How much does a banjo cost?

I know…. strange question, but for some reason I have always had the urge to learn how to play the banjo. I am considering purchasing one if the cost is reasonable. Does anyone have any clue apporoximately how much one would cost?

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This entry was posted on Saturday, July 17th, 2010 at 4:32 pm and is filed under Learn Banjo. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “How much does a banjo cost?”

  1. prime8 Says:

    Listen, you were selected by the great banjo God in the sky to carry the flame. There’s something unique about you or you wouldn’t have been chosen. It’s not an urge, it’s a calling. Very few people have the priviledge of receiving this calling. I too was selected. I recommend being realistic. Don’t go out and buy the most expensive thing you can find and not be able to do it justice. Even though you will develop superhuman talent, right now you need to start with a beginner’s instrument. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a used one to $350 for a new one. As your abilities develop, upgrade your instrument to match your skills. You will need a lot of patience. Find some instructional media and try to find other players in your area who can help you. It will be very rewarding. I bought my first banjo at a garage sale for $15. Less than a year later, I upgraded to a $300 Oscar Schmidt OB5 (Made in China of course-it probably has lead paint). I haven’t looked back since.

    O.k. racheals_165, that was a little harsh. The materials for these banjos that you listed at the top of your response may be less quality, but they aren’t crap. When your goal is learning and not performing, I think these instruments serve their purpose well. That’s why I said you should upgrade when your skill improves so that you sound better. I’ve been playing for 5 years.

  2. Rachel_S165 Says:

    Most of the beginner banjos in the under-$500 price range (Washburn, Fender, Dean, Rogue) are crap, made out of cheap materials and shoddy workmanship that fall apart. Don’t waste your money!

    For a good quality beginner instrument under $500, there are 2 that I would recommend:

    Check out the Gold Tone CC100 (or CC100R – with a resonator) for a beginning instrument. It sells for about $350.00 new and is a solidly built instrument that will last for many many years. Furthermore your local dealer can order it from Gold Tone and expect it to come in correctly set-up. I’ve seen them in stores where the clerks have no idea how to do anything to a banjo – including tune them. After putting them into a banjo tuning they are ready to go. In the under $500 price range this is one of the only 2 banjos I know of that sounds good, is well made, comes set-up properly, and isn’t going to fall apart over time.

    Deering also makes a good entry-level banjo called the Goodtime which is an openback model; the Goodtime 2 has a resonator. Both are made in the USA out of solid rock maple and birch; they look simple and clean but are made for the best possible sound and easy playability. Excellent workmanship for the price; nice and light-weight. Musicians’ Friend has the Deering Goodtime for $329.99 or the Deering Goodtime 2 for $489.99, but if you look you can find a used one for less on Ebay.

    Either the Gold Tone or one of the Goodtime banjos would be a great starter banjo. Most people who buy one of these keep them to take them camping or to the beach, even after they upgrade to a more expensive pro-quality instrument.

    Once you’re ready to upgrade to a pro-quality instrument, the sky’s the limit on price. You could easily spend anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 or more on a banjo, depending on the maker, the model, whether its new or old and the relative rarity of it (vintage instruments can be highly desirable, pre-World War II Gibson Mastertones are the "holy grail" for a lot of bluegrass banjo pickers), and so on.

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