What do artists Kacey Musgraves, Eric Church, Keith Urban and Taylor Swift have in common? They all play a Deering Boston 6-string banjo! It gives their songs a distinctive sound, notably on Keith Urban''s song Who Wouldn't Want To Be Me? and Taylor Swift's Mean. She recorded the song and video with a Deering B-6 banjo; it's now on display in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Made for guitarists who want to begin playing the banjo immediately, the 6-string banjo has the same standard tuning as a guitar (E-A-D-G-B-E). The chord patterns are also the same as a guitar so there's no learning curve. It can be strummed with a flatpick, played Chet Atkins-style with a thumbpick, or played with fingerpicks.
Those who enjoy alternate tuning will find a whole new sound with "open" tuning (D-A-D-G-A-D), or open-G tuning (D-B-G-D-G-D). Drop-D tuning (simply changing the 6th string from E to D) gives a 6-string banjo much more depth and bottom-end. Deering installs extra light gauge strings so they're easy on the fingertips. Most of all, it's fun! Watch as Tom Gardner demonstrates in the video above.