5 Best Banjo Strings for Clawhammer Style Banjo

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Do you need some banjo strings that are perfect for frailing and clawhammer style playing? Attempting to find the best banjo strings for clawhammer banjo?

For clawhammer-style banjo players, quality strings can make all the difference in the world. High-quality strings typically produce a higher quality sound and, therefore, offers players a higher quality experience.

Once you’ve purchased a high-quality banjo, you also need to get some good strings for it. Because of the nature of clawhammer-style playing, medium-gauge strings are found to be best because of their stiffness and durability. They also won’t sacrifice any of the depth or crispness that other gauges do.

Fortunately, we’re here to be your guide in the world of banjo strings. This article provides a brief list of the best strings for clawhammer players based on sound quality, tone, and longevity.

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Best Clawhammer Banjo Strings – Quick View

ImageModelPrice 
Elixir Strings with Polyweb Coating (.010-.023)Check Price on Amazon
Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 Bronze Loop End Frailing Strings (.010-.024)Check Price on Amazon
D'Addario EJ55 5-string Banjo Strings (.010-.023)Check Price on Amazon
GHS PF160 5-string Phosphor Bronze Strings (.011-.026)Check Price on Amazon
D'Addario XT Nickel Plated Steel Banjo Strings (.010-.023)Check Price on Amazon

Top Strings For Clawhammer Banjo Players – REVIEWED

Can’t wait to see the best clawhammer strings? Here they are.

1. Elixir Banjo Strings with Polyweb Coating (.010-.023)

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Elixir POLYWEB Banjo Strings

The first product on our list of the best frailing strings for the banjo is the Elixir Banjo Strings with Polyweb Coating. These are medium strings with a range of .010-.023 string sizes.

The POLYWEB coating really increases the life of the strings while also claiming to hold its tune 3 to 5 times longer than other strings. Moreover, the coating does not detract from the string’s tone, helping them keep their consistently crisp sound over long periods of time.

2. Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 Bronze Loop End Frailing Strings (.010-.024)

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Best Banjo Strings For Frailing and Clawhammer

The next strings on our list are the Ernie Ball Earthwood 5-string Banjo 80/20 Bronze Loop End Frailing Strings. These string sizes range from .010-.024 and are built specifically for frailing and clawhammer playing styles.

These medium-gauge strings provide clean overtones, hitting both deep and true lows and crisp, clear highs. These strings are also sturdy and long-lasting and provide an enjoyable experience for both new and experienced banjo players.

3. D’Addario EJ55 5-string Banjo Strings (.010-.023)

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Good Clawhammer Banjo Strings

Another good string choice for a clawhammer player is the D’Addario EJ55 5-string Banjo Strings. These are medium strings with a range of .010-.023.

These medium-gauge strings are made from high-quality phosphor bronze and provide a deeper tone than light-gauge strings while also helping them keep their tune longer. These strings, which can be played on virtually any banjo by any playing style, are versatile, providing richness, balance, and warmth in their sound.

4. GHS PF160 5-string Phosphor Bronze Strings (.011-.026)

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GHS 5-String Banjo Strings

Another very good product choice for clawhammer players is a set of GHS PF160 5-string Phosphor Bronze Banjo Strings. The strings range from .011-.026 in size and are perfect for this unique playing style.

Like the Ernie Balls and the D’Addarios, these strings are made of phosphor bronze, which really gives the strings a richer, deeper tone than nickel strings, while not quite possessing the crispness of the nickel strings. Furthermore, bronze strings tend to be sturdier and more durable than strings made from other materials.

5. D’Addario XT Nickel Plated Steel Banjo Strings (.010-.023)

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Best Medium Banjo Strings For Clawhammer Style

Our final strings recommendation for clawhammer players are the D’Addario XT Nickel Plated Steel Banjo Strings. These are medium strings with a range between .010 and .023 and are built with quality in mind.

While uncoated, these strings provide longevity similar to the Elixirs due to their high carbon steel. In fact, the company boasts that these strings last 4 times longer than traditional uncoated strings.

On the other hand, these strings do not provide the depth and richness of copper strings. They might be better suited for beginners or casual players who prefer longer-lasting, durable strings rather than topnotch sound quality.

Final Thoughts

All of the strings on this list are well-suited to clawhammer players of varying experience levels, and each possesses different qualities that make them stand out.

When deciding upon banjo strings, a player should first consider their experience, their commitment, and qualities that they look for in their strings. Casual players may be more interested in the D’Addario XTs or the Elixirs, while experienced players looking for great sound quality may be better suited for the Elixirs or any of the phosphor bronze strings.