The electric\/acoustic guitar and banjo are quite similar in many ways, but they're ultimately different. \n\n\n\nThe electric\/acoustic guitar is easily the most popular out of the two, and it's also the most widely used across a number of different genres.\u00a0\n\n\n\nThe banjo, on the other hand, is typically associated with certain musical styles over others. \n\n\n\nThe primary differences between the banjo and the guitar are their construction and design. For instance, a banjo uses vellum, plastic, or a skin wrapped over what looks like a tambourine, compared to a guitar, whose hollow wooden body acts as a natural amplifier. They're also tuned differently. \n\n\n\nWith that said, however, there are many other differences between the two instruments, including its size, body-shape, tonality, construction materials, the number of strings, and the aforementioned tunings. \n\n\n\nThe banjo almost always has a tambourine-looking perfect circle body and it's made out of vellum, plastic, or animal skin. This plays a huge role in its unique sound.\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\nInterestingly, the banjo is one of, if not the only, unique instrument that comes from the United States. \n\n\n\nIt was created by black Americans who took inspiration from a much older and traditional African instrument. \n\n\n\nAdditionally, the banjo's name varied slightly when using different African languages. It also went by the name, bania, or a banju. \n\n\n\nWithout further ado, let's dive into some of the differences between the two instruments in detail. \n\n\n\nWhat Separates The Guitar From A Banjo \n\n\n\n1) Construction \n\n\n\nThe construction of the two instruments, including the actual materials, is arguably the most important difference between the banjo and the guitar.\n\n\n\nAs I said above, the banjo's strings are laid on top of what looks like a tambourine, whose vellum skin is wrapped over a metal body. \n\n\n\nThis is responsible for its twangy sound, in comparison to a guitar that tends to produce more of a rich, warm, bright but not too bright, sound. \n\n\n\nThe stretched skin it's made out of, in contrast to a resonant piece of wood, has a lot more picking attack but less sustain and harmonic amplification. \n\n\n\nPutting it simply, the banjo sounds brighter, it has less sustain and harmonics, and the sound is much, much, thinner as a result of the skin. \n\n\n\nThe banjo includes a metal resonator panel that the standard guitar does not have. This also plays a big role in its sound. There was a time when guitars used resonator panels a lot more, but these days, most of us just use an amplifier. \n\n\n\nIt doesn't take a brilliant musician or audio engineer to notice the difference between a guitar and banjo just after a couple of seconds listening. \n\n\n\nThe banjo has that southern "twang," to it, which gives it its goofy and light-hearted vibe. \n\n\n\nIf you take a look at the image below, you can see exactly what I'm talking about. The banjo literally looks like a snare drum or tambourine with a neck and string attached to it. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAn electric or acoustic guitar, on the other hand, is almost always made out of a wooden body, and the resonator hole is much bigger and deeper. \n\n\n\nThe wooden body, particularly of the acoustic guitar, is responsible for its much deeper sound. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe nylon string guitar, on the other hand, has the same amount of strings as an acoustic guitar, and it's also tuned the same, but the strings are made out of nylon, and that's what gives it its characteristic sound. \n\n\n\n2) Difference In Tuning \n\n\n\nThe banjo is tuned to an open G Major chord. In other words, all of the strings are tuned to a note of the G Major chord, they are the following: \n\n\n\n1st String: D \n\n\n\n2nd String: B \n\n\n\n3rd String: G \n\n\n\n4th String: D \n\n\n\n5th String: G\n\n\n\nThe notes of a G Major chord are the following, G, B, and D. \n\n\n\nThe tuning alone makes it drastically different from a guitar. \n\n\n\nIf you pick up your guitar right now and play a G Major chord, it's arguably one of the most open and joyful chords there is, and the tuning of the banjo to this chord plays a role in its joyful, cheery, and almost goofy sound. \n\n\n\nAs most guitar players know, these are the tunings of each individual string: \n\n\n\n1st String: E \n\n\n\n2nd String: B \n\n\n\n3rd String: G \n\n\n\n4th String: D \n\n\n\n5th String: A \n\n\n\n6th String: E \n\n\n\nThis is called standard tuning, and it's the tuning that we all know.