You have probably heard the old saying “buy cheap, buy twice”, probably within the context of justifying spending a little more money on a much better product when they can spend much less on something that is usually of a lesser quality. Its a fair thought to have, I mean how much better can the more expensive one be anyway? And is it really going to help me by spending more?
Well, the answer is yes and is especially true when talking about any musical instrument, including banjos!
I am of course not saying that you buy the best banjo. Simply the best that you can afford, which is an important difference to understand. But why is this so important? Well lets take a look.
Put simply, a better banjo made with quality components will be easier to play. I see it all of the time, a beginner student has a very inexpensive banjo, normally made somewhere in Asia by an assembly line of people who do not understand banjo. The student has trouble making clear chord forms. When I give them my banjo to try the same thing, they play the chord clear as a bell. Their tool is holding them back. They are essentially trying to filet a fish with a dull knife. Maybe some of you have tried this so you will know just how messy it can be! It just won’t work. With a good quality banjo, made by people who live and breath the instrument, those chord positions or licks you were having trouble hitting now you are able to hit.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional musician, a better instrument will naturally sound better and help you find the tone you are searching for. Again, quality materials, and knowledge of the instrument really come into play here and a better banjo is more likely to sound great right out of the box. As a result, I can almost guarantee that the satisfaction you get from the sound of your playing will (coupled with how much easier the banjo now is to play) will make it playing it more something In turn, you will practice more.
It is probably fair to say that generally speaking, the more you invest on something financially, the more likely you are to appreciate it and invest more of your time and energy. Anything you can do to take the act of playing music more seriously will directly make you a better player and knowing that you went the extra mile financially for a quality product, you will naturally want to spend time with it.
This is where musical instruments are so different from many everyday products. The emotion and romance associated with any other musical instrument, including banjo is a very real one. There is an instant appreciation for a handcrafted instrument with gorgeous aesthetics that will make you want to take it out of its case, look at it, feel it, and play it. But it is harder to appreciate something that displays inferior craftsmanship or inferior quality parts. There is something quite unsatisfying about knowing that this banjo has not received the same attention to detail or hands on care that others have.
You see, all of these things combined make for a great overall experience with your banjo. When you buy it, you should walk away knowing that you made the right choice. You shouldn't walk away wondering if you should have spent that extra $100 or not. When you play it, you shouldn't have to struggle. It shouldn't be a chore. You should want to spend time playing it and It should be a thrilling experience every time you do.
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