If you’re looking to learn a new musical instrument, the banjo is an excellent choice. Its unique sound and versatility have made it a popular choice in various genres. Including country, folk, and bluegrass.
However, as a beginner, it can be daunting to navigate the vast array of banjos on the market. Fear not, as we have compiled a list of the 12 best banjos for beginners in 2023.
In this article, we will provide you with all the information that you need to make an informed decision. Our list includes best banjos for beginners that are affordable and recommended for starters. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Banjo for Beginners
If you’re a beginner looking to buy a banjo, there are a lot of things to check. Here is a detailed explanation of each of these factors:
Price Range (How Much Is a Banjo)
The price of a banjo can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. As a beginner, it’s important to find a banjo that suits your budget.
Keep in mind that the more expensive banjos tend to be of higher quality. But you can still find a decent beginner banjo at a reasonable price. It’s essential to find the cost of a banjo that justifies the price.
Types of Banjos
There are different types of banjos, including open-back, resonator, and electric banjos. Each type has its unique sound and purpose, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your needs.
Open-back banjos are typically used for folk and old-time music. While resonator banjos are commonly used in bluegrass music. Electric banjos are more versatile and can be used in various genres.
Brand Reputation and Customer Reviews
It’s important to choose a banjo from a reputable brand with positive reviews. Research the brand before making your purchase. This helps to ensure that you’re buying a quality instrument that is likely to last and perform well.
Check customer reviews to see what others are saying about the brand and their banjos.
Size and Weight of the Banjo
Banjos come in different sizes, from smaller models to larger models. Consider the size and weight of the banjo, as well as the length of the neck, to ensure that it’s comfortable to play.
It’s essential to choose a banjo that fits your body size and playing style.
Additional Accessories Included
When shopping for a banjo, consider whether it comes with any extra accessories, such as a case, or picks.
These accessories can add value and convenience to your purchase. A case can protect your banjo during transportation. While a strap can help you play comfortably for longer periods.
12 Best Banjo for Beginners in 2023
Banjo is a popular musical instrument that has been around for centuries. It has a unique sound and is often used in folk, bluegrass, and country music.
If you’re a beginner looking to learn the banjo, it can be tough to choose the right one. With so many options available, it’s important to find a banjo that suits your needs and budget. Let’s take a look at the 12 best options that you can consider.
ADM 5 String Full Size Banjo Guitar Kit – Best 5 String Banjo for Beginners
The ADM 5 String Full Size Banjo Guitar Kit is an excellent choice for beginner banjo players. Especially if you want a complete package that includes all the necessary accessories.
The kit comes with a black walnut fingerboard and bridge, sapele sides and back. Followed by a high-quality REMO drum head. The overall build quality is excellent, and the sound produced is sweet and clear.
One notable feature of this banjo is the geared 5th tuner. Which is an upgrade over the common friction tuner found in most beginner banjos.
This tuner provides excellent tuning and playability. Thus, making it perfect for country, folk, bluegrass, and even some modern rock.
The ADM Banjo also comes with a thicker bag for better protection during transport. Hence, making it ideal for traveling, camping, hiking, going to the beach, etc.
The kit includes a digital tuner, strap, strings, picks, a hanger, and a cleaning cloth. This makes it a cheap package with all the necessary accessories for beginners.
Vangoa 5 String Banjo 26 Inch – Beginner 5 String Banjo
The Vangoa 5 String Banjo 26 Inch is a perfect choice for those looking for a compact and portable banjo. It is perfect for music trips and is lightweight. That is why it is easy to take to parties, classes, or even camping trips.
The superior mahogany body of the banjo produces a solid and warm tone. This is further enhanced by the quality of Alice steel strings that deliver a punchy sound.
This cool banjo has 12 durable chrome-plated brackets that ensure even head panel tension. Hence, resulting in a fusion of melodious percussion timbres.
Additionally, the 3mm action at the 12th fret is comfortable to press down. And adjusting the truss rod can better balance the tension caused by strings.
Vangoa 6 String Banjo Guitar – Good Banjo for Beginners
The Vangoa 6-String Banjo Guitar is a versatile and affordable instrument. It is perfect for both beginners and intermediate players.
The quality sapele wood and varnish finish gives it a beautiful look. The sound it produces is warm and soft with a punchy and bright edge from the 6 steel strings.
The chrome-plated sealed pegs are easy to adjust and durable, making them anti-dust. This tenor banjo guitar is portable with 20 frets, making it lightweight for long practice sessions and easy to take with you anywhere.
