19 Best Cheap Banjo Reviews 2020 (Best Budget Banjos)

Best Cheap Banjo & Best Budget Banjo

Best Cheap Banjo & Best Budget Banjo

While the banjo is a rather familiar instrument to many, you probably don’t know that there are quite a few banjo types out there. If you plan on getting a banjo, there are particularities you need to have in mind so you can make the best choice in your case.

First of all, you need to make up your mind on the musical style you want to play. If you’re sure just yet, then you should spend some time listening to the varieties of music played with banjos, so you can find the style that is best in your case.

Once you know the type of music you want to play, it will be easier to focus on the type of banjo you need to purchase. You see, each type of banjo has its own specific sound, so it is really important to know how each of them sounds, so you won’t be surprised once you will actually get the instrument.

Related: Other Great Banjos, Banjo Cases, Banjo Strings

What are the Best Cheap Banjos to Buy?

2) 6-String Banjo By Jameson Guitars

  •  6-String
  • Plays Like A Guitar
  • Great Sound
  • Mahogany

1) 5-String Banjo By Jameson Guitars

  • High Quality
  • Affordable
  • Highly-Rated
  • Great for All

3) Resoluute 5 String Resonator Banjo

  • Bluegrass or Clawhammer Style
  • Maple Fingerboard
  • REMO Drumhead

So, if you like the old, traditional sound of the banjo, then you need to direct your attention toward a clawhammer or frailing banjo. The clawhammer banjo has 5 strings and an opening in the back, plus it can reach higher notes due to a larger distance between the fretboard and string than compared to other banjos. It is also lighter than others.

The frailing banjo has more space between the strings, so you can pick at them with your thumb or finger. Besides these banjos, there are also the bluegrass, plectrum, and tenor banjos. Each of them is destined for a particular type of music. Also, if you have a hard time picking a banjo, you could consider checking out hybrid banjos, which are combinations between a banjo and another string instrument, like the mandolin, uke, or bass. Still, do check out the sounds they make in order to be sure about your choice.

If you are just starting out with banjos, then you should not aim expensive ones right from the start. At first, choose a cheaper banjo, something that won’t put too much strain on your budget. Once you know how to play this instrument right, then you can seriously consider purchasing an expensive one. So, here is a list with greatly affordable banjos.

19 Best Cheap Banjo Reviews and the Best Budget Banjos

1) 5-String Banjo 24 Bracket with Closed Solid Back and Geared 5th Tuner By Jameson Guitars

This is a great full-size banjo you can enjoy for a more than accessible price, so it can represent an ideal choice if you are a beginner. Featuring 5 strings, this is an instrument that will provide a wide range of sounds and will definitely improve your performance.

Because it is manufactured by a reputable company, is it a great banjo to have both by beginners and experienced players. The provider brags with the Geared 5 Tuner, which is meant to ease the tuning of the instrument and improve your playing experience.

In case you’re looking to spend your money on a versatile instrument, it is worth checking this one out. With this banjo, you will be able to play a wide range of musical styles, from country to folk, bluegrass, and even some rock music.

The banjo looks simple and elegant, with a neck and resonator made out of mahogany and body made out of 7 plies of maple wood. And, of course, it has a glossy finish meant to improve its looks and deliver a good impression.

2) 6 String Banjo Guitar with Closed Back Resonator and 24 Brackets

Are you familiar with playing the guitar but you never tried a banjo before? Then you must know that this particular instrument resembles a guitar from very many points of view. If you wanted to try a different string instrument and you are willing to give the banjo a try, then this one will help make the transition in a smooth manner.

This is due to the fact that this banjo features 6 strings, so playing and tuning it will be just like in the case of a guitar. So, you will just need to get used to the sounds it makes. It is a very beautiful instrument, with a neck made out of maple wood and resonator made out of mahogany it is a very presentable instrument.

