Best Banjo For Folk Music

Playing banjo is fun and offers users a level of satisfaction at large. For folk music lovers, this happens to be among the crucial instruments to enhance that satisfaction. 

However, uncovering the best banjo to use isn’t an easy task as such. A lot of factors will guide you in making the right selection. 

3 Best Folk Music Banjos

2. Deering Goodtime Banjo – Best

This is the market choice for individuals who enjoy playing specific banjo for extended periods. It’s smaller in size and simple to operate, making it the best option for travelers. 

5-string, open back style, 22 frets, and three-ply maple rim consisting of a diameter of around 11”.

It produces different sounds relative to the first option above since it’s an resonator model. 

Playing this banjo is easy and comfortable as it weighs about 5 pounds. Whichever the size of your fingers, pitching different notes with the highest clarity is simple since it has been designed with a compact body.

Pros

  • It produces impressive sharp sounds.
  • It’s manufactured for all kinds of people, both the right and left-hand sides. 
  • It’s a quality product.

Cons

  • It’s a bit expensive.

2. Rover RB-20 5 String Banjo – Best Budget Option

This banjo is among the best affordable options for both the professionals and beginners to consider. It has a lot of design features that makes it best among others. 

It’s designed with an overall length of 38 inches producing such amazing tunes. 

For mind-blowing sounds, the manufacturers fitted the banjo with a 1.25 inches Nut to help achieve this. The banjo is 24 Bracket 5 stringed with a Geared open black 5th tuner. 

In the market, it turns out to be an affordable option but worth buying due to its excellent features. 

Playing it is full of fun; it produces impressive sounds all through. Its overall sound quality, looks, the purchasing rate, and playability makes it appear as the top consider

Pros

  • It has an outstanding design.
  • The best instrument to beginners
  • It’s of superior quality.
  • Produces amazing sounds
  • It’s the best value of your money

Cons

  • It has tarnished frets

3. Oscar Schmidt OB3 – Runnerup

This 5-string open back banjo is a leader in the field of folk music. It’s an affordable and quality instrument worth your money. 

It has excellent features that make it turn among the best brands in the market. The instrument is capable of maintaining all through even after a heavy play by its quality aluminum 5th geared tuners and 30 tone ring brackets. 

OB3 Gloss Banjo produces sweet sounds and beautiful styling, thereby making it such a satisfying option in the market. 

Pros

  • Acquired by an excellent market rate
  • It’s a great option to both the advanced and beginner players
  • Produces clear and high volume sound
  • It’s easy to set up the instrument.
  • The instrument projects perfectly.

Cons

  • It’s a bit heavier as compared to other market options.

Choosing a Banjo For Folk Music

Features To Consider

Hardware

These are things like the tailpiece. Choose banjos with a tailpiece made of a material that doesn’t vibrate with tones of their own. 

Other resonant metals like brass and bronze are not right for the tailpiece since they add uncontrollable sounds that don’t match well with the rim of the banjo.

Wood Type

This is an essential component when buying a banjo. 

The wood used to construct a particular banjo defines the quality of tone the instrument will produce. The experts can tell you even to check issues of any existing faulty construction. 

The material used to construct the rim needs to be vibrant, firm, and resonant to give out only quality sounds. 

Among the popular, used wood materials are the walnut, mahogany, and the maple. Learn all that they affect in sound production and make the right choice.

The wood initiates the sound produced by a Banjo in the rim and neck of the instrument.

Going by mahogany, you should expect a warmer and sweeter tone; maple, on the other hand, gives just natural brightness. 

There are others with walnuts; for them, they provide something falling between the other two options.

The rim wood can be different from that at the neck. Keenly check if you have a wooden tone ring or rim, other banjos can even have aluminum rims in this case. 

Aluminum counts in the group of non-tonal metals, and they don’t provide a brightness of bronze and steel.

Tuners

Buyers should ensure they get a Banjo with geared tuners as they provide users stable tuning all through. 

A lot of tension happens to build from a vibrating string on the tuner shaft; geared tuners will help stabilize the overall hold on this. 

The best tuners have a gear ratio of 14:1 and are usually easy to use. 

Frets

Fret wires have different heights. This makes it easy for the hands to press on the banjo strings to get them into close contact with the fret wire to produce crisp, clean notes. 

Out there, you will find most banjo manufacturers using narrow frets that don’t sit right above the banjo fingerboard. 

For this, more work will be used to get strings into close contact with the frets and thus making the experience less comfortable. 

To enjoy the best experience, get a Banjo that has taller fret wire than the usual market options. You will have it easy pressing to have strings to get close contact. This, in turn, provides an easy to play experience to users.

Open back or Resonator?

The mot common folk music banjos are played with open back but that does not mean it is necessary. You can always use a resoantor to play folk music.

You may want to get a banjo that has the ability to apply a resonator if you want.

Learn more about different types of banjos.

Budget and price

Setting up your budget is the first thing to do before deciding on the banjo to buy. 

Prices of banjos vary from brand to the other. 

A significant reason for a difference in rates comes by due to their cosmetic differences. But then, there are several affordable banjos out there that can be acquired by a great value of your money. 

Let this not be your main point of consideration; look at the features and other specifications, then the price comes last.

Learn Folk Banjo Basics

Folk Fingerpicking

Conclusion

Banjos are excellent folk music instruments to learn and play. 

For beginners, having the right instrument will make everything smoother all through for you. 

Shop around a product with excellent features to enjoy the experience of playing banjo.

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