Best Tenor Banjo: Buyers Guide + 8 Reviews!

Best Tenor Banjo


There are many many types of banjos, tenors are the perfect selection for anyone seeking to begin playing an instrument without previous expertise, which is why they’re additionally superb for newbies.

They’re short in size with slender necks, so extremely comfy and easy to play. Their 4 strings additionally imply that these instruments are simpler to master than say, a six-string acoustic guitar which is tougher to get your head around.

The most effective tenor banjos include either 17 or 19 frets, that are used to play Celtic folks’ music, jazz, and standard music as a feature of a band.

We just want to let you know that we’ll list these best tenor banjo reviews 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 8 Best Tenor Banjos for 2023:

1. Gold Tone CC-Irish Tenor Cripple Creek Tenor Banjo

Gold Tone‘s most reasonably priced Irish tenor banjo, the Cripple Creek seventeen-fret tenor banjo gives professional high quality at a discount value for the beginning player. The CC-IT can be excellent for the extra experienced player that wants a second instrument.

All players will love the quick, clean neck, the prime quality elements, the resonator back, and the incisive, genuine tone. Accessible as a left-handed model as well.

This 17-fret Irish banjo really sings while featuring a maple rim, neck, and resonator. These banjos are moreover set with low string movement that assists newbies with playing the instrument.

The maple headstock, brass tone ring, and darkish binding on the neck together with the resonator make this one among the best-looking tenor banjos. The resonator is likewise detachable, providing you the choice to play this instrument open-backed if you need it.

Gold Tone CC-Irish Tenor Cripple Creek Tenor Banjo

2. Deering Goodtime 2 19-Fret Tenor Banjo

All wooden, rim, and resonator it is a nice tenor for learning to play jazz, be it Dixieland or Traditional jazz because this banjo is gentle weight and never as loud as a costlier banjo so it is easy on the ears of family members.

It has a really nice tone that actually is vibrant without being overbearing. Only weighing in at 5 lbs, this cute little banjo is nice for touring, camping, taking to the seaside, and simply having fun.

Tuned in fifths like a mandolin or violin, it’s a simple transition to banjo and an awesome change of tempo for the mandolin or violin player. It has a durable end overlaying all of the wood elements to protect it.

Even once you step up to an extra professional banjo, this little Goodtime tenor shall be an awesome companion for fun and rest.

Gold Tone CC-Irish Tenor Cripple Creek Tenor Banjo T

3. Rover RB-35T Tenor Resonator 4 String Banjo

The RB-35T tenor resonator banjo has all of the features you’ve been on the lookout for. Standard specs include a forged aluminum rim for improved tone and volume, to a heavy-duty grooved brass rigidity hoop.

The Rover RB-35T Tenor banjo is a moderately-priced instrument that far outstrips anything in its field. All of the skilled features you need can be found to you at a worth that may shock and delight you.

Principal factors of excellence embody the aluminum rim with a built-in bracket band, the slim, professional neck, and the superbly arched and completed resonator.

The polished mahogany and gleaming nickel-plated elements make an ideal picture, and the tone will please even the most exacting artist. Try this banjo, and you may know what we imply when we say it is a good banjo for newcomers!

Rover RB-35T Tenor Resonator 4 String Banjo

4. Trinity River TRTB1 4-String Tenor Banjo

The Trinity River TRTB1 4-String Tenor Banjo is right for players of all ability ranges. It has 18 brackets and 19 frets for an optimized playing efficiency. This banjo additionally has a Remo head, a nato resonator, and open tuners for richer, fuller sound.

A high-gloss finish and white binding on the body and neck give it a standard, but fashionable look. It features a padded, zippered gig bag, so you possibly can safely and simply carry it between locations. Maintain this 4-string banjo in tune with the included wrench, and use the truss rod wrench to make changes to the neck.

This instrument will help you develop your playing approach whether or not you’re a skilled or newbie player. The coated, plastic Remo head provides a bit of additional depth to your tone.

This is a superb alternative if you’re simply beginning out learning the banjo and also you’re in a good price range. Whereas it’s true the tone doesn’t equally match the higher-end products, for the cash, it’s fairly decent.

Trinity River TRTB1 4-String Tenor Banjo

5. Gold Tone CC-Tenor Cripple Creek Tenor Banjo

One other sensational alternative from the Cripple Creek setup of banjos from Gold Tone is the pick for the perfect 4-string banjo within the tenor options.

Gold Tone’s most inexpensive tenor banjo, the Cripple Creek seventeen-fret Irish Tenor banjo offers professional high quality at a discount value for the beginning player.

The maple neck, rim, and resonator could be found on this instrument with a darkish binding that really stands out in front of the viewers.

Much like the plectrum variant of this, the manufacturing line in Florida strings these banjos with a low activity, which is ideally fitted to beginner players.

The CC-IT can be excellent for the extra experienced player that wants a new banjo. All players will love the quick, easy neck, the high-quality elements, the resonator back, and the incisive, genuine tone.

Gold Tone CC-Tenor Cripple Creek Tenor Banjo

6. Deering Goodtime 17-Fret Tenor Banjo

The Deering Goodtime model is considered maybe the most effective model in the US. Their 17-fret tenor banjo sound satisfies its standing. It includes a slim neck and its 17-fret configuration retains issues easy for newbie banjo players.

