The Best Starter Banjo for Beginners: Top Picks for 2023

One should know any instrument in life. Banjo is one of those options. Some banjos for beginners are suggested on the internet by experts. It has a thin membrane with fewer strings than a guitar. Let us discuss the best starter banjo and compare them in terms of price and quality.

Product
Features
Stag BJM30 4-String Bluegrass Banjo

Stag BJM30 4-String Bluegrass Banjo

Comfortable around neck
High gloss finish
Mahogany resonator
11” head
Kimise 5-String Resonator Banjo

Kimise 5-String Resonator Banjo

Comes with bag tuner strap
High quality drumhead
Installed armrest
Comes with extra string
Rouge Banjo

Rouge Banjo

Satin finish
18 brackets
High quality head
Ibanez B200 5-String Banjo

Ibanez B200 5-String Banjo

5-String
Pearl inlays
22 frets
Comes with an armrest
Washburn Americana B10

Washburn Americana B10

5-String
Authentic Remo head
22 fret
Tuners for smooth tunning
Pyle 5-String Banjo

Pyle 5-String Banjo

Primium quality of wood
Light weight
Can play classic tune
Upgraded 5th tuner

Best starter banjo Reviews

Factors To Look For Before Buying A Banjo

1] Wood: The wood that is used to make a banjo is essential. Do not go for the shine immediately. Maple wood has a natural brightness. You would not feel any type of coating if the wood used is of a maple tree. The wood of the walnut tree produces a warm sound.

2] Tone: Make sure you listen to the tune before you start playing. Have some references from an expert about the sound that a new banjo produces.

3] Easy To Hold: When you are shopping for a banjo, you should keep in mind that it is easy to hold around the neck area. It should not cause any irritation or else it would be unmanageable to play. Try it on before buying it as the best starter banjo.

4] Warranty: Look for a warranty period. As you are starting to learn, it is obvious that you will make mistakes. You might pull out any string while playing or the membrane can get torn. So there should be a warranty period for this best starter banjo.

5] Tuner: Check whether the shop or website is providing a tuner with the banjo or you have to buy it separately. If they are providing a tuner with the banjo, it is awesome. If not, you can buy it separately.

There are various types of banjos. There are 4-string, 5-string, 6-string, parlor banjo, long-neck banjo, 17-fret tenor banjo, 19-fret tenor banjo, plectrum banjo, and more. The tunes that you can play with the banjo are also named uniquely. With the very popular 5-string banjo, there are two techniques to play. They are rolls and drones. The 5-string banjos are generally played with fingers or fingerpicks. These sounds are basic characteristics of bluegrass. Africans used to play in claw-hammer style.

To tune a banjo you would need good listening skills and a tuner. Start tuning the hook nuts in a clockwise direction. Once you have done that, you can put your fingers on the strings and listen to the sound. And if you still find the banjo head lose, you can start tightening the hook nuts again with the same strength for every hook nut. Do not increase the pressure on hook nuts. Listen every time you tighten the head.

Best Starter Banjo– Buying Guide

  1. Stag BJM30 4-String Bluegrass Banjo

best starter banjo

Description: 

Brand: Stagg

Wood: Mahogany

Color: Chrome

Weight: 6 Pounds

Performance: 

The wood that is used in this banjo is Mahogany that produces a warm tone. It is considered to be the best beginner banjo for bluegrass.

Comparison: 

It is comfortable around the neck so that it does not make you feel irritated while you are performing.

Usage: 

It is used to produce warmer tunes and fantastic responses.

Pros: 

  • Comfortable around the neck.
  • Produces pleasant sound.

Con: 

  • Does not produces sharp tones.

What’s New?

It is light in weight and you can carry it easily while you are performing and produces pleasant sound but you would not find this in the Pyle 5-String.

Why You Should Buy It:

If you are looking for the best beginner banjo for bluegrass, this is the best you can get on the internet.

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  1. Kmise 5-String Resonator Banjo

best starter banjo

Description: 

Brand: Kmise

Wood: Okoume, Sapele, Ebony

Size: 38 Inches

Performance:

It is considered the best starter 5 string banjo. It produces a pleasant sound.

Comparison:

It is highly durable and looks more attractive than the Pyle 5-string banjo.

Usage:

It is used to produce more distinct sounds and tones.

