Plectrum Banjos

Plectrum Banjos

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At McNeela Instruments, we have a wide range of 4 string plectrum tenor banjos that span from recent models, to antique and refurbished vintage models. Despite the fact that some models that we have here are on the older side, they are some incredibly high quality banjos that have been made by some legendary brands such as Bacon & Day, Leedy, and Recording King! Whether it be for traditional Irish music or jazz, we're sure to have something here for you!

Our banjo range encompasses different banjos that are suitable for all playing levels. Our most popular banjo, The Celt Banjo series comes in 17 and 19 fret versions, and is an excellent choice for banjo beginners. However, our vintage tenor resonator banjo models by brands such as Bacon & Day may be a great choice for an advanced banjo player looking to add an excellent piece to their collection.

The plectrum banjo, like the Irish banjo, is a 4 string banjos that comes in both resonator and openback banjo versions. Plectrum banjos originated in the early 20th century with the birth of jazz which led to the banjo being used as an accompanying rhythmic instrument. This caused the 5th string to be removed and to be played with a plectrum (pick) to strum chords like a guitar. Eventually, these models became known as “Plectrum Banjos”.

Plectrum banjos and Irish tenor banjos have a lot of features in common (as the Irish banjo came from the plectrum banjo design) and so, Irish banjos can be played like a plectrum banjo as well, despite maybe having some slight differences.

Want to know more about the differences between the classic banjo and the plectrum banjo? Be sure to check out our blog post here:

The Origin of the Plectrum Tenor Banjo and How it Became the Irish Banjo