It is one of the most appreciated banjos by players of all levels of experience, as it has an accessible price tag, looks beautiful, and plays even better. So, if you want to have a banjo without investing too much into such an instrument, this is definitely an option you need to consider from very many points of view.

3) 5 String Resonator Banjo with 24 Brackets | Closed Back and Geared 5th Tuner | Resoluute

Are you looking for a beginner banjo that won’t stress your budget too much? Then do take a look at this banjo. It has a more than accessible price and provides a few amazing features, which are usually available at a higher price tag.

First of all, the resonator is made out of mahogany and it is the closed back type, for fuller sounds. This makes this banjo ideal for musical styles like bluegrass and clawhammer. The fingerboard is made out of maple, making it easy and pleasant to play it, while the Remo drumhead will make sure that your performance is great each time you play music with it.

Also, you will get a beginner’s guide with the instrument as well, so it is easy to tell that this banjo was specially made to be the first banjo you ever had. The guide will show you how to get started in no time, helping you get familiar with the chords. Because of this, this banjo can also represent the great gift for someone interested in learning how to play the banjo or with a passion for string instruments.

4) Pyle 5-String Geared Tunable Banjo

For its price tag, this instrument is more than great and there are high chances that you will love it. With a body made out of mahogany, rosewood neck, and tuner key pegs made out of white jade, this is really a very elegant looking banjo.

Of course, the look counts second when we are talking about musical instruments, as the sounds they produce come first. Having in mind that this is a traditional, 5-string banjo, you can expect to enjoy classical banjo sounds, which makes the instrument more than suitable for playing country and folk music.

You can also use it for some rock parts and bluegrass as well, as it is more than capable of delivering a great performance under a pair of skilled hands. The best part is that it is a very light instrument, ideal for taking it along wherever you may go. If you want to play music while camping, traveling, and so on, the light weight of this banjo will give you the chance to do so.

5) Rover RB-20 Open Back 5 String Banjo

You never thought that exquisite banjos can be found at accessible prices? Well, then it’s time for you to check out this particular banjo. It features 5 strings but it is as easy to tune and play as a guitar, so don’t hesitate to check it out.

The neck is made out of gorgeous mahogany while the fingerboard features East Indian rosewood, due to this smoothness and finesse. Why is this banjo so great for beginners? It has a set of traditional features that will allow you to get familiar with this instrument.

So, if you never owned a banjo before, you should really consider getting this one. The peghead shape has a vintage design so that you can have a clearer view of how banjos looked back in the days.

The truss rod of the neck is adjustable, so this is another feature to look forward to. So, yes, it is not just the vintage design that makes this banjo so amazing. Also, it comes with an armrest, so you can get used to playing it in a comfortable manner.

6) Oscar Schmidt OB3 Open-Back 5-String Banjo

Talking about affordable banjos, this one is definitely one of the best options when it comes to paying a small amount of money and enjoying great quality. Finding the best price-quality ratio is probably one of the most difficult challenges when shopping for an item, especially when we are talking about musical instruments.

As a beginner, you may not be ready to pay a lot on a banjo, but you don’t necessarily want a cheap one either, as you want to make sure that your instrument will work as it should. This is why this particular banjo deserves to be checked out, as it has an accessible price tag and all the features required by a respectable banjo.

The open-back design will provide loud and bright sounds while the professional Remo head will make playing sessions pleasant and accurate each time. Also, you will enjoy the beautiful rosewood fretboard and a glossy finish, which give the banjo a distinct look.

7) Rogue Learn the Banjo Starter Pack

In case you are interested in learning how to play the banjo or know someone who could use such a gift, then this starter pack is the ideal choice. It comes with everything needed to get started right away and decipher the secrets of playing this particular string instrument.

So, besides the banjo, you will also get a banjo gig case, a tablature booklet, and a chord book. This way, all the essential information is delivered together with the banjo, so you can learn how to play the instrument without having a teacher at the moment.

