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May 25, 2024 - 5:20:06 AM

pedromst

Portugal

8 posts since 5/25/2024

Hello, I'm new to this world and in Portugal, we don't have much culture about playing Banjo.

I would like some advice so I can buy my first one.

What do you recommend for beginners?

Thanks

May 25, 2024 - 5:30:09 AM

JSB88

UK

598 posts since 3/9/2017

You might want to give a budget range and, possibly less important, the style you want to learn (clawhammer/ 2finger, three finger, etc)

May 25, 2024 - 5:31:58 AM

4849 posts since 10/13/2005

Welcome! Go to the "Q" to the left of this page and type in your question. It has been asked and answered dozens of times. banjered

May 25, 2024 - 5:57:21 AM
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RB3

USA

2034 posts since 4/12/2004

If it'll make feel any better, you should know that there's also not much "culture" associated with the banjo in the United States.

May 25, 2024 - 7:20:28 AM

3386 posts since 5/2/2012

First of all, welcome to the Hangout. The first thing I would suggest is to add the word "Portugal" to the title of this thread, as it will alert members that live in your region. There are 37 HO members from Portugal, and perhaps one or more of them would read this post. Looking at your homepage, your avatar/picture suggests you play at least one stringed instrument.

Thomann seems to be a seller that is in all European countries. Harley Benton banjos, from what I've seen, seem to be targeted more towards beginners. Not a brand we have in the US, but their banjos are probably similar to some of the banjos we have here. I'll restrict my comments to banjos I'm sort of familiar with.

As John said, knowing what music you want to play, what style you want to use to play that music, and your budget will help future posters. There are a couple of thoughts on buying that first banjo. One, buy the best banjo you can afford, even if you have to save awhile to do that. The second is than any banjo that is set up to be easy to play and sound good, is better than no banjo at all, even if it is an inexpensive instrument.

An open back, like a Recording King Dirty Thirties, would be a good starter banjo. You can play lots of different types of banjo music on a 5-string open back banjo. If bluegrass and Scruggs style picking is your thing, then a resonator banjo would be a better choice. If a tenor (4 string) banjo is a better fit for you, Recording King has those as well. Those are in the 200-300 euro range at Thomann's.

Now, if you have more than 500 euro to spend, that opens up options offered by Recording King, Gold Tone, and Deering.

Edited by - thisoldman on 05/25/2024 07:23:24

May 25, 2024 - 9:54:22 AM
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15718 posts since 10/30/2008

First step of all is to choose the type of music you're interested in and get a banjo built appropriately.

Banjos come in 5 string, 4 string and 6 string versions.

5 string is for bluegrass and "old time" (clawhammer, etc). Most often.

6 strings are tuned and played just like a guitar. The music from a 6 string banjo doesn't have any particular "style", it just sounds like tinny guitar playing (to put it briefly).

4 string banjos come in two different lengths of neck and tuning. The more common is short necked and is called a "tenor" banjo. It is tuned in 5ths, like a viola or mandola. Nowadays you hear this mostly in Celtic music, picking note for note along with the fiddler. The 4 string banjo with a "long neck" (same length as a 5 string banjo) is often tuned like the thinner 4 strings of a guitar, and played mostly "chordally", making chords like you could make on the littler 4 strings of a guitar.

None of these attributes are ironclad, there are all kinds of relatively fringe variations.

But for a beginner it''s most appropriate to get the correct "form" of banjo, for the type of music you like.

Good luck! The second most important advice to beginners, is to BEGIN! Get playing!!

May 25, 2024 - 10:54:13 AM
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3063 posts since 2/4/2013

The standard beginners banjo these days is the Goldtone AC1 if you have a low budget.

May 25, 2024 - 1:55:08 PM
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Players Union Member

kwl

USA

655 posts since 3/5/2009

I posted this response over in your other discussion on Reference Musicians. Since your interest is in rock music you may be better served using a plectrum or tenor banjo (the short neck version) We often seen them in "String bands" or Mummers groups here in Pennsylvania, USA. Search for "mummers string band" on YouTube.

May 25, 2024 - 2:34:40 PM

RB-1

Netherlands

3983 posts since 6/17/2003

Check out Andre Dal, he can tell you anything (in Portugese).

May 25, 2024 - 7:45:28 PM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

17537 posts since 8/30/2006

Gold tone AC1

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