Banjo Ben

Banjo Recommendation

Ain't nothin' in the world like a 5-strang banjer...learn more about playing the banjo, and mingle with other like-minded players here!

Re: Banjo Recommendation

Postby Cabe LeCutter » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:15 pm

Well if you insist on made in America, most of the components will probably come from overseas anyway.
I would try and buy used if you can, you will have to pay a big premium to buy USA.
Cabe LeCutter
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:51 am

Re: Banjo Recommendation

Postby GreyWolf » Fri May 12, 2017 10:05 am

It seems that we are in the same boat, I also played the saxophone (E# Alto) in grade school and I also just started messing around with the banjo. I have an Oscar Schmidt presently, I am also looking at the Goodtime Open Back Banjo, the sound is good but at this point not a high priority to me. Im concentrating on the fingering, rolls, chords and Theory. With that being said, I also have done a lot of research, and it all comes down to Deering Banjos out of San Diego. What also makes it nice is that they have a trade up program so as you progress, so can your banjo.
I have to say, reading this Forum is very helpful and I would like to thank everyone for their comments and advice.
GreyWolf
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:25 pm
Location: Orange County, Southern California

Re: Banjo Recommendation

Postby mreisz » Fri May 12, 2017 9:49 pm

So a question for all of you that have been down this path before... If one wanted to learn to play banjo you could get an open back, a cheap resonator, or a more expensive instrument. You can learn on any of them. How many folks bought an open back, they still play it and enjoy it? Same question for cheaper resonators? For those that bought a super-duper banjo from the start how many stuck with it? My reason for asking: I am thinking an open back with a mellower tone might be a plus for myself when the wife is home (or the neighbors for that matter).
Mike

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
User avatar
mreisz
 
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:11 am
Location: The greater metroplex of Cresson, TX

Re: Banjo Recommendation

Postby skunk » Fri May 12, 2017 10:04 pm

My first (and only) banjo was a Deering Good Times open back. I plan to keep it for sure but I'm planning to get a Huber Workhorse soon. I'll take the Deering with me on hunting trips and such.
User avatar
skunk
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:07 pm
Location: Ouisconsin

Re: Banjo Recommendation

Postby bluenote23 » Sat May 13, 2017 12:37 pm

This is in response to Mike.

If you think your banjo is too loud. you can use a commercial mute or homemade ones. Pinning two wooden clothespins to each side of the bridge make an effective mute. You can also stuff towels or some such inside the resonator to mute the sound.

As to the 'first banjo' question, my first banjo was a Nechville Classic (because I was afraid of the setup problems with a 'normal' banjo as well the weight). My other banjo is a Gibson made Kel Kroydon. After four years I still play both. At the moment I alternate banjos every two days.
User avatar
bluenote23
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:04 am

Re: Banjo Recommendation

Postby 5stringpreacher » Sat May 13, 2017 8:04 pm

mreisz wrote:... My reason for asking: I am thinking an open back with a mellower tone might be a plus for myself when the wife is home (or the neighbors for that matter).


:lol: I love it! Why? Because that's the exact reason for my open back Goodtime. Well, one of them. I also bought it because it's so much lighter, and therefore easier to take hiking/kayaking when I go.

Truth be told, I like the sound of my more expensive banjo better, but I like the playability of my Goodtime more. And my wife and neighbors like the ability for me to play a little less quietly. If push came to shove and I HAD to get rid of one, I'd keep my open back Goodtime.

Bluenote23 mentioned the banjo mute. I have one of those as well, but I really don't think it does too much.Never tried stuffing towels in my resonator because taking the resonator off and on for that purpose is more effort than I want to put into it.

As a side note, if you want to buy an open back, you can always buy a Goodtime resonator to easily stick on it sometime down the road. And in my opinion, the Goodtime is just a dang good, very affordable banjo.
I pick, therefore I grin.
User avatar
5stringpreacher
 
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:00 am

Re: Banjo Recommendation

Postby 5stringpreacher » Sat May 13, 2017 9:57 pm

Oh, and to answer your question about cheaper resonators, I started with a Fender FB-300, which is a very cheap resonator banjo. Within 4 months or so I got rid of it for a better sounding banjo. You could tell a pretty big difference in both sound and playability. However, I guess it served its purpose because I'm smitten.

If I was going to start all over again with a cheaper banjo but really wanted a resonator, I wouldn't even think twice about buying a Deering Goodtime 2.
I pick, therefore I grin.
User avatar
5stringpreacher
 
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:00 am

Re: Banjo Recommendation

Postby mreisz » Sat May 13, 2017 10:36 pm

Thanks everyone... keep the responses coming. It sounds like and old-timey sounding open back might be a good instrument for me. It's funny, when I hear a nice open back, I think "That sounds about as good as I could imagine." Then I hear a nice resonator and I realize how that tight, percussive bluegrass banjo tone is a totally different animal.
Mike

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
User avatar
mreisz
 
Posts: 2834
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:11 am
Location: The greater metroplex of Cresson, TX

Re: Banjo Recommendation

Postby ez2cy » Sun May 14, 2017 9:32 am

mreisz wrote:So a question for all of you that have been down this path before... If one wanted to learn to play banjo you could get an open back, a cheap resonator, or a more expensive ...... My reason for asking: I am thinking an open back with a mellower tone might be a plus for myself when the wife is home (or the neighbors for that matter).



I started out with a cheap bottle cap Fender, hated the sound and the playability. I bought a used 76 Iida off ebay and still have it. I made the decision that if I was going to seriously take up the banjo, I'd get a good one and it would out live me by many decades. I got a Hatfield Buck Creek from Arthur Hatfield made with some things I wanted. I have not regretted the decision at all.

I do use wooden clothespins on the bridge which does soften the sound. Having the two banjos is a bonus. My Iida I just have at home and took the resonator off and stuffed with a towel, add the clothes pins and the wife doesn't know I'm practicing rolls while we watch tv.
ez2cy
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:29 pm

Previous

Return to Banjos

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests