The banjo is a musical instrument that has grown extremely popular throughout the southern region of the United States. There is nothing that quite says southern America more than someone sitting on the porch in a rocking chair strumming the banjo. Throughout the years, this instrument has become a necessity in American bluegrass, Dixieland, folk music, and jazz. Learning to master the bright and articulate tones can bring you a lifetime of satisfaction and entertainment.

While the banjo was once considered strictly a southern instrument, certain artists have taken the instrument far beyond its roots by implementing its utilization in classical, fusion contexts, and jazz. Most individuals think that learning to play the banjo is more complicated than the guitar, but this a major misconception. In fact, the entire process can be simplified by purchasing the right banjo. Even a beginner can easily assess the quality of any banjo. For instance, one great trick is to press down on the strings along the fingerboards. All of the strings should easily reach the frets without hurting your fingers too much.

Another high-effective testing technique is to strum and pick the strings individually and together. All of the sounds should be pleasant and clear. There should not be any presence of buzzing or rattling. Also, ensuring that all the tuning mechanisms are smooth and operate without flaw is another great way to determine the quality of the instrument. Below, you will find comprehensive reviews for the best banjo for beginners.

ImageNameStringsBrandPriceRating
5 String Banjo Jameson Guitar5-String Banjo 24 Bracket With Closed Solid Back5Jameson Guitars$$4.8
OB5 Banjo Oscar SchmidtOscar Schmidt OB55Oscar Schmidt$$$4.5
PBJ60 5 String - Pyle ProPYLE-PRO PBJ605PylePro$$4.6

Review Of The Best Beginners Banjo- Comprehensive Guide.

5 String Banjo 24 Bracket With Closed Solid Back

Whether you are looking to become a pro or you just want to be a hobbyist making home recordings, the Jameson banjo brand is a world-renowned brand throughout the musical industry. However, the introduction of the 5-String Banjo 24 Bracket by Jameson has taken the market by the storm and this is truly no coincidence. While the Banjo is very affordable, and one of the best beginners banjo,  it includes features that you would expect to find with more expensive alternatives.

5 String banjo by Jameson Guitars. Could easily be the best banjo for beginners.

5 String Banjo By Jameson Guitars

This Jameson banjo is designed with a slim, fast neck that makes playing up and down the neck a very easy task to accomplish. Producing quality, classical tones with this instrument shouldn’t be a problem for beginners or more experienced players. Along with this, the strings are designed to easily reach the frets without requiring excessive pressure, which allows users to produce those more difficult chords much easier. And of course, this will allow even the newest player to create a more satisfying quality sound.

Quality Look Along With Quality Performance

Not only is the Jameson 5 String Banjo 24 Bracket an instrument that is capable of producing quality sounds, but it is built for maximum durability and looks great while you are playing it. Featured on this Banjo, you will find a 24 bracket, adjustable hinged tailpiece, a chrome plated armrest, and a nice maple bridge. The neck is constructed of a very durable 7-ply maple. The shell is made out of a stunning mahogany and coated with a high-gloss finish to add protection and shine. Another unique feature that can be found on this Jameson banjo is the geared 5th tuner. In most cases, this type of mechanism would only be found on more expensive instruments. Truly, the instrument looks amazing and sounds even better!

Notable Specifications

  • Full size 5-string banjo
  • Geared 5th tuner
  • 7-ply maple constructed neck
  • Stunning mahogany shell coated with high-gloss finish
  • 24 bracket, adjustable hinged tailpiece, and chromed plated armrest
  • Very affordable product
  • Includes a banjo chord chart

Overall Assessment

With the included banjo chord chart and easy to play design, you won’t have a problem getting started with this 5 string banjo. You’ll find yourself spending countless hours playing up and down the smooth neck with ease. When you consider everything that this instrument has to offer and the incredibly friendly price tag, you simply can’t go wrong with instrument. It is suitable for all skill levels and will most certainly deliver a great sound.

Oscar Schmidt OB5 Gloss Mahogany 5-String Banjo

Choosing the perfect banjo can be quite daunting when you consider all the options that you have to choose from. Not only do you have to consider quality and look, but you also have to contemplate what features you want. This can all be quite overwhelming, especially for a new player who doesn’t know much about the instrument.

Of course, as a beginner one of your biggest concerns is budget. How much are you willing to put into an instrument that you know very little to nothing about? Well, this is one of the things that makes the Oscar Schmidt OB 5 one of the best banjo for beginners.