All in all, you are getting great value for the package’s price tag. But, don’t think that you are going to get a cheap instrument, because it is not the case. This banjo is of a very good quality considering that it was made for beginners.

It has a satin finish, so one can play it with ease, and an open-back design, which makes it lightweight and comfortable. The instrument really has all the attributes that make it suitable for someone that is looking to learn how to play it.

8) Kmise UV10406BL 4 String Banjo 

It is always a good thing when you can get some accessories besides the instrument at the same price. Thus, if you are looking to get a banjo and find a great deal, you need to look at this package. You will get a very nice instrument, a light-weighted case for taking it around and a digital tuner that is more than helpful if you want to learn how to correctly tune your instrument.

It is a banjo with a simple and classic design, with Aquila strings made in Italy, fingerboard made out of rosewood, and chromed tunings pegs. Enjoy its body made out of sapele wood, a bridge made out of maple wood, and a closed-design back.

This particular type of back is great if you are looking for your banjo to product loud and deep sounds. The fingerboard made out of walnut is smooth and ideal for a comfortable performance each time, no matter how much you plan to play your instrument. It is an instrument that has what it takes to rise up to your expectancies and allow you to create beautiful tunes each time you’ll play it.

9) Washburn Banjo, 5 String

This is one reputable banjo brand, so if you want to make sure that, even in the case of a low price tag, you’ll get a good quality instrument, then you need to check this one out.

The Washburn banjos have helped musicians for quite a while and they can be seen in the hands of numerous music enthusiasts that love the sounds made by this kind of instrument. If you are wondering whether this instrument is suitable for a beginner, do know that this particular model was made precisely to be used by inexperienced players.

So, yes, it is a starter model, which produces clear and bright sounds, perfect for learning how this instrument sounds in the best way possible. Besides being enjoyable to play, this banjo is also beautiful to have.

With a flat head, which makes playing comfortable, this banjo also features a tone ring made out of cast aluminum and a standard tailpiece covered in chrome. So, even if it is made to be used by beginners, no one can tell as it looks very much like a professional one.

10) Recording King RKT-05 Dirty Thirties Tenor Banjo

If you want a distinct banjo, there are high chances that this particular instrument will impress you. It’s a bit more expensive than the other banjos we presented in this section, but if you have a good look at it, you will understand why.

It has a beautiful neck made out of maple wood, which also features a truss rod that’s adjustable according to your own preference. The rim is also made out of maple, but by using a multi-ply structure.

For increased comfort when playing the instrument, the fretboard is made out of rosewood, known not just for its elegance but also for its soft surface. All in all, this is an incredible banjo to have in your personal collection and a really great banjo to start with, if you have a budget that is slightly more generous than average.

What is worth remembering is that this is a tenor banjo, which means that the sounds will be distinct, a cross between viola, violin, mandolin, and cello, so it definitely has what it needs to surprise the audience. If you think you can handle it, it is a great banjo to play.

11) Banjo Uke Ukulele Banjolele WINZZ Okoume 24 Inches 4 Strings Natural Gloss with Padding Bag

In case you think that a banjo is too large for you or you want to take a smaller instrument for a child, this banjolele is worth taking into consideration. It has a beautiful look and can provide amazing sounds, making everyone fall in love with the music it can make.

For a beginner, this instrument has the perfect size and shape, so learning how to play it will become a piece of cake. Also, a beginner will have the chance to get used to the clear sounds a banjo makes, so it will be easier, later on, after acquiring good playing skills, to experiment with other types of banjos and musical styles.

In the beginning, it is recommended to stick to the basics and learn how this instrument is supposed to sound. Not to mention that the price is also great, ideal for offering it as a gift or pursue your passion for music with a small investment. So, there’s no reason to deny yourself the pleasure of learning to play the banjo anymore, as you can easily find one at prices that are more than accessible.

