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Openback banjos have a mellower sound than resonator banjos because much of the sound produced from the banjo goes into the players body. These type of banjos are preferred by clawhammer / frailing players for old time Appalachain music.
Openback banjos are also lighter in weight than resonator banjos as they do not feature a heavy metal flange to hold the resonator on.
This was originally posted on the Deering banjo website, but we decided it'd be good to show here as well in order to help people learn how to buy a banjo.
Of all the questions we receive about banjos, this has to be one of the most common. We will keep this explanation very short but if you have any further questions, send them to us and we’ll answer all of your questions.
So, by popular demand, here is our answer.