The open-back and resonator are convertible, allowing you to adjust the sound to your liking. The adjustable neck with the truss rod compensates for tension in the strings, weather changes, fret wear, and different playing styles, providing optimal playability and comfort.
The beginner kit that comes with it includes strings, a strap, a wrench, picks, a tuner, and a carrying bag, making it an economical choice for those just starting or looking to upgrade their instrument. With a 1-year warranty and fast-respond service, you can buy this banjo guitar with confidence.
The MIRIO 5 String Banjo is a premium quality instrument with a traditional style that is perfect for country, folk, bluegrass, and even some modern rock. It is made with a mahogany neck, back, and side, plus a rosewood fingerboard and Maple Wood bridge.
The rich wood and high-gloss finish are accented with white jade machine head tuner key pegs and chrome-plated hardware, giving it an elegant appearance.
The Superior Remo Banjo Head produces all the classic tones of a traditional 5 string banjo, making it perfect for a variety of musical genres. The 24 Adjustable Brackets and Geared 5th Tuner make tuning and playability easy and precise.
These premium features are usually found only on more expensive banjos, making this an excellent value for the price.
The Classic Traditional Style is modeled after the innovative models of the early 20th century, making it a true player that exudes undeniable charm.
Donner Banjolele 4 String – Best Budget Banjo
The Donner Banjolele is a unique combination of banjo and ukulele, making it a fun and versatile instrument to play. With a body made of sapele and a fretted ukulele neck, the instrument produces a mellow and soft sound that is perfect for a variety of musical styles.
The Remo drumhead adds to the resonator banjo’s warm and full tone, while the use of finger plates inlaid with muscovite helps beginners quickly find the appropriate position on the fretboard.
This cheap banjo comes with all the necessary accessories, including banjo picks, a gig bag, a tuner, a ruler, and a truss rod, making it a great option for beginner players or anyone looking to add a unique instrument to their collection.
Kmise, 5-String, Professional Beginner Banjo Set – Best Starter Banjo
The Kmise 5-String Professional Beginner Banjo Set is a full-size banjo with a sapele top and back, a polished finish, and a high-quality drumhead that produces a pleasant sound.
The banjo has a removable lacquered back cover, which opens up to provide a cleaner sound and a resonator that makes the sound fuller. The banjo also has a chrome-installed armrest for comfortable playing.
The neck is made of okoume wood, while the back is made of sapele wood, which combines to produce a distinct tone and a great look.
This banjo set comes with a padded nylon gig bag that provides security and allows you to take your banjo with you on trips. The set also includes a banjo shoulder strap, extra strings, a digital clip-on tuner, a polishing cloth, an allen wrench to adjust the truss rod if needed, and quality metal finger picks.
AKLOT 5 String Banjos – Good Beginner Banjo
The Donner Banjolele 4 String is a hybrid instrument that combines the distinctive sound of a banjo with the tuning and playing style of a ukulele. It is a great option for those who want a compact and versatile instrument.
The Kmise 5-String Banjo is a polished and professional-looking instrument with a high-quality drumhead and a removable back cover.
The AKLOT 5 String Banjo is made entirely of maple wood, with a tiger maple wood head, and features adjustable brackets and a 2-way truss rod for ultimate sound control. All of these options come with accessories and are suitable for both beginners and professionals.
The Mulucky 5 String Banjo is a great choice for anyone looking for a versatile and high-quality instrument. Made with top and back material of Mahogany and Alloy Steel strings, it offers a warm and retro tone, delicate and transparent, with moderate overtones. The Remo head, secured with 24 chrome-plated brackets, provides even head panel tension to produce melodious percussion timbres by gently beating on the head.
This 5-string banjo features a traditional style with a guitar-style headstock and neck combined with a tambourine-shaped body, making it suitable for any style of play, from mellow country tunes to bluegrass, clawhammer-style, and even rock. The adjustable bracket allows for customization of the sound, and the geared 5th string tuner provides more accurate tuning and less slippage than the common friction tuner.
Additionally, the adjustable truss rod allows for easy adjustment of the neck to ensure it remains straight.
The Mulucky Banjo Kit includes a full-size banjo, spare strings set, tuner, tuning wrench, fingerpick, strap, cleaning cloth, gig bag, and ruler. As a professional banjo supplier, Mulucky provides top-notch customer service and support.
PYLE-PRO 5-String Geared Tunable Banjo
The PYLE-PRO 5-String Geared Tunable Banjo is a beautifully crafted instrument with a rich wood finish and high-gloss white accents.
Its mahogany neck, back, and sides, along with its rosewood fingerboard and Maple Wood bridge, produce fabulous tones perfect for country, folk, bluegrass, and even some modern rock music. The banjo’s design ensures that it sounds as good as it looks.