12) Martin Smith BJ-003 6 String Guitar Banjo Including Padded Gig Bag

A beautiful banjo with chromed details that can usually be seen in more expensive models, so, yes, considering its price tag, it is worth checking it out. The back and the sides of the banjo are made out of mahogany, which is also given a high gloss finish for a more elegant look.

The tuning of this instrument can be done with ease, just like you would do for a guitar. So if you are familiar with a guitar, you will find using this banjo extremely easy. At the same price, you will also receive a padded case for the instrument, so it will be one worry less off your list.

The case will give you the chance to take your banjo to rehearsals, banjo classes, or gigs. Another aspect worth mentioning is the fact that you can tighten or loosen the head of the banjo so that it will end up suiting your personal preferences. Just do remember that this is a 6-string banjo, so the final choice depends on whether you need this kind of banjo or you’re actually looking for a 5-string banjo.

13) Oscar Schmidt OB5 Mahogany 5-String Banjo Bundle

This particular option may be a bit more expensive than all the other options, but there’s a reason the price tag is this high. For the money you are about to spend, you will get much more than just a banjo. You will actually purchase a complete package that will help you get started right away.

If this package suits you, then you won’t have to worry about purchasing anything else for your instrument. In other words, you will get a soft case, a digital tuner, extra strings, strap, and even a special polishing cloth. Now you see why the price tag is slightly higher.

So, you can easily see this as the ideal beginner kit, as it covers everything you need to have in order to play your banjo in complete comfort and safety. Besides this, the fretboard is made out of rosewood and resonator is made out of beautiful mahogany. Depending on the available budget and how you plan to use a banjo, it is worth considering if this offer will suit your needs.

14) Morgan Monroe RT-B01 Rocky Top Hoedown 5 String Resonator Banjo

Taking into account what players have to say about this banjo, you get great quality for the price. It is not a professional banjo, that’s for sure, but it is definitely a banjo you can play and enjoy every single day.

If you are just starting out and don’t have such a generous budget, then taking a look at this instrument will help you save money and get the string instrument you’ve wanted to play. While the neck is made out of maple and the fingerboard is made out of rosewood, the rim and resonator are made out of composite. This explains the accessible price; still, this doesn’t mean that the banjo is not a great one.

It produces great sounds, it is easy to play and tune, and will definitely help you improve your banjo playing skills. When you are looking to learn, it is not recommended to spend a large amount of money on an instrument, as it will be mostly used for studying.

The clear and classic sounds produced by this banjo recommend it for beginners, who should get used to the traditional banjo music before trying anything special.

15) Gold Tone Plucky Banjo (Five String, Vintage Brown)

This is a beautiful 5-string banjo with an unmistakable vintage design if you like how these instruments looked back in the days. The look of the banjo is provided by the maple wood used for the instrument’s elements.

If your child is interested in learning how to play the banjo or you think that a banjo can represent the ideal gift, then it is worth knowing that this banjo was specially designed to be suitable for children.

The young players will be able to handle and play this banjo with ease, so do consider it as an option if you are shopping around for a young music enthusiast. But, due to the fact that it weighs only 2 pounds, this banjo can also be a great instrument for those that like traveling and would like to play music at the same time.

So, if you enjoy camping and seeing the world, and you feel inspired by the places you see to play music, this easy to pack and carry banjo can be just the instrument you’ve been looking for.

16) Oscar Schmidt OB4 5-string Banjo, Gloss Finish

For those looking to get a traditional banjo, this 5-string one may be the right instrument. Made out of mahogany and with a Remo head, this banjo offers a great quality-price ratio.

With a glossy finish and rosewood fretboard, this is an instrument that will not let you down. But, do have in mind that it also comes in a version that features an engineered wood fretboard, so if you want the rosewood version, make sure to pick this option before placing your order.

Apart from this, it is a great instrument to have and to play. It will deliver traditional banjo sounds and will make it the ideal candidate for playing authentic country and folk music. Due to the fact that is has a glossy finish, it is the kind of instrument that will look good in live performances as well, not just during rehearsal sessions.

