Banjo – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
Music causes various sensations in the people who listen to it, which range from relaxation to joy and the desire to dance. To enjoy it to the fullest, it is important that it be performed by people who know how to play various instruments and who do so with equipment that provides optimal sound. One of the musical instruments that best accompanies the different compositions is the banjo, which has up to 10 strings and, due to the shape of its body, is capable of producing louder sounds than those generated by the guitar. If you want to buy one of these instruments and have doubts about which is the right model for you, one of the banjos that you should take into consideration, as it is among the best of the moment, is the Epiphone EFB0NACH1, which has a structure made of mahogany and rosewood and according to users offers a robust sound, in addition, it does not go out of tune with temperature variations. Another model is the Classic Cantabile 00019554, a traditional 5-string instrument, which has a rosewood fingerboard and a sapele mahogany body.
Buying Guide – Which is the best banjo on the market?
When buying a musical instrument, there are many characteristics that you should analyze, especially if you are looking for one that is good and economical. The quality of the sound offered by the instrument to buy, the type of materials that have been used for its elaboration and the finish of its design are just one of the characteristics to take into consideration. In addition, it is important to evaluate how much one or another model costs before making the purchase choice.
Deciding which is the best banjo on the market is not an easy task, especially for those users who know less about this type of product. To help you in your search, we have put together a guide to buying the best banjo on the market. In it we explain some of the characteristics that you should take into account when choosing a particular model.
What should I know before buying a banjo?
A banjo is an instrument that has between 4 and 10 musical strings. Its body is made up of a wooden ring, which can vary according to the acoustic qualities that the manufacturer decides that each model has. This ring is covered by plastic or leather.
To achieve a good level of fit, the rim and the leather or plastic cover that is used as a lid are assembled with plastic screws and, in order to improve acoustics, a wooden resonator is added.
Due to the diversity of materials that are used in its elaboration, the banjo has the capacity to produce characteristic sounds and therefore, its melody is unmistakable; this makes many choose them over other instruments.
types of wood
If you want to have a banjo that has the ability to produce a good sound that everyone who listens to you enjoys, it is important that you take into account the type of material that is used in its construction. It is not recommended that you choose a model that is made of low quality wood, since this point directly influences the sound offered by the banjo.
One of the materials that is most often used in the manufacture of these stringed instruments is mahogany, a wood that is softer. It is also oily and stable. Mahogany allows the banjo to have the ability to make a sound that is smooth and sweet. Apart from that, its reddish color makes the instrument have a particular design, which stands out among the others.
Maple or maple is also used, an acid wood that, thanks to its qualities, makes the melodies played on the banjo be heard with a brighter, clearer and more defined sound, in addition, it responds more quickly to the pulsation of the strings..
The difference between maple and wood banjos is due to the material used in their manufacture, the former are made of a harder wood that allows them to emit a stronger sound.
Another wood frequently used in the elaboration of these instruments is walnut; it is softer than maple, but, at the same time, it is harder than maple. This type of wood also adds brightness to the sound and contributes to warm melodies.
Rosewood and rosewood are used in the elaboration of some pieces of the banjo, these are of good quality and guarantee the resistance of the equipment.
The strings are another part of the banjo that you should take into consideration when buying a banjo. Because there are banjos that have between 4 and 10 strings, the first thing you have to do is choose a model that is according to the type of melodies, the variety of musical compositions and the notes you want to play.
After having decided on a particular type of banjo, it is important that you look at the kind of strings that are offered for these instruments, since these tend to vary, even in the same product.
The strings have different gauges. Irish tenor banjos use those that are: A 0.20, D 0.24G; 0.36; at 0.16; E 0.12; D0.30; E 0.13 and G 0.40. Jazz type banjos have medium gauge strings, which are: A 0.11; C0.30; D 0.15 and G 0.24; and light, which meet the following measurements: A 0.09; G 0.22; C0.28 and D0.12. There are also specific string gauges for plectrum banjos, which can be medium and heavy.
