Selecting the best banjo brands can be quite challenging for beginners. Luckily, the best beginner banjos are often very affordable, but you need to do a thorough research to ensure that you get what you require from your banjo. There are some factors and certain things to look out for that will help you in your search for the perfect beginner banjo.
- Number of strings
- Wood type
- Type of banjo best for beginners (electric or acoustic)
- Weight and size of neck
- Shape of body and good workmanship
It is also very important to consider the hand you play with before buying a banjo. There are both right-handed and left-handed banjos in the market, so be sure you know which is best for you before making that buy.
This guide offers a rundown of your top 5 best banjo brands for beginners and objective reviews that will help you select the perfect fit.
#5. five-String Banjo 24 Bracket with Closed Solid Back and Geared 5th Tuner
The 5-String Banjo 24 Bracket comes at a low price and has a solid mahogany back. For easy playing up and down the neck, it is designed with slim, fast necks. It also has adjustable truss rods and a wide range of specifications to meet your requirements.
There are general features like the 3-ply Maple Rim, 5/8″ Hard Maple Bridge, Rosewood Fretboard, and mahogany Resonator with thumb screws. Other features include; Solid Resonator Back (multi-piece), 24 Brackets # Nickel plated armrest and Mahogany Neck.
This banjo is fun to play on, it is beautiful, and also sounds really nice. It is ideal for both lefties and righties and for beginners as well. It comes well packed with necessary tools and instructions. It sounds like a banjo should, once tune up. If you want to play open back, you can easily remove the banjo resonator. I won’t say the tuners are the best because a screw can be found only on the geared up 5th string tuner to tighten it but then considering the price, I don’t think this is an issue. It has got a straight neck with nice frets.
You will be impressed with this full scale banjo.
#4. Pyle 5-String Geared Tunable Banjo
This banjo is made of wood and has a high-gloss finish accented with chrome-plated hardware and white jade machine head tuner key pegs. It is designed with mahogany back, side and neck. It also has a maple Wood bridge and a rosewood fingerboard.
It produces unique classic tones of a traditional 5 string banjo and is perfect for folk, country, some modern rocks and bluegrass. It is designed to sound very nice. A geared 5th tuner, a premium feature usually found only on more expensive banjos, which is also a major upgrade over the common friction tuner, is available.
The banjo’s full scale and light weight makes it ideal for camping, hiking, travelling and going to the beach. It is designed after the models of the early 20th century and this probably explains the vibrant singing banjo tone it produces in any situation.
Pyle 5-String Geared Tunable Banjo features the traditional-style binding design. Quality components like rosewood fretboard, REMO M1 drum-head, and shabili wood body were used in its construction. The quality of the fretboard and resonator is immaculate and scratch free and setting it up is very easy
Whether you are a pro or a beginner, this banjo will do just fine.
#3. Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo
The deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo features a 22-fret rock maple neck, geared tuning machines, with 5th string included and hardwood bow tie inlays. It also features a 5/8-Inch maple/ebony Goodtime bridge that has adjustable deering tailpiece, three-ply, high crown head and 11-inch maple rim with steel tension hoop. The round wood part of the banjo is the “rim”.
It has nickel plated metal parts and the blond maple is finished in elegant satin. Adjustment is made easy with the single coordination rod. The maple and ebony bridge rests on an easily adjustable 11 inch, top-frosted head. The deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo is an open-back banjo, and weighs just 4lbs.
With a slender, low-profile neck, this banjo is easy to finger and also comfortable, convenient for small and large hands. The precise and accurate fret work guarantees correct intonation over the whole fingerboard. The string height on this banjo can be adjusted by easily moving the single coordinator rod in the pot and this adjusts the play-ability effectively so that the strings are close to the fingerboard and thus making it easy to press down.
#2. Deering Goodtime 2
This low priced high quality banjo is slightly different from the deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo. It features sealed geared tuners, adjustable tailpiece, and slender rock maple neck. Other features include Three-ply maple rim and Single Bound Maple Resonator. More projection of sound is provided by a resonator back in the Goodtime 2.
The Deering Goodtime 2 5-String Banjo is made in the United States of America with the same tooling used to make other top notch banjos. This is a fantastic banjo! It produces wonderful sounds with very crisp and warm tone. The banjo is perfectly constructed and it doesn’t require much pressure to fret the strings. It also has an extremely smooth neck.
Even without a truss rod in the neck and tone ring, the goodtime 2 still surprisingly sounds fairly bright and nice. It is a great banjo for beginners, plays well and is also easy to play. This will make a really good banjo investment. This perfectly hand crafted banjo is outstanding. Think of The Deering Goodtime 2 5-String Banjo as a friendly banjo and not just a beginner’s banjo. It’s a huge difference compared to the cheaply made one.
#1. Martin Smith BJ-001 5
This high quality banjo was designed and constructed of the finest materials. The fingerboard is made of rosewood and the sides and back are made of high-gloss mahogany, while the bridge is made with maple. This well-crafted instrument features a 5th Peg Tuning, a Remo Banjo Head that guarantees a premium-grade sound at a reasonable price.
Other features are the Remo Skin Head, High Gloss Mahogany Back and Sides and a two way truss rod. It also includes a Padded Gig Bag that will keep your banjo safe from dings and bumps. This banjo is good for practicing at home, but then you can as well decide to take it on the road.
For any musical fanatic, The Martin Smith 5 String Banjo is an ideal addition. Of the banjo family, this one is the closest to the guitar and can be tuned like the guitar thus making it easy for a guitarist to switch to the banjo. It functions and is tuned like a guitar and sounds like a banjo. The instrument produces an authentic twang and the fretboard functions adequately. It also has a nice feel to it and has a decent heft. Although the picking technique might be the hardest part of playing this instrument, it is still a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience.