bands/musicians The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time  

Ranker Music
8.2k votes 2.8k voters 76.9k views 75 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
799 145
Earl Scruggs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Earl Scruggs Bluegrass, Gospel music, Country

2
569 187
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
216 117
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
120 52
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
63 20
Don Reno is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
John N Annette Egan added Don Reno Bluegrass

6
182 115
Noam Pikelny is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Noam Pikelny Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

7
163 100
Tony Trischka is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Tony Trischka Roots, Bluegrass

8
129 73
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dabowd added Jens Kruger American Folk

9
127 76
David

10
333 246
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Steve Martin Bluegrass

11
76 38
John Hartford is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
David Sekac added John Hartford Folk music, Bluegrass, Country

12
98 60
Ron Block is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Ron Block Bluegrass, Alternative Country

13
107 68
Grandpa Jones is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
MarkTimothyPierce added Grandpa Jones Old-time music, Bluegrass, Gospel music

14
94 58
Alison Brown is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Alison Brown Americana, Jazz, Bluegrass

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15
150 108
Pete Seeger is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Pete Seeger Folk music

16
63 32
Eddie Adcock is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Eddie Adcock Bluegrass

17
82 49
Alan Munde is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Alan Munde Bluegrass

18
58 30
Bill Emerson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Bjoe added Bill Emerson Bluegrass

19
81 52
Barney McKenna is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Barney McKenna Folk music of Ireland

20
73 45
Pete Wernick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Pete Wernick Bluegrass

21
52 29
Raymond Fairchild is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
roger-dvorak added Raymond Fairchild Bluegrass

The Best Banjo Players in the World

22
88 68
Abigail Washburn is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Abigail Washburn Americana, Old-time music

23
32 17
Eric Weissberg is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
edwardlatham added Eric Weissberg Bluegrass, Country

24
86 73
Jerry Garcia is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
evanswinington added Jerry Garcia Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

25
51 37
Eddie Peabody is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Eddie Peabody Vaudeville

26
47 33
Charlie Poole is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Charlie Poole Country

27
30 17
Tony Furtado is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
cksqrd added Tony Furtado Americana, Blues, Jass

28
284 288
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 ...

The Greatest Tuba Players of All Time

29
49 38
Uncle Dave Macon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Uncle Dave Macon Old-time music

30
37 26
Danny Barnes is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Danny Barnes Rock music, Folk music, Jazz

31
32 21
Courtney Johnson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
JBB1 added Courtney Johnson Progressive bluegrass, Bluegrass

32
29 18
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
38 28
Snuffy Jenkins is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Snuffy Jenkins Old-time music, Bluegrass

34
31 22
Larry McNeely is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Larry McNeely Country

35
17 12
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

The Best Free eBooks

36
22 18
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 ...

37
10 7
Fred Van Eps is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Howard Vogel added Fred Van Eps Ragtime, Jazz

38
4 0
Bobby Thompson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
RobertHomes added Bobby Thompson Bluegrass - Backed up Linda Ronstadt on "Love is a Rose"; chosen by Earl Scruggs as tour replacement; helped develop 3-finger "melodic" or "Keith" style alternative to "Scruggs style" ...

39
42 48
Burl Ives is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Burl Ives Folk

40
32 36
Lonnie Hoppers is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
ragtime added Lonnie Hoppers A Monroe Bluegrass Boy

41
16 16
Mean Mary James is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
BarneyTaylor added Mean Mary James

42
8 6
Dock Boggs is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Howard Vogel added Dock Boggs Old-time music

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43
30 34
John Hickman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
John Hickman Ragtime

44
9 8
Bernie Leadon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Jdwalther added Bernie Leadon Rock music, Country rock, Country

45
2 0
Don Parmley is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Johnny Rojo added Don Parmley

46
25 30
Tommy Makem is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Tommy Makem Folk music of Ireland

47
35 43
Davidson Brothers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
ragtime added Hamish Davidson Aussie Banjo Master

48
23 28
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
1 0
Eddie Shelton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
RobertHomes added Eddie Shelton Bluegrass

50
20 26
Bascom Lamar Lunsford is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Banjo Players of All Time
Bascom Lamar Lunsford Folk, Traditional