Learn 3 Easy Banjo Chords

by David Bandrowski

A banjo chord is made when you strum or pick more than one string on your banjo. On a 5 string banjo, the standard tuning is an open G tuning. This means that if you strummed or picked the strings on your banjo without fretting any notes, you would be playing a G chord. This makes playing your first chord on a 5 string banjo extremely easy! 

After learning the G chord, we can move on to learning a couple other chords. The next chords we should learn are a C chord and a D7 chord. The reason to learn these specific chords is that they are the ones that are most widely used and will get you up and playing songs the fastest.

To play a C chord we are going to do the following:

  • Fret the 4th string at the second fret with our middle finger
  • Leave the 3rd string open
  • Fret the 2nd string at the first fret with the index finger
  • Fret the 1st string at the 2nd fret with your ring finger

To play a D7 chord we are going to do the following:

  • Leave the 4th string open
  • Fret the 3rd string at the second fret with your middle finger
  • Fret the 2nd string at the first fret with your index finger
  • Leave the 1st string open

If you are confused as to what string is the 5th string, what string is the 4th string, and so on... remember that the fifth string is the short string that is closest to you when you are holding the banjo in proper playing position and the 1st string would be the string closest to the floor.

Watch the video featuring Tony Trischka below to learn more about how to play these 3 chords.

Get More Free 5 String Banjo Video Lessons From Tony Trischka Here!


Kristin Scott Benson chooses the Deering Golden Series banjos
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