Best Banjo for Beginners: Ultimate Buyers Guide on 10 Models!

Best Banjo for Beginners


Many individuals consider the 5-string banjo to be the best beginner banjo because it is pretty easy to play, nevertheless, there’s nothing wrong with buying a 6-string or a 4-string banjo as your first instrument.

It might appear troublesome to decide on a banjo for beginners if you are simply starting out. There are lots of banjo brands out with varied sorts of banjos to select from so it may well seem inconvenient at first.

Fortunately, the very best banjos for beginners, more often than not, could be found at affordable prices, but when buying a banjo, you’d require some basic information concerning the instrument and make sure you know what your necessities are in an effort to get the very best banjo playing expertise possible as a beginner.

Taking the step from wanting to learn the banjo to purchasing your own is a giant step. It may be hard to determine which is finest for you to begin off with. So we are going to make beginner banjo reviews to help you out!

Whereas shopping for a harmonica or cajon won’t break your budget, a banjo for beginners can get costly, so you wish to be certain that you’re not shopping for something with features built for professional players that you’ll have hassle learning.

Whereas many wish to learn this old instrument, it’s not very simple to search out the right banjo for a beginner. So, in this article, we’ll have a look at the very best banjos that beginners can go for as they put together themselves to walk on the melodious journey of country music.

We just want to let you know that we’ll list these best banjo for beginners in no particular order. They’ll be randomized as we don’t wish to sort them from best to worst.

Listed below are our Top 10 Best Banjo for Beginners for 2023:

1. Kmise 5 String Open Back Banjo

The Kmise banjo is a good instrument for individuals who have to experiment with their types of play. Remember that this instrument was constructed for grownup hands, so youngsters or players with smaller arms might have some trouble utilizing the banjo.

Nonetheless, it’s lightweight so when you can grow to be accustomed to the dimensions, it turns into simple to hold and play with.

The Kmise 5 String Resonator Banjo is a good banjo for beginners and intermediate players. It has a high-quality sound that won’t disappoint!

This banjo is made with all wood, together with the resonator, which supplies it with a classic look. The strings are high-quality steel and they’re simple to tune.

Among the finest things about this banjo is that you would be able to play it with or without amplification because it has an open again design.

This banjo comes with the flexibility to play as a conventional banjo or with its open-back design. It’s fabricated from all wood and high-quality materials, however more importantly it sounds high-quality!

This instrument additionally is available in various sizes to satisfy your needs, so you should definitely check them out!

Kmise 5 String Open Back Banjo

2. Ibanez B50 5-String Banjo Natural

In case you’re in search of a banjo that’s inexpensive and from a well-known model, the Ibanez B50 is a superb choice. This 5-string banjo comes with a 24-lug config.

The body model has a mahogany neck and body. It’s made of sturdy and high-quality materials so it’s nice for day-by-day utilization. The B50’s color appears to be like utterly natural and the gloss finishing makes it look enticing.

Although it’s an entry-level open-back banjo, The B50 is cherished by numerous professional and many beginner banjo players. It presents trouble-free playing expertise and is good for beginners.

Aside from some minor issues like the common sound high quality and quality control points, this banjo will last you a very long time because of its sturdiness. It’s also hard to search out an open-back banjo because the Ibanez B50 is under $300.

The Ibanez B50 is likely one of the greatest options for beginners seeking a banjo. It has a great look and a delicate coating. It might produce tones as good as the top-tier models, which is an uncommon feature at this value range.

 Ibanez B50 5-String Banjo Natural

3. Donner Banjo Full Size 5 String Banjo

The Donner banjo is a superb instrument for beginners and skilled players alike. It has the basic sound of a banjo, with little or no effort needed to provide lovely music.

The standard of this instrument is top-notch so you won’t need to exchange it anytime soon. In case you are in search of a reasonable price point but a high-quality instrument that sounds nice, then the Donner 5-string Banjo should be on the top of your list!

The Donner 5-string banjo comes with varied equipment such as a gig bag, strap, and picks. It additionally has the all-important tuning pegs that help you quickly tune up your instrument with ease!

The sound of this banjo is unbelievable for beginner players who’re looking at getting their first style in music performance or playing solo. The banjos’ deep resonating tone will fill any room it’s performed within beautifully.

In contrast with different beginner banjos, Donner banjo with an action of 3mm on the 12th fret could be very snug for beginners to learn because players don’t have to press too hard with such a low action. Preset with a truss rod contained in the neck, players can modify the motion with the wrench as needed.

Smooth fretboard and neat fret wires additionally supply comfortable touch and protect palms from being scratched. Not only does it have all the pieces you need to study and play banjo, but it’s additionally priced so affordably that leaping in doesn’t require a giant investment.