4-string banjos are used more by jazz players; those of 5 can be qualified as long-neck, which have a neck three longer frets; the open backs are open at the back. And there are the resonator banjos that with their 5 strings are suitable for playing bluegrass music, because with them you can generate various rhythmic combinations.
In the following comparison of banjos you will find the models that are most recommended by users today. Among them, you can choose the one that best suits the type of music you want to play and your needs.
The 5 Best Banjos – Opinions 2022
Once you have learned more about these instruments, it will be easier to choose the best banjo of the moment, either because it is of good quality and is within your budget or because its design suits your needs.
In order to help you decide and not get too complicated by the number of models and brands that are offered, we have created a list of the most recommended models today. There you can learn more about the best banjos of 2022.
1. Epiphone MB-100 Banjo Acoustic Guitars
This banjo comes with a URemo top, which is special for this type of instrument, in addition, it is from a brand used in many instruments, such as drums and bongos, since it provides a good sound.
It is missing that it does not bring a manual that explains how to install the bridge and how to tighten the head, especially for beginner musicians.
Thanks to its sound and excellent finishes, it will serve you to play in live concerts, as well as in rehearsals with your band or recording music videos.
The body of this musical instrument is made of mahogany wood, which is widely used in the West and Europe to make various types of furniture that require strength and durability against continuous use. In addition, we mention that it is mainly imported from Venezuela and Brazil, as it is a special wood from tropical climates.
On the other hand, it is good to clarify that this wood is at risk of overexploitation, for this reason and its high demand, it is a bit expensive.
In musical instruments this wood is very versatile, because it withstands humidity and the occasional unforeseen blow, of course, it is not recommended to drop this banjo or allow children to use it without adult supervision.
The Epiphone EFB0NACH1 is useful for playing various types of music, such as country, bluegrass, and jazz. It also has 22 frets, so you can play low and high notes without any problem.
In bluegrass and other musical styles, this instrument will stand out a lot, since it can emit sharp and clear sounds, even if you play very fast melodies. This is thanks to its rosewood fingerboard, a wood that combines resistance with a warm sound.
On the other hand, thanks to the fact that it has five strings, you can play more complex chords. You can even tune the strings according to your preferences, since it comes with common pegs, that is, like the ones on guitars and ukuleles, by turning them you can vary the tonality from low to high. Of course, if you’re a beginner, you can opt for an electronic tuner while you get your ears used to it.
It is made with a scale of 26.25 inches, so its size is standard, thus serving both amateur and professional use. In addition, it has white dots along the fingerboard, which can serve as a guide when playing, since they are strategically located, just like those of some electric guitars.
The package includes the strings, the bridge and the tool to adjust the top. Also, it should be noted that the back is open and you will notice how it crosses the metal soul vertically, something very characteristic of current Epiphone banjos.
As if that were not enough, it should be noted that this brand belongs to Gibson, so its products are of quality, and instruments like this banjo come from its factory in China and, according to some buyers, have a good value for money.
2. Classic Cantabile Banjo 5 Strings BB-15
By using this model, you will have the possibility of playing different rhythms and melodic fusions, since it is a banjo that has five strings.
Thanks to its design, it is possible to use it to play Bluegrass music. The rhythms and harmonies that you can play with this instrument will allow those who listen to you to enjoy pleasant and fun moments.
It is made of sapele mahogany, for that reason it has the ability to emit quality sounds that will be appreciated by the entire audience.
Regarding its design, it is worth noting that it has a rosewood fingerboard that gives it strength and contributes to its durability. It has 30 instep hooks that are flat type, its mechanism is Open Gear and it also has mother-of-pearl buttons.
According to the manufacturers’ specifications, this model, despite being one of the cheapest, has a good finish. These qualities mean that it is currently considered the best value for money banjo of the moment.
If you have doubts about which is the best brand of banjos, reviewing the properties and disadvantages of this model may help you find the right answer.
Utility: This instrument has 5 strings, therefore, it is suitable for playing bluegrass and making the pieces you play have different rhythmic and harmonic fusions.
Mahogany: Its body is made of sapele mahogany, this wood helps improve the sound capacity of the banjo, as it transmits warm and sweet sounds.