Pros:

  • Durable and attractive.
  • High-quality drumhead.

Con:

  • Not for beginners.

What’s New?

It has an armrest for comfortable use. It also has a bag that protects the strings and drum head while not in use.

Why You Should Buy It: 

If you want to experience an effortless experience while you play the banjo, you should definitely buy this banjo. It has been the best starter 5 string banjo.

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  1. Rouge Banjo

best starter banjo

Description:

Brand: Rouge

Weight: 14.25 Pounds

Performance:

It has everything that a beginner would require to start learning. Has best control over the string.

Comparison:

Best suited for beginners than the Stag BJM 30.

Usage:

It is considered the best banjo for those who are trying to learn.

Pros:

  • Great to learn.
  • Comes with a guide.

Con:

  • Does not have good looks.

What’s New?

It comes with a chord book and a guide to learn how to play the banjo.

Why You Should Buy It:

If you are planning to learn, this banjo is one of the best beginner banjo brands. You will get this banjo at a very reasonable price.

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  1. Ibanez B200 5-String Banjo

best starter banjo

Description: 

Brand: Ibanez

Wood: Rosewood, Mahogany, Basswood

Color: Natural

Weight: 12 Pounds

Performance:

It produces solid sounds more effectively and is considered one of the best beginner banjo brands.

Comparison: 

This banjo has a very illuminating look and it is not available in Rouge.

Usage:

Used to produce a good sound as the wood used in this banjo is great.

Pros:

  • Lustrous look.
  • Produces powerful sound.

Con:

  • Heavier than others.

What’s New?

It comes with a resonator that helps in producing more solid sounds than other banjos. It looks very beautiful as it has its natural color.

Why You Should Buy It:

If you love beautiful banjos that produce great solid sounds, this one is for you. Ibanez is a trusted brand when it comes to the banjo.

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  1. Washburn Americana B10

best starter banjo

Description: 

Brand: Washburn

Wood: Maple, Mahogany, Ebony

String type: Nickel

Performance:

It is the best beginner bluegrass banjo. This brand has been making the banjos for a very long time. The special feature of this banjo is that it is handcrafted.

Comparison: 

This banjo is handcrafted and comes with a 22 fret with pearl inlays that you would not find in Ibanez B200.

Usage:

It is used to create warmer tones for deeper notes.

Pros:

  • The smooth finish of the wood.
  • Comes with an armrest.
  • 22 fret with pearl inlays.
  • Authentic head.

Con:

  • Very long neck.

What’s New?

It has a tuner that is used to smoothen the sound of the banjo. Also, it has a chrome armrest for comfortable playing.

Why You Should Buy It:

If you love to create warmer tones with comfort, this is the one. If you value handcrafts, Washburn makes these beautifully handcrafted banjos.

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  1. Pyle 5-String Banjo

best starter banjo

Description:

Brand: Pyle

Weight: 7.21 Pounds

Wood Type: Rosewood, Maple, Mahogany

Performance:

It is light in weight and gives warmer sounds. You can take it with you anywhere without any burden. It is perfect for bluegrass, country, and folk music.

Comparison:

It has a 5th tuner upgrade that you would not find in Rouge.

Usage:

It is used to play country, folk, and bluegrass. It gives the effect of tunes that used to be played in 20th century.

Pros:

  • Light-weight.
  • Rich wood quality.

Con:

  • Only has warmer tones.

What’s New?

It has been geared with a 5th tuner as an add-on.

Why You Should Buy It:

As it has been upgraded with the 5th tuner you should definitely buy this to play the country, folk, and bluegrass and get an expert hand over your banjo. It is considered one of the best beginner bluegrass banjo.

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 FAQs

  1. What is the best banjo for a beginner?

Deering Goodtime 5-String and Kmise 5-String are the best banjos for a beginner.

  1. What is a good starter banjo?

Vango 5-String banjo is the most ideal starter banjo.

  1. What’s the best banjo for a beginner?

Deering Goodtimes 5-String, Kmise 5-String, and AKLOT 5-String are the best banjos for a beginner.

Also, Check out our latest post on Banjo Vs Ukulele, to know more.

Jeffrey Richards

Jeffrey Richards

I own a music instruments shop. My go to instrument is a banjo. My business makes it easier for me to access the instruments from various brands and of various types. I will give my honest opinion here to help out others in choosing the right instrument for them.

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