\n\n\n\nBanjos can come in 4-string versions too, but from what I understand, the most common version of the instrument is to have five strings tuned to G Major. \n\n\n\nGuitars come in different formats too, including 12-string guitars, 7-string guitars, and 8-string guitars. The basic idea, however, regardless of the strings, is still the same. \n\n\n\n3) The Banjo Is Much Smaller \n\n\n\nThe banjo, as you can see, is much smaller than the regular guitar. \n\n\n\nNot only is the body smaller, but the body, headstock, and the rest of it are much smaller as well, making it a lot easier to take on the road with you. \n\n\n\nHow the neck relates to the body is quite different too. For instance, in contrast to the body's size, the neck is quite large and long. \n\n\n\nIf you take a look at the image below, you can see that, compared to the size of the body, the neck is fairly long. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nContrast the aforementioned image with the one of the acoustic guitar down below, where the neck is almost the same length as the guitar. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n4) The Number of Strings \n\n\n\nAs I mentioned above, the banjo typically comes in two different forms, a four-string banjo or a five-string banjo.\n\n\n\nIn that manner, the banjo kind of resembles the construction of a bass guitar, which is most commonly created with 4-5 strings. \n\n\n\nThe most common version of the bass guitar has 4 strings, but of course, 5-string or even 6-string bass guitars have become a lot more common over the last few decades, especially in progressive rock and metal.\n\n\n\n5) Tonality\n\n\n\nI've touched on this already, but it's worth talking about it again. \n\n\n\nThere are big differences in terms of how the two instruments sound. The acoustic guitar employs a wooden resonator body, that amplifies the sound in such a way that it is much deeper and warm. \n\n\n\nContrast to the banjo which is a lot more "twangy," has more treble, and is much, much thinner. The way the banjo is built is crucial to its sound. \n\n\n\nThe guitar, in its most common form, has a chamber and the sound travels from the bridge into the hollow part of the body and echoes out of the sound-hole, the center hole in the guitar's body. \n\n\n\nContrast that to a banjo, where the sound doesn't reverberate into a sound-hole or anything similar. \n\n\n\nIf you take a look at a snare drum, you'll notice that it looks a lot like the body of a banjo. \n\n\n\nThe snare drum uses a similar skin to the banjo. It's what's responsible for its hollow, thin, sound. \n\n\n\nHowever, of course, the snare drum skin is stretched over little pieces of metal that vibrate and shake whenever the drum is struck. \n\n\n\nRegardless, the banjo body is quite similar to a snare drum, due to the fact the skin, vellum, or plastic, is wrapped over the metal body. \n\n\n\nThis is completely different from an acoustic guitar for obvious reasons, not only in its design and structure, but the materials. \n\n\n\nWood, in comparison to steel and thin skin, will always sound fundamentally different from each other. \n\n\n\n6) Body-Shape \n\n\n\nThe banjo's body is perfectly circular, or at least close to being a perfect circle. \n\n\n\nThere is careful attention to detail when it comes to the construction of an acoustic guitar. \n\n\n\nIt's designed specifically so that the body is quite large, made out of wood, while at the same time not being too intrusive to the point where you can't even sit with it. \n\n\n\nIn other words, there is a trade-off between creating a body that's conducive to sound while at the same time being able to play it comfortably. \n\n\n\nA banjo, on the other hand, relies less on the design of the body. The body-shape of the banjo is not essential to its sound. It's more about what it's made out of and what it doesn't have. \n\n\n\n7) Volume \n\n\n\nThe banjo is also known for being quite loud in comparison to an acoustic guitar. The reason for this is the same as the others mentioned above, the materials that it's made out of and how it has been constructed and designed. \n\n\n\nThe banjo, due to its construction, is a treble-heavy instrument, and these frequencies are generally much more audible to the human ear. \n\n\n\nFor instance, think about the way a bass guitar is much harder to hear in a rock song, in comparison to an electric guitar. \n\n\n\nYouTube Video Tutorial \n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/youtu.be\/4AJN-PaFrFQ\n\n\n\n\nConclusion \n\n\n\nAll-in-all, I hope this was very helpful to you. As you can see, while there are some similarities between a guitar and a banjo, the two instruments are very different from each other in several ways. \n\n\n\nWith that said, the primary difference between them that is crucial in their sound, are its materials and how the actual instrument is designed.