Design: Although it is a simple model, it has some reddish touches and a shiny finish that give it an elegant and modern style.
Fingerboard: This piece is made of rosewood, an elegant wood that provides a clear sound.
Plectrum: This piece has not been included among the accessories of the instrument, so if you want to use it to play your melodies you must purchase it separately.
3. Stagg BJW-Open 5-String Banjo
Its black color gives its design a more elegant and distinctive touch, which makes it stand out among the other models that are currently offered.
Its body is made of mahogany. That is why, probably, by using it, it will be possible for you to enjoy a good sound capacity while listening to pleasant sounds.
It has 22 frets and has five strings, to which you can get various melodies and rhythmic tones.
In order to guarantee the resistance and durability of this product, the manufacturers indicate that they have incorporated a reinforcement bar and also 16 fastening hooks that work as a kind of closure.
Due to its specifications, the Stagg BJW-OPEN 5 could be the best banjo for 100 euros, in addition, it is among the cheapest models, these are its characteristics:
Materials: This model has been made in a combination of different woods, such as maple, mahogany, ebony, rosewood and nato that allow it to offer a pleasant sound, while providing a good level of strength and durability.
Strings: It has five strings, for this reason, it is suitable for playing melodies that require a good combination of harmonic rhythms, it will especially help you to interpret bluegrass rhythms.
Design: Its style is simple, elegant and modern, in addition, it is possible to differentiate it from the rest of the equipment due to its matte black tone.
Weight: Due to its robust structure it is a bit heavy, for this reason, you can get tired when holding it for a certain time.
4. Martin Smith 5 String Banjo
It is a 5-string banjo with leather from Remo, one of the most prominent brands in the field of percussion. In addition, the body of this instrument is made of mahogany, thus offering a warm sound and deep bass. It even has a glossy finish on the outside of the body, making it very elegant.
In addition to this, it has a rosewood fingerboard, which helps to emit a sound with more body. Also, the bridge has maple wood, which resists the pressure of the strings very well and transmits their vibrations to the soundboard.
On the other hand, we mentioned that the fretboard has 22 frets and some of them have white dots, so that the musician can quickly find the notes. In addition, these white dots are distributed as if it were the fretboard of a guitar, on frets 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, etc.
This instrument has luxurious finishes and offers a good sound, so reviewing its positive and negative aspects can help you choose a suitable product.
Woods: It has a combination of high quality woods, maple, rosewood and mahogany, so that it provides good sound and durability.
Leather: The body of the soundboard is from the Remo brand, so it emits the appropriate vibrations from the strings.
Bag: The package includes a 5mm padded bag with front zip and compartment to store accessories, for example, straps, strings, digital tuner, etc.
Color: It would be better if this banjo came in different colors, since it only comes in natural wood.
5. Rocket BJW01 5-String Western Banjo
This 5-string banjo with a modern design will help you play all the harmonic functions you want, so your audience can enjoy the bluegrass.
It has the ability to emit a good tonality, thanks to the fact that its body has been made of mahogany and it also has a resonator that is made of this same type of wood.
Other quality materials have also been used in its elaboration, the fret is rosewood, while the bridge and fingerboard are made of ebony and maple. Therefore, it is a durable and resistant product that you can use for a long time.
In order to make tuning easier for you, this bluegrass banjo features standard tuning. In this way you will not complicate yourself when tuning it.
The Rocket BJW01 is also among the best models of the moment, below, we offer you more information about its advantages and disadvantages.
Projection: It is designed to project sounds correctly, so that when you start playing, your entire audience will hear you without any problems.
Utility: It is suitable for beginners who want to learn to play this instrument well and can also be used by more experienced users.
Wood: It manages to emit a good tone because some of its pieces are made of mahogany, a wood that offers a good resonance to the instrument.
Instructions: It does not have indications that explain how to carry out its installation, therefore, it can be a bit complicated to carry out this process.
Pegs: It could be better if it came with closed precision pegs, to keep the strings in tune longer.
