The Best Banjo Strings

What are the best banjo strings? Well, that depends on who you ask, everyone seems to have a favorite. I’ve tried a lot of strings; D’addario, Martin, Gibson, GHS and Ernie Ball, and I was sure each new set of strings would make me sound better. I don’t know if using signature J.D. Crowe or Earl Scruggs strings can make you sound like the masters themselves, but it sure can’t hurt to at least try their strings.

Strings are inexpensive to buy and can make a big difference in your sound, so you might as well experiment with them. In this article I will talk about six of the most popular brands of banjo strings; D’addario, Elixir, Ernie Ball, GHS, Gibson and Martin. If you would like to purchase strings, you can click on the links and buy them at Amazon.


One of the world’s leading string makers, and a lot of choice in gauges. With strings in phosphor bronze and nickel, and of course durability and great sound you can’t go wrong with D’addario. Here are a few of their most popular sets:

D’Addario Set Banjo Nickel Wnd 9-20 Lite

D’Addario Set Banjo Nickel Lite Plus

D’Addario Set Banjo Nickel Custom Med

D’addario J60 Light Nickel 5 String Set Banjo Strings (9-20)

D’Addario Set Banjo Phos Brz Lite


A long lasting, coated string, these are very popular strings with guitarists and are gaining in popularity on the banjo scene.

Elixir Medium Polyweb Banjo String

Elixir Light Polyweb Banjo String


Earl Scruggs signature string in medium and light gauge, what else can you add? These are a crisp, great sounding set of strings endorsed by Earl himself.

Gibson Earl Scruggs Signature Medium Banjo Strings

Gibson Earl Scruggs Signature Light Banjo Strings


GHS strings are the home of the J.D. Crowe signature banjo strings. With J.D. Crowe’s endorsement and his unbelievable banjo sound, you’ll have to try these strings and see if it makes you sound a little like J.D.

GHS Stainless Steel Banjo 5-String Set (J.D. Crowe Stage Set)

GHS Stainless Steel Banjo 5-String Set (J.D. Crowe Studio Set)

GHS PF160 Medium Phosphor Bronze 5 String Banjo Strings

GHS PF130 Nickel Ball End 5-String Banjo Strings

Ernie Ball

Another big string manufacturer with an impressive list of choices.

Ernie Ball 2309 Medium Gauge 5-String Banjo Strings

Ernie Ball 2312 Light Gauge 5-String Banjo Strings

Ernie Ball 2061 Earthwood 80/20 Bronze 5-String Banjo Frailing Strings

Ernie Ball 2063 Earthwood 80/20 Bronze 5-String Banjo Bluegrass Strings


Martin strings are one of the best known strings in the world, and for good reason. Bluegrass players have trusted Martin for decades to keep them sounding good.

Martin V720 Vega Banjo Strings

Vega Banjo Strings Light: 5-String

Martin M900 Light Banjo Strings

Martin M930 Medium Banjo Strings

That’s a lot of strings, and I didn’t even touch all of the types and brands. I’ve tried almost all of them and I keep going back and forth, last month I was a GHS fan, this time I’m back to the Earl Scruggs Gibsons. Keep searching and you’ll find the one’s that work.


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One Response to “The Best Banjo Strings”

  1. Changing your Banjo strings | on February 16th, 2008 12:40 pm

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