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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Total newbie looking for shopping and playing advice


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/392531

RedMeadow - Posted - 08/29/2023:  00:17:40


Hi,

Total newbie here, thinking about picking up the banjo. I know my way around a guitar quite alright.

Looking for advice on what to buy, mid price category. Around $1000 maybe? I don't know anything about banjos, playing style, different tunings etc. Is there a standard type of banjo and playing style that you would recommend me starting with? I'd like to learn "for real" and not go down the 6-string guitar tuned banjo route.

For what it's worth in terms of wood selection, I live in the north of Sweden with pretty dry winters.

All and any help is appreciated!

Thank you!

AndrewD - Posted - 08/29/2023:  01:00:18


There are numerous types of banjo. Essentially different instruments with a drum as a soundboard.
What banjo music do you like ? Bluegrass or American old-time or Irish traditional or trad jazz or George Formby or.... ?
This will dictate which of the many types of banjo you need. $1000 will get you a very decent starter banjo (5 string resonator, 5 string open back, 19 fret tenor, 17 fret tenor, plectrum, uke banjo... ).

Texasbanjo - Posted - 08/29/2023:  04:38:16


Andrew covered it pretty good.

If you like bluegrass type music, get a 5 string resonator (closed back) banjo
If you like clawhammer music, you need a 5 string open back banjo
If you want to play jazz, blues, classical type music get a 4 string tenor banjo

And as a final thought, if you aren't sure what genre you want to learn, get a 5 string resonator which will work for any of the above types of music.

As far as wood for the banjo, banjos aren't like guitars. You usually don't need a humidifier. Where I live has hot, dry summers (100 plus for months) and I've never need or used a humidifier for my banjos. For my guitars: defnitely.

One thing to think about: the better the banjo, the easier it is to fret, pick, keep in tune, so purchase the best your budget will allow.

Whatever you decide, have fun, enjoy!

banjered - Posted - 08/29/2023:  06:04:58


Go to the "Q" to the left of this page and type in your many questions. Also go to "Media" to the left of this page and link to "Jukebox" to see what banjo style appeals to you most. Good Luck! banjered

Will Frady - Posted - 08/29/2023:  06:08:42


If you want to learn 5 string bluegrass you can’t go wrong” in my opinion “ with a recording king. They are in your price range . Your choice of mahogany or maple . I believe Texas banjo has an RK-35 for sale now on here ? If not search the classifieds. If you’re into plectrum, Irish,or clawhammer ? Someone else will have to chime in . Best of luck to you .

Texasbanjo - Posted - 08/29/2023:  08:20:41


quote:

Originally posted by Will Frady

If you want to learn 5 string bluegrass you can’t go wrong” in my opinion “ with a recording king. They are in your price range . Your choice of mahogany or maple . I believe Texas banjo has an RK-35 for sale now on here ? If not search the classifieds. If you’re into plectrum, Irish,or clawhammer ? Someone else will have to chime in . Best of luck to you .






No, I don't have anything for sale, but Texasbanjos does.  Check out his classified.

Helix - Posted - 08/29/2023:  09:00:23


Hello ReadMeadow. Welcome to the hangout

I suggest you but a 5 string banjo. All the music styles can be played on it with small modifications. An openback is good and a resonator back can be added anytime

For the righthand

1. Up picking 4 beats = boom rest did he

Boom diddy

2. Down picking 4 beats = boom rest didhe. Boom diddy

3. Clawhammer same boom diddy with variations

4. 3 finger with fingerpicks

IMTMTIMT 21215215. There are 5 other patterns but tutorials are on line

4a hammering on and pulling off with the left  hand

Start with open G tuning with 14 chords that are derivative of guitar chords

5. Plectrum or flat picking for Celtic Irish and Dixieland



Good luck on your quest. Ask many questions


Edited by - Helix on 08/29/2023 09:13:41


KCJones - Posted - 08/30/2023:  20:10:11


Get a 5-string. The most versatile and you can play any style on it. Nearly all contemporary courses, books, videos, and teachers are focused on the 5-string banjo. Nearly all banjo music produced nowadays is played on a 5-string banjo. That includes bluegrass, jazz and irish music, and it includes classical too. 



Resonator or Open-back, that isn't all that important especially at the beginning. At $1000 budget, your best option is a Recording King RK-R36. You can play any style with it, it will be comfortable and stay in tune, and it will sound very good.


Edited by - KCJones on 08/30/2023 20:11:03

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