Folk Instruments

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Alvarez RU22C Concert Ukulele

Alvarez RU22C Concert Ukulele

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Hohner Marine Band Harmonica C

Hohner Marine Band Harmonica C

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Mahalo 2515 Ukulele Java MJ1 Mahogany Finish

Mahalo 2515 Ukulele Java MJ1 Mahogany Finish

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Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Black

Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Black

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Alvarez RU26S Soprano Ukulele

Alvarez RU26S Soprano Ukulele

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Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Purple

Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Purple

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Alvarez RU22T Tenor Ukulele

Alvarez RU22T Tenor Ukulele

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Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Pink

Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Pink

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Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Red

Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Red

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Alvarez RU26C Concert Ukulele

Alvarez RU26C Concert Ukulele

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Alvarez RU22TCE Tenor Ukulele with Pickup

Alvarez RU22TCE Tenor Ukulele with Pickup

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£79.00 £119.00
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Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele Daphne Blue Walnut Fingerboard

Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele Daphne Blue Walnut Fingerboard

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Dunlop Egg Shaker

Dunlop Egg Shaker

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Alvarez RU26T Tenor Ukulele

Alvarez RU26T Tenor Ukulele

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Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Blue

Mahalo Ukulele Rainbow MR1 Blue

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Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele Black Walnut Fingerboard

Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele Black Walnut Fingerboard

£49.00 £54.99
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Barnes & Mullins BJ300 Perfect 5 String Banjo

Barnes & Mullins BJ300 Perfect 5 String Banjo

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£199.00 £270.00
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Hohner Marine Band Harmonica G

Hohner Marine Band Harmonica G

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Mahalo Art Skull Ukulele Soprano Black

Mahalo Art Skull Ukulele Soprano Black

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Alvarez RU22BE Baritone Electro Ukulele

Alvarez RU22BE Baritone Electro Ukulele

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Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele Tobacco Sunburst

Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele Tobacco Sunburst

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Alvarez RU22S Soprano Ukulele

Alvarez RU22S Soprano Ukulele

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£39.00 £69.00
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Epiphone Les Paul Concert Ukulele Heritage Cherry Sunburst

Epiphone Les Paul Concert Ukulele Heritage Cherry Sunburst

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£129.00 £139.00
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Barnes & Mullins BM600 Wimborne Mandolin

Barnes & Mullins BM600 Wimborne Mandolin

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£249.00 £279.00
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Ozark 2222 Bouzouki Flat Back

Ozark 2222 Bouzouki Flat Back

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£219.00
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Epiphone Les Paul Concert Ukulele Vintage Sunburst

Epiphone Les Paul Concert Ukulele Vintage Sunburst

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£129.00 £149.00
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Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele Natural

Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele Natural

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£79.00 £114.00
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Alvarez RU22SCE Soprano Electro Ukulele

Alvarez RU22SCE Soprano Electro Ukulele

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Fender Seaside Soprano Ukulele Pack

Fender Seaside Soprano Ukulele Pack

£79.00 £89.99
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Ibanez M510E Mandolin Electric Brown Sunburst

Ibanez M510E Mandolin Electric Brown Sunburst

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£179.00 £209.00
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Hohner Silver Star Harmonica G

Hohner Silver Star Harmonica G

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£13.99
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Recording King Dirty 30s RKOH-05 Open Back Banjo

Recording King Dirty 30s RKOH-05 Open Back Banjo

£219.00
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Deering Goodtime 5-String Openback

Deering Goodtime 5-String Openback

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£449.00
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Barnes & Mullins BJ306 Perfect 6 String Banjo

Barnes & Mullins BJ306 Perfect 6 String Banjo

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Alvarez Artist Series AU60E-BASS Acoustic Bass Ukulele with Pickup

Alvarez Artist Series AU60E-BASS Acoustic Bass Ukulele with Pickup

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£139.00 £189.00
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Fender Zuma Concert Ukulele Natural Indian Laurel Fingerboard

Fender Zuma Concert Ukulele Natural Indian Laurel Fingerboard

£99.00 £105.00
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Hohner Marine Band Harmonica A