One of the standout features of this banjo is its geared 5th tuner, a premium feature that is typically found only on more expensive banjos. This upgrade over the common friction tuner makes it important for both tuning and playability. Additionally, the lightweight and full-scale design make it ideal for traveling, camping, hiking, and taking to the beach.
The Costzon 5-String Banjo is a solid and durable instrument made with high-quality materials. Its panel is made of wood, while the back and sides are made of Sapele wood, and the fingerboard is made of Ma Qiao Rosewood. This ensures that the banjo is resistant to corrosion and has a long service time.
The banjo features an additional 5th geared tuner side peg which is an important upgrade over the common friction tuner, and it brings classic tones perfect for country, folk, bluegrass, and even some modern rock. The 24 adjustable brackets around the drum can be adjusted to meet the design requirements and produce the desired sound.
The mid-range closed handle is suitable for various ranges of people to hold and control, while the steel wire strings are solid but flexible to pluck, contributing to long service time and easy operation.
The banjo comes with a digital tuner with a button cell to precisely adjust the sound level, making it ideal for beginners and kids. The strap and carrying bag make it easy to take the banjo along with you while protecting it from corrosion and scratch.
The Mulucky Banjolele is a great option for anyone looking for a portable, lightweight instrument that delivers bright and punchy sound. With a 23-inch size and Sapele xylophone body, it’s perfect for traveling to parties, courses, and other events.
The polyester drumskin provides great elasticity, while the premium Aquila strings from Italy and high-quality closed-gear tuner ensure well-tuned and well-kept sounds. The 3mm motion at the 12th fret is comfortable to play, and the truss rod allows for easy adjustment of the string height to meet different needs.
The anti-corrosion chrome-plated pegs and 15:1 transmission ratio ensure durability and pitch. The manufacturer provides a full refund or replacement if you are not satisfied with the product.
The Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo is an impressive instrument that any musician would be proud to own. This multicolored banjo is a manual operation instrument with a satin finish that makes it stand out from other banjos.
The low-profile, 22-fret rock maple neck with hardwood bow tie inlays is comfortable to play and makes it easy to move around the fretboard. The sealed, geared tuning machines, including the fifth string, allow for easy tuning and keep the banjo in tune for longer periods of time.
The 5/8-inch maple/ebony Goodtime bridge with adjustable Deering tailpiece produces a bright and clear sound that is perfect for a variety of music genres. The three-ply, 11-inch maple rim with steel tension hoop and high crown head adds to the overall durability and sound quality of this banjo.
With a six-year warranty, the Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo is an investment in both quality and longevity. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, this banjo is sure to impress.
In short, learning to play Banjo can be a fun and rewarding experience for beginners. With so many great options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right Banjo.
But, our list of the 12 best banjos for beginners provides users with a diverse range of options. This list makes sure to suit different budgets, playing styles, and preferences.
We hope that you enjoyed reading this post, let us know in the comments if you have any queries.
Frequently Asked Questions
What style of the banjo is easiest to learn?
For beginners, it is recommended to start with a 5-string banjo that is commonly used in bluegrass and folk music. The open-back or resonator-style banjos are also good options as they are easier to play and require less pressure to fret the strings.
What size banjo is best for beginners?
A 24-26 inch banjo is the most common size for beginners. A smaller-sized banjo such as a soprano or concert banjo can be a good choice for younger players or those with smaller hands.
What is the best type of banjo to learn on?
The best type of banjo for beginners to learn is the 5-string banjo, which is commonly used in bluegrass and folk music. Open-back or resonator-style banjos are also good options for beginners.
Is 4 or 5-string banjo easier?
The 4-string banjo, also known as the tenor banjo, is typically used in jazz and traditional Irish music, while the 5-string banjo is used in bluegrass and folk music. Both types of banjos can be easy or difficult to learn depending on the individual’s experience and playing style.
What’s better 4 or 5 string banjo?
The choice between a 4 or 5-string banjo depends on the individual’s personal preference and the style of music they want to play. The 5-string banjo is more commonly used in bluegrass and folk music, while the 4-string banjo is used in jazz and traditional Irish music.
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Marko is a passionate composer, producer, and multimedia artist with a Master of Music degree. His career involves performing, creating, and producing his own music in his home studio using digital and analogue equipment. Marko is a multi-instrumentalist (he plays guitar, bass, piano, theremin, and other instruments). performs live acts and DJ sets, and works on feature and short films, documentaries, festivals, theaters, and government initiatives.