The Best Banjo Strings For Picking

The strings you choose to use on your banjo will have an enormous impact on your quality of sound, the playability of your instrument and your tone.

Strings are made from either nickel-plated steel – which is the most common, phosphor bronze – which produces a warmer sound, or stainless steel – which is sturdy and smooth. 

At a Glance: Our Choice Of The 5 Best Banjo Strings On The Market

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Buyer's Tips: What to look for when buying a Banjo Strings

  • When choosing which set to purchase, it is important to consider whether you want a light or heavy gauge.
  • Lighter gauge strings are easier to slide on and to do techniques like bends, hammer ons and pull offs, however, they lack the depth and volume of heavier strings.
  • You can also get polymer-coated strings for extra longevity!

Here are our Top 5 Banjo Strings:

Banjo Strings Review

1) GHS Strings PF150

GHS Strings PF150 5-String Banjo Strings, Phosphor Bronze, Light (.010-.022)

These phosphor bronze strings – available in a variety of gauges – will give your banjo a warm sound and they also have extra large loop ends which makes application easy.

The strings are long enough to use on a large banjo, and are available at a budget-friendly price!

Each string features a lock twist to ensure that it stays in tune, and the strings are individually sealed, in a nitrogen environment, to ensure from-the-factory freshness!

  • Phosphor Bronze for a warmer sound
  • Extra large loop ends for ease of application
  • Budget Friendly
  • Warm sound might not suit your style
  • Less longevity than stainless steel or polymer-coated strings

2) D'Addario EJ55

D'Addario EJ55 Phosphor Bronze 5-String Banjo Strings, Medium, 10-23

D'addario have an excellent reputation for being high quality strings, on a variety of instruments, and their banjo strings are no exception.

Their phosphor bronze strings offer a warm sound, and they have loop ends for universal fit.

D'addario strings are made in the USA to ensure superior quality, but this set will far from break the bank!

They're long enough to use on a large banjo, and remain a popular and stable choice amongst musicians.

  • Phosphor Bronze for a warmer sound
  • Budget Friendly
  • Highly reputable name
  • Warm sound might not suit your style
  • Less longevity than stainless steel or polymer-coated strings

3) Martin V730 Vega

Martin V730 Vega Banjo Strings, Medium

These excellent quality strings are made from the classic nickel-plated steel, which will make your banjo sound like a banjo!

They're reasonably priced, smooth-feeling and crisp-sounding, making them a popular choice amongst banjoists.

They have loop ends, for universal fit, but the strings are a little short, and it may be tricky to make them fit a large banjo.

  • Smooth feel
  • Nickel-plated steel for classic banjo sound
  • Very budget friendly
  • Less longevity than stainless steel or polymer-coated strings
  • You may desire a warmer sound
  • Short string length

4) AQUILA Classic Banjo String

AQUILA Classic Banjo String Set, 6B, Light Tension, All Nylgut

These strings are perfect for the banjoist who wishes to sound like 19th and 20th Century masters.

They replicate gut in a way that avoids the expense, instability and ethical issues.

The richness of the gut sound is there, but Nylgut offers an outstanding stability of intonation and remarkable longevity.

One drawback is that these strings don't have loop ends, so you will have to tie them yourself, just like in the olden days...

  • Stable tuning
  • Authentic 19th / 20th C sounds
  • Long-lasting
  • More expensive than most strings
  • May not be the sound you are after
  • Not as easy to apply as strings with loop ends

5) Elixir Strings Banjo Strings

Elixir Strings Banjo Strings w POLYWEB Coating, Medium (.010-.010)

These strings are a popular choice, partly due to their superior longevity.

The polyweb coating means that they will live longer than other strings, so they're perfect for those who want to put a set on and leave them there!

They have a smooth feel, and not only do the strings physically last for a long time, but the tone will remain the same throughout their (long!) life.

If the tone they offer is the tone you desire, it's a no-brainer!

  • Coated to protect against erosion
  • Rich tone
  •  Long-lasting tone
  • Less budget-friendly than some other strings
  • Lacks the warmth of phosphor bronze strings

And The Winner Is...

These 5 brands of banjo strings are all of superior quality and choosing the right one for you and your instrument will largely be down to personal preference!

However, if you're after a warm sound, easy application and a budget-friendly buy, our top choice are the GHS Strings PF150 5-String Banjo Strings, Phosphor Bronze, Light (.010-.022).

These strings will really make the difference to the sound of your banjo if you are unhappy with the sounds of standard nickel-plated steel strings, and the extra large loop ends make them perfect for those who don't like to get too fiddly!

They're also sealed immediately after creation, in a nitrogen environment, meaning that every time you purchase them you are getting your hands on strings that are truly fresh from the factory!

They may lack the longevity of coated strings but the tone they offer more than makes up for this and they have the added bonus of being amongst the least expensive strings!

Whichever pack you decide will suit you and your banjo the best, we hope they serve you well!

Strum on!

Roz is a music teacher and our go-to person for anything music theory! When she’s not teaching or writing for Zing, Roz writes and plays in alternative/ psyche /art rock band The Roz Bruce Infusion.

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