Donner Banjo Full Size 5 String Banjo

4. Deering Goodtime 5-String Openback Banjo

Made in the south of California, the Deering Goodtime Banjo most likely needs no introduction in case you have been getting a banjo or know something about banjos for that matter.

If you’re a brand new player, it has become one of the vital standard brands and the company where it comes from; Goodtime is a good model since 1975.

The development of the Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo is expertly accomplished and the materials used are of nice high quality. For instance, it has a 3-ply pot constituted of grade maple that makes its tonal qualities so pleasing.

On the inside of the pot is a single coordinator rod that provides it with additional structural support. It may be adjusted to supply neck angle and control peak and this allows you to dial up the suitable setup for the playing type and preferences.

Additionally, the pot has a top head that’s held together by the pot’s rim with a low tension hoop. The hoop is held collectively by 16 flat-topped hooks that have brackets connected by screws. This hardware is robust and feels strong.

The Goodtime banjo’s bridge is made of two pieces of wood with an ebony top which makes it simple for the string to change. The string is changed by merely loosening the nut which is beneath the tailpiece which could be raised or lowered to alter the string tension that’s over the bridge.

Deering Goodtime 5-String Openback Banjo

5. Jameson Guitars 5-String Banjo

The Jameson 5-string banjo is surely the very best budget option banjo for beginners. It has stood the test of time and is beloved by newbies all over the world with hundreds of consumers. The worth is truthfully unbelievable for the standard and sound it produces. This is why we chose it.

The 5-string, 38-inch full-scale, closed-back banjo comes with a detachable mahogany resonator which is able to allow you to be extra versatile. In addition to a mahogany neck, maple bridge, rosewood fretboard, and geared 5th tuner you can’t go wrong for the worth. It additionally comes with a left-handed choice.

The Jameson 5-string permits you the very best of both worlds, like we stated before this banjo permits you to take off the resonator which lets you have a way more versatile playing model and permits you to play just about every kind of music.

The efficiency of the Jameson 5-string banjo is phenomenal contemplating its worth. You can be amazed by the standard of sound you may produce from this banjo.

It’s a lightweight banjo so it’s simple to hold. When you get the case, it is going to be simpler for you to travel anyplace you need with it. It has a classy and chic design.

Jameson Guitars 5-String Banjo

6. ADM 5-String Banjo Closed Back

The ADM 5-String Banjo is a superbly made price range banjo. This banjo comes with an optionally available resonator back and neck that encompasses a laminated three-ply mahogany neck and maple rim.

The tone quality of this banjo sets it aside from different models available on the market on account of its hybrid design which blends conventional Appalachian music with trendy bluegrass tones.

The ADM-5 string banjo is constructed with a slim neck that makes it simple for playing up and down the neck. Additionally, they have an adjustable truss rod which has a broad range of specs that match all of the needs of the player.

The banjo is particularly made to be durable and you might be sure to use it for a very long time to come. The ADM 5-string banjo has an attention-grabbing and good look because of the high-quality metal and wood finishings on its exterior.

It is additionally easy to play with because of its adjustable tailpiece with an armrest. It comes with a resonator and neck produced from 7-ply mahogany that allows the ADM 5-string banjo to supply an exquisite sound.

ADM 5-String Banjo Closed Back

7. Gold Tone CC-50 Cripple Creek Banjo

Entry-stage banjos should be designed for simple learning. The Cripple Creek CC-50 is simply that! The CC-50 model is the place the Gold Tone full-size banjo line begins.

This model is amongst Gold Tones’ top sellers as they’re particularly designed to play perfectly, sound nice, and be reasonably priced. The open-back CC-50 is good for “old-time” or folk-style banjo playing.

The hard maple neck and maple rim, guitar-style geared tuners, geared fifth-string tuning peg, single coordinator rod, straight-line tailpiece, rosewood fingerboard, and rolled brass tone ring mix to make a light-weight, all-wood instrument that is supreme for the student or for knowledgeable picker in need of a second banjo.

For newcomers, all banjo lovers advocate the Gold-Tone CC-50 for its ease of use and low finances. For the standard and ability to use, it ought to have attracted a lot greater value and that’s the reason it’s really helpful for newcomers who’re studying to play and use the banjo.

The company has gone on to fabricate different high-quality merchandise aside from the banjo equivalent to guitars, mandolins, bass, and the ukulele.

Gold Tone CC-50 Cripple Creek Banjo

8. Vangoa 5 String Banjo Beginner Full-Size Kit

A solid mahogany 5-string banjo with a tuner, strap, picks, an additional set of strings, and an additional pick-up, this banjo is available at around the same value at ADM, however with an added pick-up to provide it a touch more worth, too. However, how does it compare in terms of high quality or tone?

