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First Banjo-Recommendations?

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:29 pm
by ElementalWhistle
I've become officially addicted to ITM and the instruments it typically includes. I've taken up fiddle, whistle, guitar, bodhran, and harp. I'd like to buy my first banjo. Looking to spend no more than $200. Is that reasonable? If I'm getting on with it, I'm willing to spend more on a higher quality after a few months. But if I'm rubbish and decide its not for me, I don't want to have put hundreds of $ into it.

What do you recommend? I don't know any makers, online stores, etc for banjo. Any advice and suggestions is WELCOME!

Re: First Banjo-Recommendations?

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:58 pm
by busterbill
I'd check with Gold Tone about their AC-4 composite banjo. It has a 19 fret scale. Some people like 17 frets, For a beginner banjo at that price it might be the best bet. They sell it with CGDE strings on it, but you could contact them about what strings you could use to make it work for GDAE, which is more common. I have honestly never really seen anything that cheap. Their more expensive banjos are well made so who knows. Getting a fixer upper with the idea it will be cheap may end up being a money pit unless you know enough to do your own work.

Re: First Banjo-Recommendations?

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:20 pm
by busterbill
Facebook also has a 2 groups dedicated to Irish Tenor banjo. One by that name, the other Irish Tenor Banjo and Mandolin. You could join those groups and ask this question there. I know a number of players prefer the shorter scale, but others do fine on the longer. It really depends on your size and comfort. Heck bluegrass banjo players play like lightning on instruments with scale lengths of between 25 and 27 inches. Most tenor banjos are shorter in the 20-23 inch range.