How Much Does a Banjo Cost? Best Musician Buying Guide

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How Much Does a Banjo Cost


Playing the banjo can be a lot of fun. You get the opportunity to learn a great instrument that has so many different uses depending on the song, while also being unique. While others will learn the guitar or the piano, you get to learn how to play the banjo and enjoy a lot of great folk music, bluegrass music, or a lot of your favorite songs as well.

Before you get started with the banjo though, it is important to find out how much does a banjo cost. The cost will often depend on the quality of the banjo and how long you plan to play the instrument. Some of the things to consider when you want to learn how much is a banjo include:

How Much Does a Banjo Cost?

There is a high variance when you look at how much does a banjo cost how much you spend will depend on where you purchase the banjo? how old the banjo is? and how many features you would like to have on any banjo you choose to purchase.

costs between $50 to $3000

It is possible to find banjos costing between $50 to $3000 each. Most of the time if you want one that is on the lower end of the price spectrum, then you will have to settle for a second-hand banjo or one that is inferior in quality so it is often best to stay away from this price point. On the other hand, most players do not want to spend up to $3000 either. The good news is that most of the banjos that cost that much are specially made and you can find many banjos that will suit your needs while not costing as much.

costs between $150 to $300

For those who are just getting started with a banjo, you can find a good option that costs between $150 to $300 with all that you need to start. This is a good price to stick with as you learn the banjo and decide if this is the right choice for you to continue with before you spend a lot of money. It will not be the highest quality available, but it can still suit your needs and help you to get started.

costs between $300 to $425

You can then move on to a mid-range banjo if you decide to keep going with the instrument and want something a little nicer without spending a lot of money. These will often fall between $300 and $425 for some decent options. If you can afford it though and feel like you will stick with this for some time. Then picking out a higher-priced banjo is a good option. These will often fall between $700 and $950 depending on the brand you pick and the materials that are inside of them.

Most players will not need to get one that costs upwards of $3000. There are options like this that you can choose to go with. But they are often reserved for professionals and are not necessary for most players.

What Should I Spend on a Banjo? How Should I Decide?

The amount you should spend on a banjo will depend on how much you plan to use the banjo and how much quality matters to you. There are a lot of options that you can go with and the price points include a good amount of variance as well. So it often depends on what is important to you as well.

If you are looking to give the banjo a try, but you have never played any instrument and you are a little uncertain about whether you will be able to keep up with learning and practicing, you probably do not want to spend a lot of money. Finding a used banjo or getting one closer to $150 is probably a good bet. Then you didn’t spend too much money on the banjo and can get some time to practice and experiment. If you decide to stick with it, later on, you can upgrade.

mid-priced banjo

While there are some decent mid-priced banjo options available, if you plan to stick with this for a long time, it is worth it to purchase a more expensive banjo. You will quickly notice the difference in the sound. And the quality of the materials compared to the lower end options. If all you can spare to spend on it falls in our mid-price range, they will give you what you need for practicing and getting the sound down. But there is a good difference between the two types so we would recommend the higher quality.

expensive banjo

There aren’t many situations where we would recommend the really expensive banjo options. They may look nice and some may have something interesting attached to them, such as a name brand or a famous person endorsing it. But the quality is not that much better to excuse the costs. The only time to consider using this type of banjo is if you are looking to become a professional and need something that will last forever.

What Factors Determine How Much a Banjo Will Cost

There are a few different factors that will determine how much your banjo will cost. First, you need to consider how many strings you would like on your banjo. You can choose between three main types of banjos including the tenor or the 4-stringed banjo, the 5-stringed banjo, and the 6-string banjo. The more strings you have on the banjo, the more the price will increase.

Material Used

The material that the banjo is made from will determine how much you pay as well. Banjos will often use wood to help augment the specific sound that you can get out of it. The best quality banjos will also have their rim out of some wood as well, and birch, maple, and mahogany are the most popular options here.

Some banjos will also include a little bit of metal in their constructions. So don’t be surprised if you see this show-up. Ideally, we recommend that you pick out an instrument that has high-quality bell-brass or bronze or steel. Other options include metals that don’t give off the best sound as you play so try to stick with the metals listed above. If you need to, always pay for the highest quality materials on the banjo that you can afford because it will pay for itself.

String Used:

And finally, you have to check on how well it plays. High-quality banjos will not only have the right materials in them, but they will also be easy to play. While looking over your selection of banjos, check the strings first. See if the strings push down well. You should double-check the action on both sides because the strings should be tight. But not so hard to push down that you are worried they will cut right into your fingers.

You can then check the sound. When you lightly pluck the string, you should hear a note that is clear and consistent. Check the neck to see if it is bowed or twisted either. This is something that you can fix if necessary, but it is a pain and will impact the tone right now. Always go for the highest-quality banjo because it is going to help you see the best results and enjoy playing the instrument a little more.

How Much Does a Banjo Cost? FAQ’s

Q: Should I Get a Professional Banjo?

Most beginners do not need to get a professional banjo for their needs. These are often very expensive and even though there may be a slight difference in the sound, it isn’t enough to justify the cost. A simple banjo that fits into some of the categories we talked about above is a much better option that will give you amazing sound while keeping your budget manageable while you learn how to play

Q: Can I Get a Used Banjo?

Answer: It is possible to pick out a used banjo in some situations. And for those who are interested in saving money and just trying out the banjo for the first time, this may be a good idea. You do need to be careful when you do it this way though. Sometimes you can get a good deal on the banjo when you go this way. There may be someone in your area who spent more on the banjo. And then found they didn’t like it so they are selling it.

However, this can be the luck of the draw as well. There are some good banjos on the secondhand market if you spend your time researching and looking around. But there are also a lot of low-quality ones. These are more likely to have low-quality materials and could even have some damage from the previous owner. Always check out the banjo ahead of time and make sure it meets your needs and still sounds good.

If you want to avoid all the hassle of checking out a bunch of banjos that seem to be lower in quality, then you should purchase your banjo from a reputable seller new. This will give you some better results and a great banjo that will last a long time.

Q: What Materials Should I Look for in My Banjo?

Answer: You can tell the difference in the quality of a banjo based on the materials that are inside. We recommend that you pick out a banjo that is made mostly of wood. This will give a great sound when you play and looks amazing as well. There will be a little bit of metal even in the best banjos, but you can be in control over the type and amount. The higher the quality, the better types of metals. Eventually the less likely they will affect the sound you can hear.

Q: Is a More Expensive Banjo the Best Type?

Answer: This depends on the banjo. While the $3000 banjos are not necessarily that much better than the $1000 banjos. So you can see the difference between the $100 banjos and the $700 ones. If you can spend a little bit more than the bare minimum on your banjo, you will notice a big difference in the quality and the materials that are used. But there is no real reason to go with the most expensive banjo that is available.

Q: What if I Just Want to Try a Banjo to See if I Like It?

Answer: Learning a new instrument, especially one like the banjo, can be a lot of fun and a great experience. But if you are just starting, you may want to experiment a little and see whether it is something you like and want to stick with. If this is the case for you, then start out with an inexpensive banjo and build up from there. An inexpensive banjo will help you learn some of the basics and can still give out a good sound, without costing an arm and a leg in case you decide playing is not right for you.

Final Thoughts

Learning how much is a banjo will make it easier for you to pick out the one that is right for you. There are so many different types and styles, with a bunch of different materials inside that you can have quite a selection if you choose. When picking out a banjo, use some of the tips and suggestions to help ensure you know how much does a banjo cost and you can pick the one that meets your needs without going over budget.

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