Epiphone MB-100 Banjo Acoustic Guitars
One of the features that makes this model stand out among the other instruments on this list is the sound quality that it is capable of providing. This is mainly due to the type of wood with which it has been made.
This Epiphone brand instrument is made of mahogany, a type of wood that, due to its qualities, is responsible for providing clarity and sweetness to sounds.
In addition, users maintain that the sounds made by this model are robust. Thanks to the acoustics that it offers you, the public will be able to appreciate a pleasant melody and will also enjoy more each of the songs that you perform with it.
The fret of the instrument is made of rosewood, a resistant wood, which contributes to the durability of the product. Its top is from URemo Head and it has six strings.
Another of the qualities that it has, according to some people, is that it does not go out of tune when weather changes occur, this prevents you from constantly having to tune it.
The Epiphone EFB0NACH1 could be the best banjo of the moment and it has a series of interesting features, for this reason, we invite you to discover them.
Body: Its body is made of mahogany, a type of resistant wood due to its good quality, it also provides a good sustain effect, sweet and warm audio.
Sound: It is robust and according to users it does not go out of tune even with changes in temperature.
Fingerboard: This part of the instrument is made of rosewood, a type of hard wood that contributes to the resistance of the instrument.
Strings: It has 4 strings, it is a tenor banjo suitable for playing different types of musical genres, for example, jazz.
Neck: One of the buyers indicated that the neck is not very wide and although it could be suitable for people with thin fingers or children, for others it is a bit uncomfortable to touch.
How to use a banjo
Enjoying folk and classical banjo music brings joy to people. If you bought a banjo and don’t know how to use it, in this section we show you in simple steps the correct way to share music with this versatile instrument.
know your banjo
The banjo is an instrument widely used by fans of the jazz and country genres, so there are three types of banjos depending on the number of strings. It is important that you identify the capabilities of your instrument according to the number of strings it has.
4-string banjos are used by beginners, but 5-string banjos are the most sought after as they can be used to play any style of music. Study your banjo and learn to use it according to its characteristics.
Have a correct posture
Before starting to use the instrument you must have a proper posture. Your shoulders and back should be straight and firm, providing stability to your body. Keeping your body hunched over can increase your chances of injuring yourself with the instrument.
Tune the instrument
To be able to emit musical sounds with your banjo, it must be previously tuned. Although it may seem like a complicated task for a beginner, the truth is that it is very easy to do. To tune the instrument, slowly turn the pegs located at the end of the fingerboard or neck, since these are responsible for tightening the strings to tune their sound. You can resort to the use of a tuner that will help you find the desired sound.
Practice using the plectrum
Fingernails are usually used to pluck the strings and produce the sounds, but it can be very painful and damaging to your hands. It is recommended that you make use of one or several plectrums, since they slide better along the strings, emitting louder sounds. We recommend using the ones with rings.
Insert the safety ring through your fingertips until it is secure, and then start with slow movements that will help you better relate to the tool.
Put your hands in the right place
The correct position of the banjo when playing is essential for a good execution. Place your right hand on the body of the banjo, near the bridge and on the strings without pressing too hard. At the same time, place your left hand on the fingerboard or neck of the instrument, resting your thumb on the back of it and the little finger and index finger on the strings.
Start with simple rolls
Picking is the most popular movement performed with the banjo, which consists of quickly plucking the strings as a musical device that implies speed. Start with the practice of simple short sequence rolls, play two distant strings (such as the fifth and the first). With this procedure you will easily relate to the banjo.
The secret to becoming a good musician is perseverance. Practicing daily can be tedious at first. It is recommended that you practice your banjo skills thirty minutes a day, and with time you will see favorable results.
The most popular brands
Although banjos do not have the same fame as some other musical instruments such as guitars or violins, this does not mean that they are not still artifacts used by thousands of people around the world. Its unique and characteristic sound is used in various musical genres such as Folk, Bluegrass, Country and even some types of Jazz. Although the banjo is not widely known, if its sound is removed from great pieces of music, then its absence would really be noticeable. Some brands like Rocket, Classic Cantabile and Stagg have added banjos to the portfolio of musical instruments they make in order to reach a wider audience.