While there are cheaper banjos out there, the price is still in the accessible range, considering the great features this banjo has. So, do check out all your options and make an informed decision in the end.

17) Ibanez B50 5-String Banjo Natural

If you want to buy a banjo from a well-known brand like Ibanez, you will have to reach a bit deeper into your pockets. Still, it is a choice that will allow you to enjoy a much better quality and the advantage of choosing a brand that is in this business for very many years already, and that is over 30 years.

Made out of mahogany and featuring a rosewood fingerboard, this is a beautiful 5-string banjo that can offer a wide range of versatility when it comes to playing music. And the best part is that even though its price tag is a bit higher than other brands, for an Ibanez banjo it is actually more than accessible.

It is the kind of banjo that will offer that traditional sound you may be looking for, with the help of open gear tuners. But, don’t worry about the fact that your instrument may get out of tune, as it won’t happen.

So, if you have a budget that allows you to invest in a better banjo, then it is worth considering this option out, as there are high chances that you won’t be disappointed.

18) Dean Backwoods Mini Travel Banjo

Do you love playing and enjoying music when you travel? Well, if having an instrument with you, no matter where you go seems farfetched, then you need to check this banjo out.

Why is this instrument so special? Well, for starters this banjo has a travel size, which means that it is smaller and lighter, so you can take it along each time you want to do so. But, don’t look at it as it is a toy banjo because this instrument has all the features needed by a real banjo and will produce beautiful sounds every time you play it.

So, be prepared to be impressed by its mahogany body and neck, which creates a beautiful contrast with the white head. For more pleasant playing sessions, the fretboard of the banjo is made out of walnut wood, with open gear tuners and white dot inlays.

If you choose this instrument, you will end up enjoying more than four decades of experience of the manufacturing company in this domain, so you can be sure that your banjo is the reflection of dedicated craftsmen.

19) Glarry 5 String Banjo 24 Bracket Sapele Wood Banjo

The incredible price of this instrument makes it ideal to be offered as a gift or as a first-time instrument for beginners. But, don’t let the small price tag fool you, as this is a beautiful banjo that is more than capable of producing beautiful sounds due to the closed back and sapele body.

Still, even if it is suitable for a beginner, this doesn’t mean that an experienced player will be disappointed by it. On the contrary, this 5-string banjo can play beautiful songs, especially in the hands of the more experienced players. So, whether you need a banjo to get started or would like another banjo in your collection, for rehearsal or spare, this affordable instrument can help you get one with minimum effort from your budget.

It is really possible to enjoy the music made with the help of a banjo without paying a small fortune on such an instrument, due to the manufacturers that have this aspect in mind and provide great instruments at even greater prices. If you are just beginning to explore the world of banjos and their music, this can indeed represent a great choice.

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Choosing the Best Cheap Banjo from the Best Budget Banjo Brands

So, while banjos may all seem to be the same, as you just found out they can have a wide range of particularities. It is not an easy task to find the ideal instrument, but with the previously provided information, we hope that it will be easier for you to find the best banjo in your case.

2) 6-String Banjo By Jameson Guitars

  •  6-String
  • Plays Like A Guitar
  • Great Sound
  • Mahogany

1) 5-String Banjo By Jameson Guitars

  • High Quality
  • Affordable
  • Highly-Rated
  • Great for All

3) Resoluute 5 String Resonator Banjo

  • Bluegrass or Clawhammer Style
  • Maple Fingerboard
  • REMO Drumhead

But, first, you need to decide how you’re going to use the instrument so that your choice will be the one that suits your plans.

Are you looking to travel with your banjo and play it as a hobby?

Do you need a light and small banjo for a child?

Would you like a full-size banjo that is not that expensive so you can learn on it?

These are only a few of the questions you need to answer before making a final purchase. In spite of the fact that the budget is important, the future purpose of the banjo should weight more in your decision-making process.