Mahogany’s a good materials selection, making an extra sturdy instrument not prone to warp over lengthy durations of use with a pleasant, shiny surface that makes it very comfy to carry and play, as well.

The detachable resonator can turn it into an open-back banjo at will, so if you wish to play songs outside of the bluegrass type, this is perhaps a key function for you.

If there are any points to bring up, one among them is the shortage of a beginner’s participant guide which is, once more, simply circumvented with the assistance of the internet.

It is, without doubt, one of the smaller banjos we’ve checked out as well, so bigger adults would possibly find it not fairly as comfortable as a few of the different options we’ll have in this guide.

Vangoa 5 String Banjo Beginner Full-Size Kit

9. Costzon 5-String Banjo

This five-stringed banjo is made by Costzon, but this brand also produces 6 string banjos as well. It has 24 brackets, and a geared 5th tuner is included. It’s 41.5 inches in measurement and the body is made from solid plywood. The panel of the banjo is made from wood and the back and sides are made from Sapele wood.

The fingerboard is also very sturdy and stable and is made from Maqiao Rosewood. The completely different woods that make up the construction of the banjo are all very prime quality and that offers them an extended lifespan.

The 24 brackets across the drum may be adjusted to provide the specified sound. Trendy tunes in addition to rock, country, folk music, and bluegrass may be performed on this versatile banjo.

The metal of the strings is also very sturdy, and the banjo contains a mid-range closed handle. This makes it appropriate for individuals of all sizes and heights to carry and play it with ease.

In case you did need to enhance the standard of the instrument, some individuals suggest changing the bridge; a cost-effective hack that will enhance the sound quality.

The package deal additionally features a tuner, strap, and gig bag. General, the banjo is very sturdy and cheap for freshmen wanting to purchase a banjo.

Costzon 5-String Banjo

10. Recording King RKT-05 Dirty Thirties Tenor Banjo

The Recording King Dirty 30s Tenor Banjo is for players wanting to add a standard tenor vibe to their sound, and it is the right crossover instrument for mandolin, violin, viola, and cello players.

The tenor banjo first got here to prominence in the early 1900s, and its C-G-D-A tuning is particularly effectively fitted to folk, Celtic, and Dixieland music.

The slim 19-fret neck makes playing simple, and the 23″ scale delivers the right mixture of consolation and crisp clarity. The open-back rim options 16 brackets holding down a REMO Fiberskyn head for the traditional period-correct tenor sound

The 11″ rim lacks a toning however the neck does have a truss rod and the headstock has geared, guitar-style pegs for simpler tuning.

The factory-installed head is a FiberSkyn, so as you’d anticipate the tone at the moment is basic and pretty mellow. We suspect that if an Elite/Renaissance head or frosted-top/back head was put in this factor could be much more chipper and shiny.

Recording King RKT-05 Dirty Thirties Tenor Banjo

Things to Think about When Buying a Banjo

Finding the very best banjo for a newbie isn’t easy. There may be always confusion if the instrument will go well with the learner or not. There are some elements that decide the standard of the banjo, and realizing these may be useful for a novice.

Listed below are the elements of which a beginner may be mindful while shopping for their first banjo.

Typically, the funds are the most important constraint for a beginner seeking to purchase an instrument. Whereas there will be many really low-cost choices accessible out there, it’s advisable to search for the minimal features and warranty that the vendor provides. Having mentioned that, it doesn’t imply that only greater brands manufacture good products.

When shopping for a banjo, the student should keep in mind the type of music they’re aiming to play. For instance, whereas any five-string banjo can accompany folks’ songs, for American retro and country music, an open-back five-string banjo is advisable.

So, having clarity about the kind of music she or he will play, is important. Equally, the client should also verify the weight and options of the banjo for playing it comfortably.

Which Kind Of Banjo Is Simpler for Beginners?

We’ve already mentioned the varieties of banjos. Each learner needs their very own time to be taught to play any instrument. There’s a delusion about banjos not being simple to play. However, that is fully wrong. Slightly, the five-stringed banjo is definitely considered by loads, as the simplest string instrument for newcomers. 

So, a five-string banjo is usually recommended as the best choice for a beginner. It’s the oldest sort of banjos, producing the basic nostalgic brighter tone that the newcomers normally search for. The construct of the five-string makes it essentially the most comfortable for playing in comparison with the opposite variants.

This kind of banjos is tuned higher than the opposite ones. It’s typically tuned at G, so even if you’re not holding any fret, it performs a G chord. To play the C chord, which is one other important fundamental chord, one needs to hold only one finger on the fifth fret. 

