When you learn how to play the banjo, you open yourself up to a whole world of new music to play, from traditional blue-grass and folk music, all the way to Celtic music that hails back from history. There are plenty of banjo options to suit your particular style as well, ranging from 4-string banjos used in Irish music, or the more traditional 5-string banjo that can be used to play a whole range of songs. There are also 6-string banjos, also known as guitar-banjos, which are less popular but are used by a lot of famous banjo players. If you’re a complete beginner, stick to the traditional 5-string banjo which will give you plenty of options in terms of the diversity of music you can play.
When deciding what songs to learn, try and stick to beginner banjo songs that are simple to learn. This allows you to focus on your technique and helps you learn and memorize chords a couple at a time. Many new banjo players will try to complicate matters by trying songs that are too complex and wind up getting frustrated when they struggle.
Luckily, a lot of the more traditional folk songs are great beginner banjo songs, such as Old McDonald, Camptown Races, Worried Man Blues, Salt Creek, and others, are quite easy to learn. These songs will help you master the banjo basics and will provide you with hours of entertainment while you practice. If you want something with a slower pace, many religious songs such as Amazing Grace and When the Saints Go Marching In are also great songs to learn when you’re still a novice.
If you’re struggling to find notation for these songs, there are plenty of resources such as Banjo.com that offer a wide variety of books in a wide variety of musical styles to suit your tastes. Most books will have songs ranging in difficulty, meaning that you’ll be able to make visible progress through a song book, all while learning new and more complex techniques. You can also find banjo instructional books to help you master the banjo.