If you’re in a hurry and don’t have the time to go through all the reviews and buying advice compiled by our researchers but you do want to find the best banjos money can buy, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know. We’ve gathered a lot of info regarding the best banjos that currently exist out there, and doing so, we’ve looked at the owner feedback, the sales figures, as well as the value offered for the price. What’s more, the overall brand quality as well as the social media activity gathered around all these units were two other factors we have considered during our research. Out of all the products we’ve looked at, the Jameson Guitars 5-String Banjo 24-Bracket is the best because it speaks to the needs of rookies and advanced players and takes the cake when it comes to durability and build quality. This model might just as well be the best 5 string banjo, especially if we were to judge by the amount of appreciation it has gathered ever since it was released on the market. If the Jameson Guitars alternative is out of stock, we recommend checking out the Washburn 5 String banjo as we have found it to be the second best option.
If you have always wanted to learn how to play the banjo but have always felt a little baffled as to which one you should buy in the first place, we’re here to give you a helping hand. The market’s overflowing with choices, so sometimes it’s a good idea to read as much info as your time allows you to. Make sure to correlate your needs and requirements with the features of the banjo, and if you have friends or acquaintances who are well-versed in the art of mastering a banjo, be sure to talk to them and ask for their opinion in the matter. Have a look at the short guide we’ve put together.
Whether you know the terminology for all the parts in a banjo or not, the bottom line is that you need to choose a type before anything. Generally, there are three types of banjos out there: four-string, five-string and some few six-string alternatives. The four-string and five-string options are considerably more popular compared to their six-string counterparts, although popularity might not matter that much when purchasing your first model.
For instance, banjos with five strings are typically used if you want to play bluegrass music. The main advantage of choosing this type over the other two is that it comes with a resonator plate that makes it possible for the sound to be a tad more aggressive than the one you might experience when playing a four-string model. Five-string options can be split into three types: clawhammer, classical, and folk. While the first is somewhat limited compared to the last two as it does not have a resonator plate and can thus be used when playing folk music, the folk and classical five-string banjos can be used both with and without a resonator plate, depending on what you’re aiming for.
When being in the market for a four-string alternative, you might soon come to the conclusion that there are just two options you have on your hands. You can either choose a tenor or an Irish tenor banjo. Six-string alternatives may look like something out-of-the-box, considering that they rely on the design of typical five-string options but may sound like a guitar, as they can be utilized to hit Gs and Fs. On this account, the best 6 string banjo is somewhat more versatile and convenient, as it can almost be used as a regular guitar.
If you have the opportunity to go to a shop and actually test out some models, there’s a set of a few simple tips you can use to assess the quality of your preferred banjo. Press down on every string and determine whether or not doing so allows them to make contact with the frets without damaging your fingers. Try each of the banjo strings by strumming and plucking them and listen to the clarity of the sound. Are there any rattles or buzzes you’re bothered of? Products that come with a tone ring are traditionally thought of as being of a higher quality than models that don’t feature a tone ring.
Construction and materials
Banjos are made of a lot of parts, and sometimes it’s difficult to understand them all. Because we’re committed to helping prospective buyers, including banjo players, we’ve decided to take the hassle out of their research and make a short list of construction and materials tips. Ebony seems to be the preferred material in high-quality banjos, but maple is considered to be almost just as good. The neck and fingerboard can be made of the previously mentioned two types of wood. The nut of a banjo can be made of hard plastic, bone, or wood. The rim can be constructed using various types of wood, including maple, as it is usually made of many plies. While the bridge is made of wood, we’ve seen that many players nowadays prefer mylar heads, as these give them a lot of freedom in terms of weather and humidity and allow them to use their instruments even when it’s raining.
Some of the most affordable units can even be purchased for sale and can, therefore, cost as little as one hundred dollars. Don’t expect too much from these inexpensive alternatives, though, as a high-end banjo can cost as much as five thousand dollars. Whatever your budget, sometimes it’s better to pick a product manufactured by a well-known company such as Jameson Guitars or Washburn, as their customer support seems to be esteemed by many buyers. These are two banjo brands for beginners.
Top Banjos in 2019
Good old traditional music always lightens the atmosphere and enhances a positive mood to everyone, making them forget even if just for a while about the day to day cares. The banjo is a string musical instrument deeply rooted in the American traditions and if you`d like to play it and you don`t have one yet looking at the best banjo reviews will surely help you get a high quality model. Here are the 5 most realiable banjos you can purchase at this point.
The Jameson Guitars 5 string banjo has everything anyone can possibly want from one. Because it has such a high quality it is great for beginners and excellent for more experienced players as well. Another thing which amazes for this banjo is its fantastically low price, which sweeps away the competition. Every material that goes into its construction is of high quality, making it durable and probably one of the best banjos in 2019.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($154.95)
There are a lot of different musical instruments out there but nothing sounds quite so american as the banjo. The best banjo reviews recommend getting the Washburn B9 5 string model because it has well balanced features and these will help you play at your best level songs from the great American folclor. The projection and the tone of this banjo is flawless and even the most picky professional will admire its sound quality. Even if your are an entry level player this banjo is great for learning as well.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($282.64)
Deering Goodtime 5-String
While it might not be the most affordable model we’ve come across during our research, this Deering banjo is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a high-quality option. This model has it all, from a low-profile 22-fret rock maple neck to a maple/ebony bridge with an adjustable tailpiece. The 3-ply maple rim is another factor to consider when prospecting this model. The tones are well-balanced, all thanks to the birch/maple pot. Made in the United States with some of the best materials, the Deering Goodtime has gathered the appreciation of more than 50 people who think that it deserves a 5-star rating.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($489)
Professionals are playing all over the country with the Oscar Schmidt OB5 5-string banjo. It is so widely used because it is so well made and the projection it has is among the best in the business. While other banjos have 18 or 24 bracket tone rings this one has 30 made from quality aluminum. Also the design it has is made for the stage, looking stunning and well polished, having even a gloss finish. These are only a few of its excellent features which make the top banjo reviews recommend it.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($179)
A banjo is a very easy instrument to play and if you want to start learning playing one than many musicians suggest starting with the Rogue Learn Starter Pack banjo. It has the traditional banjo design and even has a satin finish to improve the design. With it you will also receive a DVD with the 1st lessons in learning how to play the banjo. The steps are easy to follow and in no time you will be able to play simple songs on your new banjo.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
If you are a more experienced player and you like playing the banjo you will love this 6 string one from Jameson Guitar. The peculiar thing about it is that it sounds 100% like a banjo but it is played like a guitar because it has 6 strings and 24 brackets. So if you know how to play a guitar it won’t take you long to adjust to the smaller banjo. The wooden parts are made from maple that is in combination with different metals which give it the overall high quality in sound and most importantly it gives it durability.
Click to see the price on Amazon!