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Deering Goodtime Open Back Banjo...good first banjo?

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Jun 24, 2019 - 7:09:15 AM
12 posts since 6/24/2019

I have owned a Rogue banjo in the past which had a really high action that I didn't care too much for. I am a new player but it seems 5/8" is a desirable height for a bridge. I love the look of the Deering GoodTime Open Back Banjo. It weighs 4lbs, which is amazing and is advertised at having a low playing action. Does anyone have any feedback on this banjo? I want to play clawhammer style for pop song covers, traditional tune and simple melodic tunes.

Jun 24, 2019 - 7:46:12 AM
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1132 posts since 8/10/2010

Deering goodtimes are the best beginner banjos i have played. they're WAY overbuilt and quality made. Rouges are just BSO's. (banjo shaped objects)

Jun 24, 2019 - 7:49:26 AM

12 posts since 6/24/2019

Thank you! I have a Rouge now and hate the sound and playability of it. I thought it was just me and should play through it until I improve enough to justify another banjo and then sale the Rouge. It had great reviews on Amazon. I also tried an epiphone banjo too (both were $99 brand new)

Jun 24, 2019 - 8:17:46 AM

9830 posts since 6/2/2008

Deering Goodtime is probably the most recommended beginner banjo. You can start on the open back whether you want to play clawhammer or three-finger.

They are better values used. Going rate for a used Goodtime is typically 75% of the current selling price for a new one. Sometimes less if you’re patient and find a motivated seller.

Jun 24, 2019 - 8:23:36 AM

12 posts since 6/24/2019

Wow thank you, I will try and look for a used GoodTime before purchasing brand new. I plan to learn folk music and simple melodic tunes at first.

Jun 24, 2019 - 8:36:33 AM

10492 posts since 2/12/2011

Better yet get a resonator model

Jun 24, 2019 - 8:37:39 AM

1132 posts since 8/10/2010

If you're in the area of Central PA you can always give me a call at Robert M. Sides Family Music center. We have lots of Deerings and many other banjos to try! 570-326-2094 Ext:109 -Donny.

Jun 24, 2019 - 8:40:43 AM

12 posts since 6/24/2019

I am located in Indiana. And no resonator yet...I am looking forward to having something super light weight to backpack with.

Jun 24, 2019 - 9:39:23 AM

1120 posts since 2/9/2007

A bit of basic setup can get the action on that Rogue as low as you like, and make it reasonably pleasant-sounding. As light as it is, you might want to keep that for a back-packer, even if you do get another banjo... I'd recommend checking out comparably-priced Recording King and Gold Tone banjos before deciding on a Goodtime (good banjo but overpriced IMO).

Edited by - Dan Gellert on 06/24/2019 09:42:00

Jun 24, 2019 - 11:00:14 AM
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Players Union Member



5800 posts since 6/30/2015

I've never heard anyone who owned a Goodtime say anything bad about them or regret the purchase. I have a Goodtime Classic (no longer made) which is basically a Goodtime with dark stain and planetary tuners instead of the guitar tuners. This was my first open back, and it is currently my back up banjo as well as a second tuned banjo when I go to fiddle jams. Deering is a solid company that stands behind their product, and the Goodtime is a well built, or as Donny said, overbuilt. When on of my tuners failed I called them and a new one was over-nighted to me at no cost. You don't find a lot of used Goodtimes because people tend to hang onto them, even after upgrading (like I did).

Jun 24, 2019 - 5:36:15 PM

9830 posts since 6/2/2008

Originally posted by kmwaters

Better yet get a resonator model

It’s the same banjo. You can buy the resonator kit separately later on. They also turn up used from time to time.

Jun 24, 2019 - 8:08:33 PM
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19 posts since 1/2/2019

I love my Goodtime open back and I bought it on the recommendation of other players when I was starting out playing clawhammer and was a beginner banjo player. You will also notice on Youtube that quite a few well known players use these simple banjos. Also, it was easy put the action I wanted it (Deering has a video on how to do it). Deering also uses quality maple for the neck and pot. I choose it over the Chinese one that is popular because made in America was important to me and Deering has a great reputation.

Some people don't like the fact that the neck doesn't have a truss rod. If you know about woods, maple is a very strong wood and I have never heard of the neck warping or bowing - its a rock hard maple. Oh, and I also think it sounds great. I will eventually "upgrade" but will still keep this one. Its just a pure, simple, old time banjo.

Jun 25, 2019 - 2:38:36 AM
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166 posts since 8/13/2018

The Deering Goodtimes series seem to be universally liked and enjoyed. I started with a Goodtimes open back (still have it) and found it dang near bulletproof proof with a nice tone.
I don’t think you can truly go wrong with one.

Jun 28, 2019 - 6:20:36 AM
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Players Union Member



249 posts since 4/17/2019

you discuss "specs" in your opening quest for help

These are factory spec banjos.

What are YOUR specs? If the Deering fits your needs, don't look back and don't look down, just play

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