Oscar Schmidt OB5. A 5 string banjo. One of the best banjo for beginners

Oscar Schmidt OB5 – 5 String Banjo

Not only is the instrument affordable, but also it is very joyful and fun to play. The 22 frets and rosewood fingerboard give players a variety of different playing positions to choose from. The smooth fingerboard allows users to get their fingers into more difficult positions quicker and easier. It also makes scaling up and down the neck easy. Along with this, the fingerboard includes fancy inlays that make the instrument look incredible.

Transforms Into An Open Back Banjo

While this instrument might be designed to be one of the best beginners banjo, it does include features that even the most advanced players would find attractive. For instance, this banjo can be easily transformed into an open back banjo. This innovative feature gives the user even more sound customization and playing options. To transform the banjo into an open back instrument, all you have to do is simply remove 4 set screws that are installed in the mahogany resonator. The instrument also features a glossy finish that gives off a shiny look.

Another upgrade that can be found on the Oscar Schmidt OB5 is the geared 5th string tuner, which is more effective than the common friction tuner. When you combine all of this with the 30-bracket cast aluminum tong ring and Remo head, you truly have one amazing instrument that looks great and sounds amazing.

Notable Specifications

  • 30-bracket cast aluminum tone ring
  • Converts into an open back by removing 4 set screws
  • Geared 5th strong tuner
  • 22 frets to play on
  • Mahogany shell
  • Rosewood fingerboard with fancy inlays
  • Glossy finish
  • Remo head

Overall Assessment

With the open back conversion and 22 frets, users have a wide variety of different playing styles and option to choose from. Regardless, if you are an expert or a beginner, you will find that the features provided from this banjo are just stunning. Whether you’re new to the hobby or have been playing banjo for many years, you will absolutely love this instrument. It is fun to play and always delivers a satisfactory sound. For the price, it is truly a steal!

PYLE-PRO PBJ60 5 String Banjo

The quality of the banjo will definitely play a huge role in the sound quality. However, the instrument should not break the bank, just to provide the player with the necessities. The PYLE-PRO PBJ60 5 String Banjo is a great beginner banjo, with all the bells and whistles. The banjo is perfect for the beginner or veteran, plus the neck is constructed out of beautiful, high-quality mahogany wood. When you look at the PBJ60, you will immediately notice its unique design, with large brand logo on the top of the neck.

PYLE-PRO PBJ60. A 5 string banjo its design and price make it a good bajo for beginners

PYLE-PRO PBJ60 – 5 String Banjo

The REMO drumhead can endure exposure to moisture and weather alterations. This design is extremely important, since most professional musicians spend a large portion of their time performing outdoors in all different types of weather. When the vibrations are transmitted through the bridge to the head, the tone and rim ring will vibrate. This is how the banjo sound is produced, which is why the quality of the drumhead is crucial. REMO, leading provider of drumheads, is highly known for its synthetic drumhead and shell, which is constructed to endure the test of time.

Other Features

The PBJ60 5 String Banjo is an instrument that was designed for practically any player. It doesn’t matter if you are old, young, male, or female. The instrument only weighs in at 7.21 pounds, which makes it extremely lightweight and portable. Unlike heavier instruments, the lightweight design makes playing the instrument even all that much easier to master.

However, do not let the lightweight design fool you, because the PYLE PRO is built with extreme quality and durability. All of the hardware is chrome plated to ensure longevity and to give the instrument eye appeal. The rim is layered with wood, which is similar to the more expensive model.
The PYLE PRO also features a mahogany neck, along with a rosewood fingerboard. This design not only makes the instrument look great, but it also makes playing it all that much easier. Players will be able to glide their hand up and down the neck with ease, while plucking complex scales. The strings can easily be pressed against the frets, which allow players to produce cleaner and clearer sounds. Even the most novice of players will be able produce those more difficult to reach chords.

Notable Specifications

  • Weighs a little over 7 pounds
  • Five-string setup is perfect for all skill levels
  • Beautiful mahogany neck and back
  • Chrome plated hardware delivers a professional finish
  • Remains in tune easily
  • Strings are easy to push down

Overall Assessment

When it comes down to it, there is a lot to like about the PYLE-PRO PBJ60 5 String Banjo. The aesthetics are very attractive and will be able to satisfy even the pickiest consumers. The banjo is also very durable and will most certainly last for many years to come. This makes it most suitable for beginners, but it could easily satisfy veterans as well. Finally, the strings offer the perfect level of resistance. That’s why this is one of the best banjo for beginners.