Banjo sure is a wild instrument. It has a unique vibe driven by that high pitched groove and those fast-strumming picking techniques that forged a signature mark of one of the greatest music genres of all times – country style.
So if you’re looking to become a bonafide cowboy, you will definitely need to bring your banjo chops to a certain level. But we all have to start somewhere and we all have to be rookies at some point, hence we’ll focus on the starter bunch as we bring you the best banjo for beginners on today’s market. The big question is:
What is the best banjo for beginners?
We’ll kick things off with a trusty Recording King. Known as one of the best banjo brands out there, the RKOH 05 has a distinctive old school charm to it, which is backed up by quality audio and solid durability. For a newbie, it’s all you’ll need for a while.
The first thing that pops up with this instrument is the aesthetic factor. The King looks like it came straight from a good ole Western movie, wielded by a cowboy hotshot roaming the prairie on his own into the sundown. Romantics aside, the device utilizes a sturdy multi-ply rim and an adjustable coordinator rod for easier performance, along with a slick and user friendly maple neck with an adjustable two-way truss rod, a top-quality Remo Recording King head, and a standard Presto tailpiece.
The sound is bright enough for classic finger-pickers, but also packed with other sonic frequencies so you can experiment out of the staple country realm. The mids are punchy, as they should be, while basses also deliver a warm low end groove, especially on lower strings.
We’ll venture forth with Rogue’s super practical and convenient Travel Banjo. Widely known as the Starter Banjo, this five-stringer offers a top-quality sound at a very fair and budget friendly price.
The Rogue utilizes a set of classic 18 brackets, a high-quality, vintage-style head that also happens to be one of the Travel Banjo’s strong points, an open back structure, a smooth satin finish, and a set of first-class string tuning machines. The item is quite durable and comes with a convenient weight of just 6.8 lbs.
This fella is instant-playable right out of the shipping box, which is a critical factor for all beginner musicians. Speaking of which, this instrument is very user-friendly in all department – it has a strong pack of tuners that keep this little bad boy in tune at all times, and the audio output is strong even without major alterations. Overall, this allows you to focus on practicing your chops without having to worry about things that can go wrong with the instrument itself.
We’ll round things up with somewhat of a hidden gem known as Oscar Schmidt OB5. This neat banjo can significantly vary in price depending on the retailer, and although it’s commonly listed for $400, it can go as low as $200, and that’s a true bargain.
The instrument utilizes a set of 30 brackets and an aluminum cast tone ring, a quality mahogany resonator, a standard geared 5th string tuner, sleek-looking traditional fingerboard inlays, and a classic rosewood fingerboard. This ensures a well-rounded performance and a quality vibe on all fronts.
The sound has a strong ring to it, making the OB5 perfect for classic banjo-fueled country. The mid-section stands out above the rest, ensuring the cling and the punch. The rest of the frequencies are quite nice as well, the trebles are bright and the bass is fuzzy, but it’s the middle specter that definitely stands out in terms of quality.
Thus we come to an end of our banjo journey. After an extensive market research, it is out humble opinion that these three models are the creme de la creme of the rookie realm, as each of them can qualify for the best beginner banjo in the world. They all offer a great value for money and a top-notch performance. Now it just comes down to a matter of your personal preferences and taste.
Basically, think about what do you need and what suits you the best; once that is covered, we wholeheartedly invite you to buy one of the fellas listed above. Enrich your life with a taste of country, get a banjo today!