Finding a beginners banjo is very hard to do if you don’t know what to look for. This is true of many things; here’s a real life story that illustrates my point. I remember getting my sons some sleeping bags when they were in the Boy Scouts. I actually bought 8 sleeping bags over time for them. Why? Because I didn’t know a thing about a good sleeping bag and the poor things froze to death. Finally my husband intervened and bought them 2 mummy bags. Voila! No more useless purchases! So to prevent you from buying a banjo that will not support your heart’s desire to make music, let’s see if I can give you just a few pointers to make it easier so you can begin to play the banjo today.
While I like to tease customers that it is the “magic banjo fairy dust” that we sprinkle on each of our banjos before they ship that makes them sound so good, the truth is we continually focus on improving each and every component of our banjos to improve their sound and ease of performance.
When it comes to Irish tenor banjo, it is hard to define exactly what type of banjo that is. Yes, it is a four string tenor banjo. But is it a 17-fret or a 19-fret? Does it have a resonator or is it open back? How is it tuned - standard tenor tuning C, G, D, A or Irish tuning G, D, A, E? After spending years playing and talking to Irish tenor banjo players, going to Irish sessions, even traveling to Ireland to watch and listen, I have determined that there is no exact standard although there are some generalizations.
One of the greatest aspects of my job is getting to talk with people from all walks of life and from many different enthusiasms of the music business. It’s wonderful hearing top professionals play banjo and asking them questions about how they do what they do. It’s also terrific to meet with talented amateurs and find out some of their techniques and ideas about playing banjo.
Getting “true” value from your buying dollars is best done by doing a little bit of homework on your purchase, no matter what it is, especially when shopping for banjos for sale. Finding a resource you can trust to give you “real” information can be hard. At Deering we know banjos! After over 19 years working here, I will try to help you know what to look for when buying a new banjo.
"Is the banjitar a real banjo?” has been a much loved subject of music forums and comment sections the world over. Did I say banjitar? I meant Guitjo. Excuse me...I obviously meant Ganjo... Clearly, even knowing what to call the instrument is a quandary for folks!
One question I hear a lot is "what is a banjitar?" While I have dedicated years pointing out that in fact it is called a 6 string banjo, many folks dismiss the 6-string as some kind of marketing gimmick, born out of a demand from lazy guitar players who want to get a banjo sound without bothering to learn “real” banjo (by which they always mean 5-string, never 4-string).
“Do I need a banjo case?” sounds like a pretty simple question. Most folks would say no, if they only play at home. Let’s take a look at why you should have a case for your banjo - as Sherlock Holmes might say “An Elementary Case for Cases!”
There has been great mystery wrapped around playing the banjo left handed. The questions that we are asked tend to fall into the following categories:
Beginning and intermediate banjo players who are shopping for their first professional level banjo often ask the question, “do good banjos need to be heavy?” The answer lies in understanding what the parts of the banjo do to create the tone or the voice of the banjo.