Equally, one other finger holding all of the strings in the seventh fret produces the D chord. These three chords are the foundation chords, and essentially the most important. Studying to play these, one can play the banjo along with many songs. 

As we are able to see, the five-string banjo makes it simpler to play for many who are not used to stringed instruments, or those that are learning to play banjos.

The five-string banjo can be performed in each three-finger and clawhammer type. The three-finger style is recognized to be simpler, but it completely relies on the person’s comfort degree. 

5-String vs 4-String

The very first thing you need to take into account is whether or not you wish to get the 5-string or the 4-string banjo.

For a big majority of people, the 5-string is the one which you’ll doubtless be interested in. The 5-string is the kind of banjo that’s usually heard in bluegrass, folks, nation, jazz, classical, and rock music.

4-string banjos, alternatively, are more typically used for Dixieland and Irish music

There are different choices for the variety of strings you will discover on a banjo. There may be the 6-string banjo, which performs like a guitar, the banjo ukulele, the banjo mandolin, and plenty of more interesting options.

Nevertheless, the 4-string and the 5-string banjo are probably the most generally used and also you’re in all probability looking for one or the other.

Open Back Banjos vs Closed-Back/Resonator

One other factor you must take into consideration is whether or not you’re in search of an open-back banjo or a banjo with a closed-back resonator. These are the most common types of banjos, but there are other different types as well.

The open-back banjo provides a bit less quantity than a closed-back banjo and is much more generally utilized in old-time music where a banjo needs to slot in a bit extra rather than rise above the noise.

Closed-back resonator banjos are a lot louder. The resonator is what permits the tone ring to play out loudly in a bluegrass band in addition to different varieties of music.

Left-Handed vs Right-Handed

Before shopping for a banjo you additionally must determine if you would like a left-handed or right-handed option. Banjos are arranged very differently relying on which of your hands is dominant.

Particularly with 5-string banjos, it’s completely essential that you simply get one that works along with your dominant hand.

best banjo for beginners

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much should you spend on a good banjo?

A: Since you’re a beginner, you must have a budget of $150-$300 if you’re not sure whether or not you’ll be keeping it for a very long time or not. Nevertheless, having funds around $300-$450 may also help you discover a mid-range banjo that has loads of features and is manufactured from top-notch materials.

Q: What is an efficient low-cost banjo?

A: The starter banjos are priced between $150 to $500. You can find good banjos just like the Pyle, Washburn, Ibanez, and many more at an affordable value.

For probably the most part, by spending extra you’ll be getting top-notch materials and a sturdy building however take into account that most banjos which can be nearly indistinguishable in construction to extra affordable instruments are priced loads higher due to how different they look.

Q: Should you purchase a used banjo?

A: It’s a good suggestion to buy a used banjo that has the elements modified for a greater experience. These modifications would cost you nearly the same as a brand new banjo, but it offers you the added time to sort out what your instrument needs whereas you determine how to play.

Vintage instruments can usually be found in music shops and pawn retailers. The right instrument can have a sound quality and an unimaginable classic look. Study the body of the instrument to see whether it is in a good condition and the pot isn’t dented or distorted, and the neck has only a delicate forward curve.

Q: How you can verify the quality of a banjo?

A: First, it’s important to verify the sound quality of the banjo by playing it. If it feels hard to place your fingers across the neck and reach over the fingerboard, it might not be made of fine quality materials.

Examine the strings to see if they’re easy to press. Generally, the design of the banjo can look shiny nevertheless it may not be produced of upper-quality materials. Most high-quality banjos have a thick neck so be sure to verify that out as well.

banjo for beginners

Conclusion on Best Banjo for Beginners

Well, here we listed our top 10 choices for best beginner banjos and we also provided reviews for them as a buying guide for new players. The banjo reviews are honest and we believe that will be helpful for you.

Best for beginners as we mentioned earlier will be a banjo with 4 strings, but if you are confident, you can play with any number of strings – so that will be up to you.

One of the best banjos for beginners is listed here, so any starter banjo that is mentioned will be good for you to start out. We also mentioned several steps that are making a great banjo and top pick instruments should all have these features.

So if you want to learn to play a stringed instrument, the banjo is best for people that like country or bluegrass music. If you are after a higher quality instrument, then you want a banjo of higher price and quality.

In case you have any questions in regards to our topic, please let us know in the comment section below!

Charles Steinhoff

Charles Steinhoff

Charles is here and I am guitar and ukulele enthusiast. Been playing these instruments for over 10 years now and I decided to share some of my knowledge and expertise with the world in terms of these stringed instruments and it's accessories.

Strings Kings
Strings Kings