bands/musicians The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time  

Ranker Music
7.1k votes 2.4k voters 70.3k views 70 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the all time best banjo players in history

Who are the best musicians to have ever played the banjo? The banjo is a four or five string instrument. Early versions of the banjo were created by Africans in Colonial America, but today it is most closely associated with bluegrass, folk, country, and traditional Irish music. A mainstay of old-time American music, the banjo is a popular instrument, even today.

The greatest banjoists ever are from different eras and genres but are all hugely talented on their instrument. These best banjo players have spent years honing their skills to become the best. These musicians often helped define their respective genres, and many teach others to play the banjo as well.

The greatest banjo players of all time are from all over the world and include musicians such as Charlie Poole, Bela Fleck, Earl Scruggs, and Pete Seeger. Even comedian Steve Martin plays the banjo!

Vote up the best banjoists in history on the list below, or add a musician who you think is the best banjo player ever, if he or she isn't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
687 117
Earl Scruggs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Earl Scruggs Bluegrass, Gospel music, Country

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2
500 165
Béla Fleck is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Béla Fleck Rock music, Folk music, Folk rock

3
191 99
Ralph Stanley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Ralph Stanley Traditional bluegrass, Old-time music, Bluegrass

4
93 40
J. D. Crowe is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
duststang1 added J. D. Crowe Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

5
297 205
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Steve Martin Bluegrass

6
164 102
Noam Pikelny is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Noam Pikelny Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

7
144 89
Tony Trischka is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Tony Trischka Roots, Bluegrass

8
111 64
Ranker Video
dabowd added Jens Kruger American Folk

9
106 61
David

10
40 9
Don Reno is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
John N Annette Egan added Don Reno Bluegrass

11
96 57
Grandpa Jones is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
MarkTimothyPierce added Grandpa Jones Old-time music, Bluegrass, Gospel music

12
64 31
John Hartford is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
David Sekac added John Hartford Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

13
85 49
Alison Brown is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Alison Brown Americana, Jazz, Bluegrass

14
92 56
Ron Block is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Ron Block Bluegrass, Alternative Country

15
137 95
Pete Seeger is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Pete Seeger Folk music

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16
73 44
Alan Munde is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Alan Munde Bluegrass

17
73 45
Barney McKenna is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Barney McKenna Folk music of Ireland

18
66 42
Pete Wernick is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Pete Wernick Bluegrass

19
47 25
Bill Emerson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Bjoe added Bill Emerson Bluegrass

20
49 27
Eddie Adcock is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Eddie Adcock Bluegrass

21
41 22
Raymond Fairchild is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
roger-dvorak added Raymond Fairchild Bluegrass

22
77 61
Abigail Washburn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Abigail Washburn Americana, Old-time music

23
79 64
Jerry Garcia is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
evanswinington added Jerry Garcia Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

24
41 29
Charlie Poole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Charlie Poole Country

25
30 18
Courtney Johnson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
JBB1 added Courtney Johnson Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

26
44 33
Uncle Dave Macon is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Uncle Dave Macon Old-time music

27
33 22
Danny Barnes is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Danny Barnes Rock music, Folk music, Jazz

28
283 285
Kit Evans is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Gareth Cotter added Kit Evans Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz Metal -  Kit Evans (Gentlemen of Few) shot to fame through his primary school talent show back in 2002 when he opted to perform 'Let The Bodies Hit The Floor' on the banjo, his talented musical display was described as "not ...

29
26 15
Tony Furtado is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
cksqrd added Tony Furtado Americana, Blues, Jass

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30
24 15
Eric Weissberg is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
edwardlatham added Eric Weissberg Bluegrass, Country

31
33 25
Snuffy Jenkins is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Snuffy Jenkins Old-time music, Bluegrass

32
22 14
John McEuen is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
David Sekac added John McEuen Rock music, Country

33
42 36
Eddie Peabody is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Eddie Peabody Vaudeville

34
25 19
Larry McNeely is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Larry McNeely Country

35
14 9
Roscoe Holcomb is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
gnicholls added Roscoe Holcomb Folk music, Old-time music, Bluegrass

36
7 3
Dock Boggs is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Howard Vogel added Dock Boggs Old-time music

37
28 29
John Hickman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
John Hickman Ragtime

38
30 32
Lonnie Hoppers is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
ragtime added Lonnie Hoppers A Monroe Bluegrass Boy

39
15 14
Ranker Video
bill-cli added Buddy Wachter Jazz, Pop, Classical - AMERICA'S BANJO VIRTUOSO Master of the four string banjo, the uniquely American instrument, Buddy Wachter is acknowledged to be America's greatest virtuoso banjo player. Andrew John "Buddy" Wachter was born on ...

40
7 5
Bernie Leadon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Jdwalther added Bernie Leadon Rock music, Country rock, Country

41
33 39
Davidson Brothers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
ragtime added Hamish Davidson Aussie Banjo Master

42
5 4
Fred Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Howard Vogel added Fred Van Eps Ragtime, Jazz

43
19 22
Bascom Lamar Lunsford is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Bascom Lamar Lunsford Folk, Traditional

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44
11 12
Mean Mary James is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
BarneyTaylor added Mean Mary James

45
37 45
Burl Ives is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Burl Ives Folk

46
22 26
Tommy Makem is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Tommy Makem Folk music of Ireland

47
14 17
Scott Avett is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Brian Rhoades added Scott Avett Folk music, Folk rock, Indie rock

48
20 25
Herb Pedersen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Herb Pedersen Folk music, Folk rock, Country rock

49
2 2
George Grove is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
RobertPoynton added George Grove

50
5 6
Buell Kazee is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
gnicholls added Buell Kazee Country