Just take a walk through the Amazon section dedicated to this brand to realize how incredibly versatile Rocket is. From car batteries to toys for the little ones, this company has set itself the goal of entering almost every area of the market in order to demonstrate that it can produce high-quality devices of all kinds, without the need to dedicate itself completely and solely to a single sector..
The instruments are part of his creations, as are the classic banjos. These artifacts are characterized by their modern design and by bringing accessories that will facilitate their use, such as the covers, necessary to take them everywhere. Despite not being a company dedicated entirely to music, Rocket has managed to receive several positive reviews due to its articles.
The sales success of this brand on web platforms is notorious and, if it continues to satisfy all buyers with its resistant and durable devices, we will surely continue to hear from Rocket for a long time to come.
For some time, Classic Cantabile has become a benchmark brand in the musical field, especially classical music. This company is not only dedicated to the manufacture of high-quality musical instruments, but also to the creation of the equipment that is needed to complement each of these instruments, such as stands, covers, tuners, etc.
Banjos are one of the instruments manufactured by this great brand and they stand out for having shiny finishes and the perfect length to play them comfortably. The materials used are of good quality, so you can play your favorite songs without worry.
You can buy other accessories and instruments of the brand through Amazon and other stores, as the brand’s products are available for various countries around the world. In this way, you will join all the customers who have given their positive comments to the company due to its high-quality articles.
Stagg has a special place in the hearts of millions of people who have become interested in music. Since 1995, this Belgium-based company has offered its various musical instruments and equipment, first in this country and now in various parts of the world.
Stagg’s mission, according to the same company, is to inspire and encourage people to have a life full of music. For that, he has a wide catalog of products that is constantly expanding to provide buyers with all kinds of artifacts that can help them discover themselves and develop their musical skills in order to be better every day.
For lovers of Folk, Stagg offers different banjos so that the musician can choose the one that best suits their needs. He has special banjos for certain musical genres, 6 and 5 strings, but all with the same quality. If you are not a fan of this type of music, then you can also choose other instruments and accessories that suit you more.
» Review information from previous years
These products used to be among the most recommended, but now they are no longer available
APC UKU S BJ100
Another model that is among the best banjos of 2022 is this instrument manufactured by the APC, which gives you the ability to create different musical rhythms, which will make your entire audience have fun to the rhythm of the compositions you perform.
Este banjo ukelele cuenta con un diseño tradicional que resalta por su fabricación en madera y color natural, el cual ha sido combinado con unas líneas de diferentes tonalidades que contribuyen a que tenga un estilo diferente al de los otros modelos.
Es un instrumento con el podrás interpretar diferentes ritmos que probablemente todos podrán disfrutar, ya que cuenta con una buena capacidad acústica, gracias a que su cuerpo se encuentra elaborado en caoba y su tapa es de piel.
Se trata de un producto de calidad que posiblemente podrás continuar empleando por varios años. Esto se debe a que ha sido construido con materiales de calidad y la madera que se ha utilizado en su elaboración cuenta con certificados FSC y el de la CITES.
Qué banjo comprar es una de las preguntas que se hacen aquellos principiantes que desean aprender a tocar este instrumento musical y también quienes tienen mucha experiencia, por lo tanto, para ayudarte a encontrar una respuesta te presentamos las siguientes características.
Acústica: Su cuerpo elaborado en madera y tapa de piel permiten que mantenga un buen nivel de resonancia, lo cual ayudará a mejorar el sonido de las melodías que hagas.
Certificado: La madera utilizada en la fabricación de este producto ha sido certificada por la Convención sobre el Comercio Internacional de Especies Amenazadas (CITES) y el Consejo de Administración Forestal (FSC).
Cuerdas: Es un modelo tenor de 4 cuerdas Nylgut, las cuales son resistentes y también te ayudarán a tocar sonidos agradables.
Diseño: A diferencia de los otros productos, este banjo tiene un estilo más tradicional, por consiguiente, probablemente no le agrade mucho a los usuarios que buscan un instrumento más moderno, aunque a otros les puede resultar atractivo.