Best Beginner Banjo in 2020 [Our Reviews & Comparisons]

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Are you looking for the best beginner Banjos in town? Scroll through this compilation to find the instrument aligned with your expectations.

A rather underrated or largely underutilized member of the string instrument family, the Banjo has contributed immensely in making compositions sound unconventional. Over the years, the demand for the Banjo has increased tenfold, thanks to the urge among musicians to sound unconventional, unique, and soothing to their listeners.

The popularity of the Banjos has also increased the number of individuals interested in exploring the instrument. However, there are several queries regarding the Banjo plaguing the minds of listeners today, such as the advantages of a 5-string over a 4-string instrument, the best brand, and the sort of design to be chosen.

This list, based on exhaustive research, includes instruments that have garnered great acclaim from its users, and have struck a balance between quality and price.
Here’s our compilation of best beginner banjos which should hopefully end your ambiguities.

Comparison Table

ProductFeaturesLatest Price
1. Ibanez B200 5-String Banjo
Ibanez B200 5 String Banjo w/Basswood Rim
  • High on aesthetics
  • Impressive sound quality

Buy on Amazon
2. Deering Goodtime Banjo
Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo
  • 6-year warranty
  • Good sound quality

Buy on Amazon
3. Resoluute 5 String Resonator Banjo
Resoluute 5 String Resonator Banjo with 24 Brackets with Closed Back and Geared 5th Tuner
  • Economically-priced
  • Easy to use

Buy on Amazon
4. Luna Celtic 5-String Banjo
Luna Celtic 5-String Banjo, Tobacco Burst
  • Good for beginners
  • Great sound quality

Buy on Amazon
5. Oscar Schmidt OB5 Glass Mahogany 5-String Banjo
Oscar Schmidt OB5 Gloss Mahogany 5-String Banjo
  • Highly durable
  • Quite affordable
  • Impressive design

Buy on Amazon

Our Best Beginner Banjo Reviews and Comparisons

1. Ibanez B200 5-String Banjo

Ibanez B200 5 String Banjo w/Basswood Rim
  • Type of banjo: 5-string banjoCoodinator rod: DoubleRim: Basswood block rimResonator: MahoganyNeck: MahoganyFretboard: RosewoodResonator binding: ABS-MultiInlay: Acrylic pearl block inlayTuning machine: Friction banjo tunerNumber of frets: 22Armrest: Chrome with etchingBridge material: Rosewood and mapleTailpeice: Chrome clamshell tailpeiceFinish - Rim: GlossFinish - Resonator: GlossFinish - Neck back: Gloss
  • Old-timers may recall Ibanez was quite enamored with banjo-building, having even collaborated on an artist signature model with the late great Earl Scruggs
  • Now, with the Ibanez B200 you get a sweet 5-string closed-back banjo at a price that wont break the bank
  • It features a basswood rim with 24-lug configuration, a rolled brass tone ring and mahogany resonator
  • The mahogany neck has a rosewood fingerboard with mother-of-pearl inlay

Product Highlights

High on aesthetics as compared to several other Banjos available today, this Ibanez B200 5-String wonder strikes the right balance between quality and price. The Basswood rim with a 24-lug configuration, a mahogany resonator, and rolled brass tone ring are components that render the Ibanez instrument its uniqueness.

Features

The thorny inlay, designed more like a vine, is the most eye-catchy feature of the Ibanez B200 5-String banjo.

What We Like About Ibanez B200 5-String Banjo

Over a period of 6 decades, this Japanese manufacturer has consistently garnered acclaim for producing some of the world’s best Banjos and this brand continues not to disappoint with this instrument either, especially if you are seeking the closed-back kind. The sound quality is pretty impressive and quite lustrous for a Banjo that’s cheaply-priced.

What We Don’t Like About Ibanez B200 5-String Banjo

The vine inlay could prove to be a hindrance in playing the instrument effortlessly, especially for beginners. This Banjo is relatively heavier than other instruments of its kind.

PROS

  • High on aesthetics
  • Impressive sound quality

CONS

  • A bit expensive
  • Heavier compared to other Banjos

Buy on Amazon

2. Deering Goodtime Banjo

Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo
  • Low-profile, 22-fret rock maple neck with hardwood bow tie inlays
  • Sealed, geared tuning machines, including fifth string
  • 5/8-Inch maple/ebony Goodtime bridge with adjustable Deering tailpiece
  • Six-year warranty
  • Three-ply, 11-inch maple rim with steel tension hoop and high crown head

Product Highlights

Constructed with maple, this 5-string Banjo definitely has an edge over mahogany-fused instruments, due to the key material. The components used in its construction are also responsible for the top-notch sound quality the Deering Goodtime Banjo renders.

Features

The feature that makes this banjo an option worth considering is a three-ply, 11-inch maple rim with a steel tension hoop. The 22-fret rock maple neck is also highly responsible for the incredible sound quality this banjo delivers.

What We Like About Deering Goodtime Banjo

Deering offers a 6-year warranty for this product, which is probably one of the longest durations banjo manufacturers offer for their instruments. As compared to several other brands that employ mahogany in their products, Deering has used maple in the construction of this banjo, which contributes to better audio quality.

What We Don’t Like About Deering Goodtime Banjo

The flange dedicated to the resonator is a bit too wide for the resonator. However, this flaw can be overlooked considering it is an instrument tailored for beginners.

PROS

  • 6-year warranty
  • Maple renders better sound quality

CONS

  • Quite expensive, considering it is an instrument for beginners

Buy on Amazon

3. Resoluute 5 String Resonator Banjo

Resoluute 5 String Resonator Banjo with 24 Brackets with Closed Back and Geared 5th Tuner
  • 5 STRING Full Size Banjo with Geared 5th Tuner
  • RESONATOR mahogany closed back for bluegrass or clawhammer style banjo
  • 24 BRACKETS for nice loud ring and tone, PROFESSIONAL REMO drumhead and MAPLE fingerboard
  • Comes ASSEMBLED and includes BONUS BANJO BOOK with chord charts
  • Measures 38" long, and 13.5" across at the widest part. Weighs 5.5lbs.

Product Highlights

The Resoluute 5-String Resonator Banjo is totally a value-for-money instrument since it is quite cheap and also produces incredible sound quality. The use of mahogany in its design is one of the vital reasons behind its uniqueness.

Features

The resonator used in this banjo is made of mahogany and is highly responsible for its exceptional sound quality. The makers have included 24 brackets that help the banjo deliver loud tones. In addition, the 5-string instrument also includes a Professional Remo drumhead and a maple fingerboard.

What We Like About Resoluute 5 String Resonator Banjo

This Resoluute Banjo is an instrument that could prove to be really handy in composing music across genres, which differentiates it from several others. Unlike several other instruments of its kind, this Resoluute instrument comes assembled. What the makers give you along with the instrument is a bonus banjo book with chord charts. The resonator can be easily detached, which is an advantage owners of this instrument have.

What We Don’t Like About Resoluute 5 String Resonator Banjo

Although it is an assembled, easy-to-use banjo, the instrument still requires a bit of tuning before each time you start playing it. Adjusting the resonator isn’t really easy.

PROS

  • Economically-priced
  • Instruction booklet provided, making it easy to use

CONS

  • Has to be tuned frequently

Buy on Amazon

4. Luna Celtic 5-String Banjo

Luna Celtic 5-String Banjo, Tobacco Burst
  • Set up like any other banjo, but its clear resonant head and laser-etched mahogany resonator will please the eye
  • Pluck your way into the future with a black walnut fretboard
  • Adorned with Luna's signature mother-of-pearl Moon Phase fret markers and vibrant chrome hardware
  • Features a brilliant Tobacco Burst finish
  • Case sold separately

Product Highlights

High on aesthetics, the Luna Celtic 5-String Banjo is a unique instrument that can be used by both beginners and professionals. The components used in its design, such as resonator and resonant head are the prime reasons why the instrument delivers top-notch sound quality.

Features

Comprises of a laser-etched mahogany resonator and a clear resonant head, which are primarily responsible for the great sound quality the Luna Celtic 5-String Banjo delivers. The mother-of-pearl Moon Phase fret markers are yet another feature that’s quite noteworthy.

What We Like About Luna Celtic 5-String Banjo

The component that makes this banjo a gem of an instrument is its resonator. Luna Guitars, the manufacturer, has a reputation for engineering high-quality musical instruments, most importantly, including sophisticated components, and the Celtic 5-String Banjo backs this claim.

What We Don’t Like About Luna Celtic 5-String Banjo

The only disappointing feature about the Luna Celtic 5-String Banjo that we could find was its price. Considering that it is an instrument tailored for beginners, the makers should have sold it for much cheaper. However, if the price isn’t really a concern, then you could probably consider buying this Banjo.

PROS

  • Doubles as an instrument for beginners as well as professionals alike
  • Mahogany resonator contributes to great sound quality

CONS

  • Quite expensive for a beginner instrument

Buy on Amazon

5. Oscar Schmidt OB5 Glass Mahogany 5-String Banjo

Oscar Schmidt OB5 Gloss Mahogany 5-String Banjo
  • 30 bracket cast aluminum tone ring
  • Mahogany resonator
  • Geared 5th string tuner
  • Fancy traditional fingerboard inlays
  • Rosewood fingerboard

Product Highlights

As far as its look and feel are concerned, this Oscar Schmidt invention is a deviation from traditional banjos and is quite modern. The geared 5th tuner, a tone ring made of cast aluminum, as well as a Remo drumhead used in its construction, make this instrument truly delightful.

Features

Several noteworthy features are responsible for this banjo’s triumph. These include a 30-bracket cast aluminum tone ring, a mahogany resonator, as well as a geared 5th string tuner.

What We Like About Oscar Schmidt OB5 Glass Mahogany 5-String Banjo

Although quite cheaply-priced, this Oscar Schmidt banjo renders sound quality that’s really a treat to the ears. The instrument ticks almost every acoustic checkbox and the resonator can be easily detached to achieve different sorts of sounds.

What We Don’t Like About Oscar Schmidt OB5 Glass Mahogany 5-String Banjo

You will have to buy picks and strap exclusively, apart from investing in this banjo. In addition, you’ll have to figure a way to install the bridge too.

PROS

  • Highly durable and lasts really long
  • Quite affordable
  • Impressive design

CONS

  • Picks and straps aren’t included in the package and need to be purchased separately

Buy on Amazon

Final Verdict

We hope this compilation of the best beginner banjos was quite helpful for each of you. Our extensive study has led us to believe that the Deering Goodtime Banjo is one of the best instruments available today. The prime reason is the use of maple in its construction since many experts and professional musicians opine that this material helps achieve better audio quality as compared to mahogany.

However, since nobody knows your needs better than yourself, we suggest you indulge in research to figure the best beginner banjo aligned with your expectations.

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