What Is A Good Price For A Banjo?
Embarking on the journey to pick up the banjo is an exciting venture for musicians of all levels. One of the first questions on your mind is likely to be, "How much do banjos cost?" Banjos come in a variety of styles, materials, and brands, making it essential to understand the factors influencing their price. In this guide, we'll break down the cost considerations to help you navigate the banjo market and find the perfect instrument for your budget and preferences.
Banjos For Beginners
For beginners or those on a tight budget, there are banjos that you'll find that cost $200-$450. These banjos are all made in Asia with substandard components and quality throughout. We highly recommend you reaching up to the $499 level to get a Deering Goodtime banjo. The Deering Goodtime banjos are made by hand in Spring Valley, California by people who know and love the banjo. These banjos consistently play and sound great and will make learning to play the banjo a much more easy, fun, and enjoyable experience.
As you move up the price scale, there are more tonal and aesthetic features you will find. The basic Deering Goodtime openback banjo starts at $499 but if you stay within the Deering Goodtime line, as you go up you will find banjos with resonators (the back) which gives the instrument and brighter and louder tone, ones with tone rings (a metal ring which adds brightness and richness to the tone), brown and black stains, and more.
As you move beyond the Deering Goodtime banjos the price will be starting at about $1500. Here you can find some nice openback banjos by Pisgah, Vega, Ode, and Rickard. These banjos can have different tonewoods, more intricate hardware, and different tone ring options, and more. These banjos come with a gig bag or a hardshell case and usually have lifetime warranties.
For serious players or those seeking top-tier craftsmanship, professional-grade banjos are the cream of the crop. There is a crossover with the midrange instruments but these instruments usually start at about $2000 and go up from there. Brands like Deering, Ome, Vega, Rickard, and Pisgah are synonymous with high-end banjo craftsmanship. Professional-grade banjos deliver unparalleled tone, playability, and aesthetic appeal, making them the go-to choice for experienced musicians and enthusiasts with a discerning taste for quality.
Additional Costs to Consider
While the initial cost of the banjo is a significant factor, it's essential to consider additional expenses that may arise:
- Case: Protect your investment with a sturdy banjo case, which can range from $50 to $300 or more. The Goodtime banjos do not come with a case but when you get to the mid-range instruments, these generally always come with either a hardshell case or a gig bag.
- Straps and Picks: These accessories, while relatively inexpensive, are essential for comfortable and effective playing.
Setup and Maintenance:
- Professional Setup: A professional setup can improve the playability of your banjo. All of the banjos we sell are fully setup and ready to play when they leave our shop.
- Maintenance: Regular maintenance, such as changing strings and adjusting the head tension is crucial for keeping your banjo in optimal condition. These are easy things to learn to do yourself and can be fun as well.
The cost of a banjo can vary widely, but understanding the factors influencing price will empower you to make an informed decision. Whether you're a beginner looking for an entry-level instrument or a seasoned player seeking a professional-grade banjo, there's a wide range of options to suit your budget and preferences. Feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help guide you to the perfect banjo for you.