Hohner Marine Band Harmonica A

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£34.99
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Mahalo 2515C Java Concert Ukulele Natural Satin

Mahalo 2515C Java Concert Ukulele Natural Satin

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£49.99 £55.50
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Alvarez Artist Series AU90C Concert Ukulele

Alvarez Artist Series AU90C Concert Ukulele

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£99.00
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Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele Black

Yamaha GL-1 Guitalele Black

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£79.00 £114.00
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About Folk Instruments

Folk instruments are the wide array of instruments used to play the more traditional, cultural and roots music from culture, peoples and communities all around the world. Some of the most common types of instruments include the mandolin, banjo, ukulele and harmonica. You can find a wide selection of these as well as a whole further array of instruments here at guitarguitar, as well as others like the Harmonica and the Appalachian Dulcimer.

guitarguitar proudly sells all of these string instruments from makers such as Deering, Ozark, Barnes & Mullins and Mahalo. If you are interested in folk music, roots music or playing in acoustic ensembles, we will undoubtedly have a number of these portable instruments to interest you in each of our stores, not to mention the entire range available online.

Folk musicians who have played a folk instrument include Israel Kamakawiwo'ole who famously played ukulele, Neil Young plays a harmonica, Steve Earle can be seen with a mandolin, Ashley Campbell, daughter of the late great Glenn Campell plays a banjo and Mumford and Sons can regularly be seen playing these musical instruments.

Why Should I Choose a Folk Instrument?

  • Perfect for country, folk and bluegrass music
  • Easy to learn and comfortable to play
  • Different styles for different players
  • Wide array of instruments to fit a host of musical styles
  • Often fun and easy to get started learning
  • Lets you access the rich vein of cultural music styles from around the world

Frequently Asked Questions about Folk Instruments

Question: What are 'folk instruments'?
For guitarguitar, 'folk instruments' refers to the acoustic (or electro acoustic) instruments used to play the folk music styles from around the world. Lots of folk tradition has spread from area to area across the world, though. For instance, the banjo, that most Southern American of instruments, actually came from Africa so our loose term of Folk Instruments is merely a suggestive one rather than descriptive of any particular musical genre. This category contains mainly fretted instruments that can be played acoustically.
Question: I already play the guitar: what is an easy folk instrument to transition on to?
One suggestion would be a 6 string banjo. These are tuned to the same notes as a guitar and have a neck that is relatively similar to an acoustic guitar so you should be able to pick one up straight away and begin playing with confidence. An example of a good 6 string banjo is the Epiphone Stagebird.
Question: Which guitarguitar stores carry folk instruments?
All of our stores carry a good selection of folk instruments within our acoustic departments. In addition to that, our Glasgow, Birmingham and London stores have dedicated acoustic showrooms filled with an outstanding collection of acoustic instruments including an excellent folk instrument area in each. Our Birmingham acoustic showroom is the largest of its kind in the UK: this is definitely the place to go to if you want to be surrounded by stunning examples of folk instruments!
Question: What are the main instruments in folk music?
It depends on which part of the world's folk music you want to play! Most Scots, English, Irish and North American folk music uses mainly mandolin, and banjo, in addition to conventional acoustic guitar and instruments like the bouzouki and violin. Hawaiian and pacific folk music however make the greatest use of the Ukulele in its various sizes, in addition to acoustic guitar.
Question: Why are they called folk instruments?
Folk instruments are defined, simply, as the instruments commonly used to play many types of "Folk Music." "Folk Music" as a term describes the traditional music performed, maintained and developed by a people, a culture, or a nation, as opposed to popular music or larger composed styles such as classical music.
Question: What materials are used to make folk instruments?
The most common material is wood in its various types. There can be others though, such as the banjo with it's drum-style body construction that utilises a raft of other materials, or harmonica with its metal and reed construction.
Question: What is the easiest folk instrument to learn?
The easiest folk instrument to make a start on is arguably the ukulele, thanks to its small size and easy-to-press nylon strings.