This American-made tenor banjo has some good options typically present in costly banjos. The three-ply maple rim edge and maple neck joined with the maple resonator give this instrument a good-looking, clear tone and eminent string-to-string note division.

The slim 4-string banjo neck provides wonderful playability and the all-geared tuning machines make tenor banjo tuning a breeze.

The Deering Goodtime 17-Fret Tenor Banjo is a good alternative for any participant hoping to play Irish/Celtic music, Dixieland jazz, or folk music. For skilled players, the standard of this banjo will preserve their content for fairly some time.

Deering Goodtime 17-Fret Tenor Banjo

7. Rover RB-20T Resonator Tenor Banjo

Rover RB-20T is our alternative for being the right Irish banjo and is meant to make Irish music alive.

The features that make the Rover banjo wonderful are, the standard 11-inch composite rim, it is thin and its comfy mahogany neck had a versatile truss rod, this tenor banjo consists of the East Indian Rosewood fingerboard with M.O.P dot markers with white binding. It comes with 24 brackets, guitar-style tuners with 14:1 radio gear, and a P-101 deluxe Vega-type armrest.

This Rover RB 20T arrives in a paddle-shaped peghead, normal 26-inch scale size notched brass tension hoop with nickel plating. Also, P-115 no-knot rear ends, vintage-style white-bound mahogany resonator with nickel-plated 2-piece spines.

If we go into an extra detail of this banjo is the tenor banjo: players of the four-string tenor banjo have a few choices that show to be useful.

The short neck permits it to play successfully and the resonator helps in the creation of the volume of the perfect choice. In comparison with the standard banjos, the lightweight composite rim is beneficial within the superior improvements.

Rover RB-20T Resonator Tenor Banjo T

8. Recording King RKT-05 Dirty Thirties Tenor Banjo

The RTK-05 is designed to play Celtic and folk types of music and pulls it off fairly nicely, because of the tonewoods. The neck and rim are each constituted of high-quality maple, which produces that brilliant twang you’d anticipate from a folks banjo.

However, curiously, they’ve additionally included a rosewood fretboard, so that you get a pleasant touch of warmth alongside all these brilliant highs.

The neck itself additionally comprises an adjustable truss rod, so that you’ll have the ability to regulate this thing to the precise tension you want.

The RTK-05 comes tuned CGDA which additionally works really well in Celtic styles of playing and encompasses a Remo fiber skinhead, for a sound as near animal hide as you can get.

Fiberskyn heads sound actually warm and full, and work nicely when used with claw hammer styles of playing. Simply keep in mind, that they’re barely quieter than plastic variations, so in case you want something loud, this might not be the right banjo for you.

In terms of playability, the neck here is good and thin, so even if you’re petite, you shouldn’t have any problem playing it. This is a 19-fret banjo, marked by black dot inlays.

Recording King RKT-05 Dirty Thirties Tenor Banjo

How to Separate a Standard from Tenor Banjo?

Tenor banjos are four strings banjos with shorter necks and are available in two varieties, and they’re the 17 frets and the 19 frets. The title “tenor” steers away from a lower pitch, for instance, a vocalist who’s a tenor or a tenor saxophone.

Nobody is aware of where the title tenor came from, nevertheless, many trusts it was a mix-up in history as these sorts of banjos have been performed through the American tango craze of the early 20th century and have been commonly referred to as tango banjos. Later tango grew to become tenor somewhere down the road.

Tenor banjos are used for conventional jazz or Irish music. They’re often performed with a flat pick. In conventional jazz, usually, you play the banjo and in Irish music, you might be really playing single-note tunes.

Setup the Banjo Up

Before you purchase any old tenor banjo, ensure you test the product description specifics, as some extra affordable choices don’t come ready to play. For instance, usually, the bridge isn’t set up, and the strings are not going to be in place or tuned.

So, beginners might battle to get all the things up and operating and will even damage the instrument trying to set all the things up.

Even if you happen to do manage, chances are high the action won’t be precisely the way you like it, which suggests the strings might really feel uncomfortable to play, and the instrument’s intonation could also be incorrect.

However don’t fear, that is all fine because you possibly can all the time ask a music store to set it up for you – bear in mind it’ll cost you, so factor in the additional chunk of money once you make the purchase.

best tenor banjo

Tuning a Tenor Banjo

What makes tenor banjos significantly interesting is that they’re traditionally tuned within the musical interval of fifths. This is similar to the string family in an orchestra – violins, violas, and cellos (besides the bass).

There are two widespread methods to tune them – each using fifths.

  • Standard Tenor Tuning – C, G, D, A – same as viola and cello (cello is an octave decrease).
  • Irish Tenor Tuning – G, D, A, E – same as violin or mandolin.

A 3rd option to tune the tenor banjo that’s well-liked amongst guitar players is to tune it in what is named Chicago tuning. This tuning is similar to the first 4 strings of a guitar – D, G, B, E.


So the tenor banjos are used to play various styles of music and are really easy to master since they are 4-string banjos when in comparison to a 5-string banjo. The scale length of the neck and fretboard is fitted for new players and they will find it simple to grip it.

If you are up for traditional Celtic music, then you should take up these usually played musical instruments to get the appropriate sound for this type of popular music. That will provide a means to the styles of music.

We believe that we provided enough details on this quality instrument for you to make an order straight away and get your banjo. In case you have any questions about our topic here, please let us know in the comment section.


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