Creating Your Dream Custom Banjo

by Carolina Bridges

Remember when you were young and you dreamt about what kind of really “cool” car you would have when you “grew up?” Well, folks, I am here to tell you something you probably already know; dreams are not just for the young! And there is nothing “cooler” than a banjo, right? So let’s talk today about the realities of putting together your “dream" custom banjo here at Deering.

Begin At the Beginning

It is good to give thought to what you are looking/listening for in that dream banjo.
This is usually a project for an experienced banjo player, who has had some time to listen to several types of banjos played by other folks as well as through personal experience.
But, I speak to many people who want to buy “just one banjo” and who have a very decided direction they want to take. This is one of my favorite things to do…dream with other folks. When choosing a custom banjo from Deering you need to remember that it is our upper line banjos that can have custom options added to them, not the Goodtime line.

View Our Custom Banjo Options & Prices Here

What To Consider For Your Custom Banjo:

A Baker’s Dozen of Questions to Help You

  1. How bright do you want the banjo to sound?
  2. Do you like your banjo warm and mellow but with good sustain?
  3. Do you want it the brightest and most powerful instrument on the planet?
  4. Is a sweet, melodic sound what you are after?
  5. Are you the kind of player who “wants it all”?
  6. Do you love Appalachian Mountain style music?
  7. Are you ready to “rock and roll” with the electric instruments of the band?
  8. Do you want to play gospel music in your church?
  9. Are you planning on just having a wonderful personal journey with the banjo?
  10. Do you have a favorite artist whose music you enjoy listening to?
  11. Is weight an issue?
  12. Do you know what “style” of banjo playing you will use? Bluegrass/Clawhammer
  13. Will you need amplification for large or small venues?

These are just some of the things you might want to reflect upon when thinking of what you want out of the banjo we can build for you.

Base Model

To help you see what kinds of options are already open to you, click here to order a Deering catalog.
It’s free! And we created it with all of you in mind because we added not only the features of the banjo but stories about how they came to be and artists who play them.

With 124 different standard models in 4, 5, and 6 and 12-strings and scale lengths of 17, 19, 22, 25 fret, and 2 that have 24-frets; all in both open back and resonator styles to choose from, you may find we already make the banjo of your dreams. Or, by mixing and matching, you can put together your unique banjo from our standard models.

Effects of Critical Components

We use three basic tonal woods, 8 different banjo heads, and 8 different kinds of tone rings. At Deering we know that not everyone wants the same kind of banjo and we offer this variety with you in mind.

On our website, in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) under the Support Tab on the home page, you can find some excellent information describing the effects of wood on the sound of the banjo, the tonal effects of the head, and the sound of the many tone rings we use. I have included the links below to make it easy to access.
Effects Of Wood On Sound
Banjo Head Comparison
Deering Tone Ring Comparison

By reading these, along with the information from the catalog, you are well armed with information to consider when creating your banjo.

Call Customer Service

You can call (800)845-7791  any time to talk to me about banjos. It is one of my favorite things to do. Threading your way through the information on the website sources and the catalog may be confusing. I am here to try and help you make some sense of any confusion you may encounter.

It is by calling or emailing us at that we can begin a dialogue about your dream banjo. I am here to help you understand the realities of banjo construction, help evaluate the most cost effective way to make your dream banjo come true, get quotes for you for any custom inlays, and help you define the project so it can be presented to our fabulous production crew to make “just for you.”

I will talk to you about types of plating (nickel, chrome, gold), kinds of engraving (spur/saddle or premium), fingerboard (flat or radiused), stain options, etc. The combination of these practical and aesthetic features will round out the picture of your banjo for you. It is here you can feel free to discuss all your concerns before the production process begins.

Never Too Late

It is never too late to begin playing banjo. It is never too late to dream about your special custom banjo. Neither is it ever too early to begin that dreaming! Now would be a great time to start.

I think Walt Disney said it best: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” At Deering, we are here to give you that helping hand, that extra ounce of courage if need be, to make your dream banjo come true!


Kristin Scott Benson chooses the Deering Golden Series banjos
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