How Much Does a Banjo Cost? Detailed Breakdown

Purchasing a banjo can be an exciting endeavor, whether you’re a beginner musician or a seasoned artist looking to add a new sound to your repertoire. However, understanding the costs associated with this investment becomes an essential step in your musical journey.

In this article, we will explore the various factors that influence the price of a banjo, including craftsmanship, materials used, brand reputation, and the instrument’s overall quality, to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how much a banjo costs.

How much does a banjo cost: complete price range

🎶How much does a banjo cost?

A new banjo can range in cost from around $200 for a basic model to over $3,000 for professional and custom-made versions. The price is dependent on several factors such as brand, materials, craftsmanship, and the banjo’s complexity.

Deciphering the cost of a banjo involves understanding the various factors affecting its price. Here is a detailed breakdown:

Materials and Construction

The type of wood and materials used will often influence the cost of a banjo.

MaterialsEstimated Cost Range
Laminated Wood$200 – $500
Solid Wood$500 – $3000+

Brand Reputation

Banjos from well-known and respected companies often have higher prices due to their quality assurance and established brand image.

BrandEstimated Cost Range
Fender$200 – $500
Deering$500 – $3000+
Gibson$1000 -$5000+


Handmade or custom-built banjos incur higher costs owing to the labor and precision involved.

TypeEstimated Cost Range
Factory-Made$200 – $1000
Handmade$1000 – $5000+


Complex features such as the number of strings, type of tuners, inlaid decorative arts can add to the cost.

ComplexityEstimated Cost Range
Basic (4-5 strings, basic tuners, no frills)$200 – $500
Intermediate (5 strings, good tuners, minor frills)$500 – $1200
Advanced (5+ strings, high-quality tuners, inlays, etc.)$1200 – $5000+
Yet for beginners, starting with a less expensive model can be a suitable choice to learn the ropes before advancing to more sophisticated banjos.

While you can find banjos fitting a wide range of budgets, always remember that cost is often indicative of quality. For dedicated players, investing in a high-quality banjo can enrich your musical journey and ensure a satisfying sound and playing experience.

🎶How much should a beginner spend on a banjo?

For a beginner, the budget for a banjo should be guided by the learner’s commitment level, playing goals, and financial means. Generally, a good quality beginner’s banjo costs between $150 and $300. Here are a few considerations to guide your decision:

  1. The Commitment Level: If you’re unsure whether you’ll stick with the banjo, consider starting with a low-cost model (around $150) or even renting one.
  2. Goal: If your goal is to eventually perform or record music, investing in a higher quality beginner’s banjo (around $250-$300) can be beneficial.
  3. Quality: Decent entry-level banjos usually fall in the $200-$300 range and can last you through your beginner stage, providing good playability and sound.
  4. Brands: Opt for reputable brands that are known for quality starter banjos, like Epiphone, Oscar Schmidt, or Deering’s beginner line “Goodtime Banjos.”

Remember, it’s important to choose a banjo that motivates you to play, appeals to your aesthetic sensibilities, fits within your budget, and is of a decent quality to facilitate a smooth learning experience.

You may also find useful: How Long Does It Take to Learn Banjo?

🎶What is a good cheap banjo?

Some good and affordable banjo options include the 6-String Banjo by Jameson Guitars known for its great sound and simplicity, and another highly rated affordable option is also the 5-String Banjo by the same brand.

What is a good cheap banjo

Further, considering quality alongside affordability, the Resoluute 5 String Resonator Banjo has been mentioned as a suitable option for those looking to play Bluegrass or Clawhammer style.

For budget-conscious beginners seeking to spend $200-$300, an article by Happy Mag lists a range of good and affordable banjos. Therefore, these models would be an excellent place to start when searching for a good cheap banjo.

Please remember that, as a beginner, it’s vital to consider not just the price but also fret quality, instrument setup, and support the brand can provide in case of any issues.

🎶How much does a good banjo cost? 

A “good” banjo, commonly defined by solid construction, good playability, and quality of sound, will generally cost between $300 to $600. However, for those seeking professional-quality instruments, the price range often begins around $1,000 and can go up to $3,000 or more.

The cost often corresponds to the materials used, craftsmanship, brand reputation, and the complexity of the instrument. Notable brands like Deering, Gibson, and Gold Tone produce well-regarded banjos across a range of price points. Naturally, opting for used versions of these banjos can save a significant amount, but initial setup and potential repairs should also be considered in the total cost.

🎶What is the Easiest Type of Banjo to Play? 

For beginners, the 5-string, open-back banjo is often considered the easiest to play. While available in both resonator and open-back designs, the open-back version is lighter, which can be a distinct advantage for learners.

What is the Easiest Type of Banjo to Play?

It typically features a standard banjo setup with four strings running the length of the fretboard and a shorter drone (or thumb) string. It’s often used for claw hammer style, which is slightly easier for beginners to pick up compared to styles like bluegrass.

On the other hand, a 4-string tenor banjo might be useful if you already have a background playing the guitar, as the technique is quite similar.

🎶How Do I Choose My First Banjo? 

Choosing your first banjo involves considering several key factors:

  1. Type of Banjo: Decide on whether you want a 4-string, 5-string, or 6-string banjo. This will largely depend on your musical goals and the type of music you intend to play. For traditional American folk or country, a 5-string banjo would be ideal.
  2. Budget: Your spending power can significantly influence your choice. Remember, it’s possible to get a decent beginner’s banjo for around $200-$300.
  3. Playability: For beginners, easy playability is crucial. You can gauge this by how comfortable the banjo feels when you hold it and play it. The action, or the distance between the strings and the fretboard, should also be low for beginners for comfortable playing.
  4. Brand: Choose a brand that has a positive reputation among banjo players. Deering, Jameson, Epiphone are brands that offer quality beginner banjos. Researching online reviews, talking to experienced players, or consulting with music teachers can help in making this decision.

Remember, it’s crucial to purchase a banjo that not only meets your skill level and budget but one that also feels right and inspires you to play and learn.


The cost of a banjo can vary greatly depending on a myriad of factors, such as type, brand, age, materials used, craftsmanship, and complexity. Beginners might find suitable instruments within a range of $150-$300, while professional and vintage banjos can soar to up to $3,000 or more.

By carefully considering individual playing goals, commitment level, and budget, players can find quality instruments that suit their needs, from basic models to intricately crafted pieces. Remember, investing in a banjo is investing in your musical growth, making it essential to choose with both price and quality in mind.

Leave a Comment