information about classical banjo societies etc. can be found on this page and the links page.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Banjo Fraternity

For more information contact

Paul Heilman

6929 Tuckahoe Road

Williamson

NY 14589

USA

 

email: abfbanjo@rochester.rr.com

 

Website: www.banjofraternity.org

 

 

 

The British BMG Federation

 

For more information contact

www.banjomandolinguitar.org/contact_us.htm

 

Website: www.banjomandolinguitar.org

 

 

 

The Fretted Instrument Guild of America

 

For more information contact

www.frettedinstrumentguildofamerica.org/contactus.html

 

Website: www.frettedinstrumentguildofamerica.org

 

 

 

More information about classical banjo societies etc. can be found on the links page.

 

 

 

 

 

"The Banjoist's Broadsheet" 

For more information contact

Julian Vincent

48, Frome Road

Bath

BA2 2QB

England

UK

email:  Julian Vincent

 

 

 

"BMG Magazine"

For more information contact

Clifford Essex Music Co. Ltd.

7, Rose Walk

Wicken Green Village

Fakenham

Norfolk

NR21 7QG

England

UK

email:  info@cliffordessex.net

 

http://www.cliffordessexmusicco.com

 

 

 

"The British BMG Federation Newsletter"

The British BMG Federation Magazine

Published by the British BMG Federation

 

 

 

"5 stringer"

American Banjo Fraternity Magazine

Published by the American Banjo Fraternity

 

 

More information about classical banjo magazines etc. can be found on the links page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The zither banjo was developed from the open back classical banjo at the end of the 19th century, by Alfred D. Cammeyer. It was designed with a deep resonator and fitted with a mixture of steel and gut (nylon) strings to give the classical banjo a more sustained ringing tone. Today many classical banjo players, play both zither and open back classical banjos, and consider the zither banjo to be just another type of the classical banjo. For more information about the zither banjo Click here to go to a website devoted to the zither banjo, or go to the Classical Banjo Links page on this website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

( Listed in alphabetical order)

 

James Allgrove is a performer and teacher of the Classical Banjo. For more information Click here to go to the James Allgrove web page, or go to the Performers page on this website.

 

Douglas Back is a performer and teacher of the Classical Banjo. For more information Click here to go to the Douglas Back web page, or go to the Performers page on this website.

 

Chris  Sands is a performer and teacher of the Classical Banjo. For more information Click here to go to the Chris  Sands web page, or go to the Performers page on this website.

 

Probably one of the youngest classical banjo performers in the world today is Elias Sibley, who started playing the banjo when he was ten years old.  In the Millennium year he made a recording of some of the classical banjo music he performed during that year. The CD of this recording is available now. (For more information about this CD see the Classical Banjo News and CD Recording pages on this website.)

For more information Click here to go to the classical banjo webpage on Elias Sibley's website, or go to the Performers page on this website.

 

For information about other outstanding Classical Banjo performers, Click here or go to the Banjo Links page on this website.

 

 

 

For more information about playing and tuning the classical banjo, also books, CDs and

information about the classical banjo, Click here or go to the Classical Banjo Links page on

this website.