It’s hard to imagine American music without the cheap banjos. Whether it’s bluegrass, old-time, or folk music, the banjo can provide a unique flavor to every song. Old-timers might order a low-cost banjo from a catalog. Even though the times may have changed, many fantastic affordable banjos still exist for you to play.
Banjos Of Various Types
Choosing between a clawhammer banjo and a resonator banjo is a joint decision for banjo players. In the third piece, I’ll talk about a few fascinating variations of the instrument.
- Banjos With Clawhammers
Instead of utilizing finger picks, clawhammer banjo players hit the strings with either the index or middle finger. Typically, clawhammer banjo players use a banjo with no resonator or flange.
Clawhammer banjo playing tends to be softer and more “plunkier” than Scruggs-style banjo playing (the playing used in bluegrass). If you’re looking to play clawhammer, don’t rule out using a resonator banjo, and it simply won’t sound the same.
- A Banjo With A Resonator
To call a banjo a “resonator banjo” merely indicates that it is with one. You may hear the “twang” characteristic of bluegrass banjos on instruments like this.
- Strangeness And Unusualness
All three instruments have one thing in common: they’re all stringed instruments. Quite a bunch, to be precise! However, each of these instruments has a banjo counterpart! Mandolin and ukulele-tuned banjos are available for purchase. Large-scale banjos, which may play like a bass guitar, are also available.
In addition, there are also tenor and plectrum banjos, each of which is a remarkable instrument in its way—the tenor banjo in fifths, mandolin. For Celtic music, the tenor banjo is a common choice.
Instead of a pick, a plectrum banjo has four strings because it is that way. This instrument was a mainstay of swing and jazz ensembles before (or after, depending on whom you ask) WWII’s demise of big band music.
The 5 Best Banjos Of All Time
- 5-String Banjo 24 Bracket By Jameson
As a rule, banjos are among the most challenging instruments for guitarists to master because of their fundamentally distinct mechanical design. These instruments have more moving parts, make music differently, and demand an entirely different approach from what you’d typically do with a guitar.
- Goodtime Banjo Is A Trademark Of Deering
The open-back design of this banjo is the first thing that stands out about it. Banjo open backs are supposed to be in an old-time way, with three or four variations. Using a resonator instrument is the best way to perform bluegrass. Cheap banjos have more loudness, but open-back tools are a little sweeter and warmer. You may be able to play open-back banjo bluegrass, but I won’t hear you in an ensemble.
- The MB-200 Is An Epiphone Guitar
Even though Epiphone has a concise history with banjos, the brand benefits from having access to Gibson’s design. The Epiphone MB200, an entry-level banjo with many features at a low price, is an excellent illustration of this.
- The Rover RB-20
An offshoot company of Saga Musical Instruments, Rover specializes in producing high-quality instruments at low prices for bluegrass and old-time music. Musical instrument producers Saga is among the biggest in the nation. It has a wide array of brands that cater to niche markets in the industry that other firms are unwilling to enter.
- King Recorded The Madison RK-R35
It seems as though Recording King has been on a roll recently. A few businesses are making inexpensive vintage-inspired instruments with a better traditional tone and a higher degree of craftsmanship than what you’d get if you bought one of the instruments that inspired a product from their catalog.
If you want to sound like a pro, you don’t have to spend much money. A cheap banjo doesn’t sound or feel like a cheap banjo on our list of the greatest.