Banjo Basics: What Type of Banjo is Best for Beginners?

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The banjo is among one of the most interesting string instruments out there with its rich history and beautiful sound. From its history to its stereotypes, there’s a lot to learn about and from this instrument. Of course, learning how to play it is also something worth looking into since it is a fun one to play.

If you’re going to learn the banjo, however, you might first want to know what type of banjo is best for beginners. The answer to this question will not just kickoff your learning process but it will also help you get to know the instrument better.

To help you with that, here’s a quick discussion on the basics of the best entry-level banjos for beginners.

what type of banjo is best for beginners

What are the Best Banjos?

The first thing that you need to know when looking at banjos is that there are several different types of banjos available. Most experts note that there are about nine different kinds that you can get today. This includes the 5-string, 4-string, 6-string, 12-string, parlor, long neck, plectrum, 11-fret, and 19-fret varieties.

With such a wide variety of options, choosing one without ample knowledge can be hard to do. The variety also means that the best banjos are not restricted to a specific design or type. There will be tons of factors that can come into play so pinpointing just one as the ultimate best banjo of all would be impossible.

According to experts and enthusiasts, however, some brands are better picks than others. Among the most popular options are Jameson, Deering, Epiphone, Washburn, Gold Tone, Recording King, Gold Star, Stagg, Rocket, Ibanez, Oscar Schmidt, and Fender. Some might hear that Gibson banjos are really great, too, but the brand has not been making banjos for a while now and the last ones they made were not of top-notch quality. If you can get your hands on pre-WWII ones, there’s a good chance that they’ll give you a good run for your money.

How about banjo brands to avoid? Everything else other than the brands above can be avoided. Some players have shorter lists but if you want to explore your options, the ones mentioned above will be great choices to look into.

What type of banjo is best for beginners, you might be wondering?We instrumentideas help you to get the best answer here. 5-string banjos are highly recommended because they’re the standard options today. There are lots of different choices available and lots of beginner materials for it so it’s easier to get started with it. The Jameson 5 string banjo is among the most popular choices today.

What type of banjo is best for beginners: Acoustic or electric?

Between acoustic or electric banjos, what type of banjo is best for beginners? The answer here depends on your skill levels and music preference. The two can actually sound alike so it’s not a major factor.

If you already have some experience with electric string instruments and you already have an amplifier that will work well with electric banjos, then you can go for such. They will let you explore a wide range of sounds so they can be a good starting point for some.

However, acoustic banjos may feel less intimidating and have lower upfront costs if you’re a complete beginner with musical instruments. You won’t need to buy an amp to use it so you can get started on learning the instrument right away.

Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Banjo

Another way to explore the possible answer to the question, “what type of banjo is best for beginners?” is by looking into the things you should take into account when looking for one. Here are some to keep in mind:

5-String vs 4-String

Which is better, 4 or 5 string banjo for beginners? Answering this question is quite complicated since these are two very different instruments. As mentioned above, however, 5-string banjos are way more common and popular so getting hold and learning them may prove to be simpler. Some say that they’re hard to learn because of the fifth string but that’s not necessarily true.

4-string banjos, on the other hand, are more commonly used as rhythm instruments so if you intend to learn the banjo to play rhythm, these are good options for you.

Build Quality

Even if you’re only getting an entry-level or beginner banjo, it’s still crucial to pay attention to the quality of the build and material. The best banjos are made of good wood like maple, mahogany, and walnut and the specific kind can have an effect on the sound.

The construction of the banjo also determines its quality. The strings should touch the frets without too much fuss. A slender neck can also be an important feature as it can make the handling of the instrument a lot easier.

Your Budget

Banjos come in a wide range of price points so you need to have a budget in order to narrow down your options. It would be ideal to scope out the available options first so you can have a good idea of how much good banjos for beginners go for. From your initial research, set an amount and start a more specific search from there.

You can also find beginner banjo packages that are created to simplify the search for one’s beginner banjo. These include not just the instrument but other essential accessories as well like a tuner, picks, bag, and strap among other things.

Banjo Lessons  For Beginners

Once you’ve got the best banjo for beginners, the next step would be to actually learn how to play the instrument. You can take banjo lessons from a lot of music schools, especially if you’re in a big city. You can also opt to learn on your own or with an aid of a book or video tutorials online.


Q. What prices do banjos start from?

As mentioned above, banjos come in a wide range of price points. For new items, you can find lots of good options at around $100. However, if you don’t mind getting something second hand, the prices may start at around $50 depending on the brand and condition of the item.

Q. I want to play Irish Music, what type of banjo is right for me?

The 4-string tenor banjo is recommended for Irish music.

Q. What sort of warranties do banjos come with?

Like other products, the best banjos can come with limited product warranties which will cover factory defects.

Q. What about accessories, does Eagle Music sell banjo accessories too?

Yes, Eagle Music sells banjo accessories from different manufacturers.

Q. What about banjo spare parts, does Eagle Music sell banjo spares too?

Yes, Eagle Music also sells banjo spare parts as well.

Q. I want to play Bluegrass Music, what type of banjo is right for me?

The 5-string resonator banjo are deemed to be the best types of banjo for this specific genre.

The Final Word

If you’ll think about it, finding what type of banjo is best for beginners shouldn’t be that difficult to do. Once you know the basics about these instruments, you can already narrow down your options. Knowing what your needs and preferences are will also go a long way.

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