Learn to play Tenor Banjo... or Mandolin, Fiddle, Tin Whistle, Accordion
The Tenor Banjo is the one with 4 strings ! ( The kind played by Barney McKenna, Angelina Carberry and Enda Scahill. )
It's tuned just like a fiddle so the fingering is the same. Many Tenor Banjo players also play fiddle. (Gerry O'Connor, Cathal Hayden. )
An entry level banjo will cost in the region of €200 so it's not the cheapest instrument to start out on. The quality of the instrument you learn on will have an effect on how you sound so it is very important to get someone who plays banjo to help you check any instrument out. The salesperson in a music shop will not be an expert in every single instrument they sell and it may be a poorly set up or finished off instrument. If the Banjo is set up correctly it should sound in tune as you play a scale going up one string. Check also that the neck of the banjo is in line with the tailpiece and that the open strings are not buzzing when you pick them. The Tenor Banjo normally has 19 frets but it is also possible to get a short-neck version with 17 frets which is still perfect for Irish Music.
All Ireland Banjo Champions
2013 Senior - Thomas Quinn, Tyrone U18 - Ciaran O Sullivan, Kerry U15 - Ian Mac Síthigh, Limerick U12 - Shane Maguire, Monaghan