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Banjos, resonators, ukuleles, and more

Folk Instruments

Get back to your roots with these classic instruments

Folk music features a number of classic instruments, each with their own rich history and unique sound. By playing any one of these legendary folk instruments, you are participating in a rich tradition of creating and enjoying music just as our ancestors did long ago.


The twangy and percussive sound of the banjo can be heard in many styles of folk music -- and with five strings and a slim neck, it's easy for the casual player or beginner to pick up the basics of a stringed instrument.

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The chiming and resonant tone of the mandolin has been rounding out folk ensembles for hundreds of years. The mando's strong melodic ability makes it a great lead instrument.

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Electric Violins

The romantic and powerful sound of the violin is great for adding intensity and melody to recordings and performances. These electric violins take the classic design of the violin and improve it for the modern musician, adding electronic pickups and EQ in a lightweight body with authentic playability.

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The ukulele has become a favorite of folk instrumentalists, thanks to its tiny size and sweet voice. Play in a group? Acoustic-electric ukuleles offer quality construction and playability, with electronics and pickups added to translate their unique sound accurately in any live setting.

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Lap Steel Guitars

The vocal-like portamento of the lap steel is one of the most recognizable sounds in folk music. Played by fretting a steel bar across the neck and moving it between the frets when strings are plucked, the lap steel's many unique chord and melodic combinations make it a favorite to play -- and essential to the characteristic sound of many styles of folk music.

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Dobros and Resonator Guitars

Dobros and resonator guitars owe their brilliant tone to a unique design that's made to sound huge, with or without amplification. Outfitted with resonating devices and steel bodies, these guitars boom with sound as big and bold as the wide open country.

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No folk song is complete without the freight-train moan of the harmonica. Available in several keys and styles, the harmonica is simple to learn and fun to play. Pro tip: Have harmonicas in several keys on hand, and you'll be prepared to play in a variety of styles with a variety of instruments.

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Combining elements of the keyboard and harmonica, but with a tone all its own, the melodica is one of the few keyboard instruments that requires no electricity at all. Lightweight and portable, it's powered by your breath -- but unlike most wind instruments, it's polyphonic. Finally, keyboardists have an instrument to bring to the campfire!

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History of Folk
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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as you Pay® installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as you Pay® plans.

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2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

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3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses.

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4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

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5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

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