As you can see, there are quite a few banjo chords to learn to play. The first of these differences, is the the shape of some of the five string banjo chords. Our first chord chart contains a selection of chords in the key of F. Keys are like ‘families’ in music and it’s always worth knowing which ones go together. Other times, there might be fret numbers included down the side. The following chord diagrams represent the first 4 frets of a 5-string banjo tuned (G D G B D) The number indicates which finger you should use (1=index finger, 2=middle finger, etc.) He's also got an unhealthy obsession with vintage VW Campervans. Major Triads; Minor Triads; Dominant Seventh Chords; Major Seventh Chords; Minor Seventh Chords; Start to learn how to create your own chord shapes in any key! However, the fundamentals remain the same, including the orientation and symbols used. Here’s a labeled up chord diagram, with everything you’d expect to find: Sometimes, string names might be written above the diagram, with the chord name on top. Try it with C and D but remember you should aim for a strong grasp of the basic major inversions before learning sevenths or minors! 4 String Banjo Chords and Keys, Standard Tuning Major, Minor and 7th Chords, Fingering Charts . The Chord Genome Project is a collection of 750K+ songs from some of the largest music sites only (mostly guitar and ukulele). The difference, here, is that there are four strings to cover. Banjo Chords and Key Chart in Open G tuning (gDGBD) Here are some of the most common chords used on the Banjo organized by key. But… To play roughly half this music (i.e. It’s worth choosing a song that you particularly like and finding out which banjo chord it starts on. Of course applying this to make good music is an infinite pursuit, but you already have a powerful set of tools toward that end. Now you know how to read a chord diagram, we’ll show you a selection of the most popular chords in six of the most popular keys. Scruggs, Fleck and Trischka all chose to use open G, a lot of the time. The diagram only shows G because once you know the different major inversions, these shapes can be moved to different locations on the neck to form other sevenths. In this example, I am using G and begin at the first closed chord position (D shape at 3rd fret, F shape at 7th fret and BAR shape at 12th fret). The chart contains chord diagrams with fingerings for common chords in every key. The Banjo is an essential instrument in everyones Bluegrass band and this chart will get you going. This tuning gets its name due to its open strings making a G chord. With the following 3 basic shapes, you can make many major chords up the neck of the banjo. The key of G is very common in banjo music but it’s far from exclusive. If you’re learning the banjo, you’ve probably found that a lot of the popular banjo songs are in ‘open G’ tuning. These chord shapes are arranged in order of difficulty. There are only three Major chord shapes on the 5-string banjo neck, using open G tuning, and one is a simple barre. The following diagram shows the modifications required to make sevenths out of the 3 basic chord shapes. Another two frets (four total) and its an A. Download a free chord chart for 5-string banjo in PDF format. He's a multi-instrumentalist and loves researching, writing, and geeking out about music. Making the same chord higher up the neck is called an inversion. Since the banjo has a shortened bass string it leads to some big differences that you to be aware of. The order of the strings is as follows: On a 5-string banjo, the fifth string – G – is the highest string, whilst D, G, B, and D ascend in pitch. For information on the tab format, ... F Chord Shape. Ged is editor-in-chief and founder of Zing Instruments. Printer friendly seventh and minor inversion shapes. Take on as many of these shapes as you can; they’re the weapons you need to become a banjo master! How to Tune a Banjo – Easy to Follow Step-by-Step Guide, How to Play the Banjo – The Complete Guide for Beginners, ©2020 - Zinginstruments.com. The Banjo is an essential instrument in everyones Bluegrass band and this chart will get you going. Learn these shapes and you’ll be well on your way. There are only three shapes for major chords. That open g will work with some chords (G, G7, C, C7, and Em) but not with others. Next is a bunch of chords in the key of A: another common key. Finally, here’s a banjo chord chart in the key of E. This is another often-used key and includes a B chord, which is just like an A chord but moved up two frets. Learning all these songs requires mastering several thousand banjo chords - including obscure ones like Am6add9 or C#sus2. To play the tonic, you needn’t even use your fingers! 4th: 3rd: 2nd: 1st: I: M: R: P: This is an F chord. I recommend you take a look at my page on basic chord theory. The fifth string (high G) also works particularly well as a droning note for songs in this key. Now you know how to read a chord diagram, we’ll show you a selection of the most popular chords in six of the most popular keys. (printer friendly) NOTE: I don't show the fifth string in these diagrams. With that said, these are the 12 basic chord “shapes” or formations, called “inversions”, of the chords for plectrum banjo (as well as a different set of only 12 shapes on the tenor banjo): The Roman numerals signify the degree or note of the scale that is played on the 1st string. The single easiest aspect about learning banjo is chords. The next chart features chords in the key of D. This is another fairly common one in bluegrass music and does include the open G chord, though the other chords listed below don’t work particularly well with a droning high G string, hence the crosses above that string. 4 String Banjo Chords and Keys, Chicago Tuning Major, Minor and 7th Chords, Fingering Charts, 4 String Banjo Chord Chart, Chicago Tuning, D, G, B, E, includes the major, minor and seventh chord fingerings. The high G string also doesn’t start until the fifth fret. The minor shapes follow the same principal above, in that these positions can be moved along the neck to form other minor chords. Learn these shapes and you’ll be well on your way. Banjo Chord Charts in Different Keys. The banjo A chord is very similar to the guitar A chord, with all fingers belonging in the second fret. = In many cases you can drop this note, particularly if you are only rolling over the top 3 strings. Here again, I'm using G. I believe if you have a basic understanding of why chords look as they do, you'll be better positioned to commit them to memory. Move it up two frets and its a G chord. 8 Banjo Rolls to Take Your Playing to the Next Level, 12 Easy Banjo Songs to Learn if You’re Just Starting Out. Tenor Banjo Tuning – Main Differences & Which to Choose? Chord diagrams are individual pictures that tell you where to put your fingers for different chords. That chord will be the tonic, giving you the key. 3 Basic Chord Shapes. The root of the chord is shown as a white circle. This make learning new songs easier and even help with writing new compositions. 4 String Banjo Chord Chart, Standard Tuning, C G D A, includes the major, minor and seventh chord fingerings. Created by Deering Banjo Master Dealer Banjo Studio, this chord chart will help you learn basic 5-string banjo chords with both open and movable chord shapes. The chord voicings below will work on tenor banjos in both Irish and standard tuning. Once you can move between these 3 shapes accurately without pausing you will be capable of many things such as backing up and jamming with other musicians. If you grok what has been presented here, and become comfortable with it, you have come a LONG way toward mastery of the neck. Playing the banjo is not much different from playing the guitar, but where the differences do happen make transitioning between the two difficult. Once you’ve mastered and memorized one key (or ‘family’), take on another. All Rights Reserved Registered Address – Dramatik, c/o Wesley Offices, 74 Silver Street, Bristol, BS48 2DS. Key of F This is because they’re the chords most commonly used together, particularly in the bluegrass style.