How much does a banjo cost

If recently you are thinking about purchasing a banjo, you must be searching how much a banjo costs. Typically, the cost of banjo varies from one model to other depending on the manufacturing brand, features, strings used in it, and the quality of banjo. If you are still confused, then we have come with a solution for you in this article about how much does a banjo cost.

In this article, we have discussed everything about this amazing musical instrument, its cost, and factors that affect the cost of a banjo. You can go through our article to have a brief idea .  But, before discussing its cost let us know your banjo briefly.

What is a Banjo?

Banjo is a stringed instrument that belongs to the guitar family, featuring a round open-backed sound box of parchment stretched over a metal hoop.


Commonly you will find 3 types of banjos depending on the number of strings used in it; four, five or six string banjo.  However, there is another type of banjo that comes with 12 strings but they are not as popular as other types.  Sometimes you may find even fretless banjos in the market, but again these are rare in the market.

Among the 3 types of banjos, the most popular and widely used one is the five-string banjo.  The modern five-string can produce lowest to higher sound quality. The fifth string or the thumb string is attached to a tuner mounted on the neck, which makes it little shorter than the other strings.

The modern four and six-string banjo produce a sound that resemble to a 19th-century banjo.  These banjos can be strummed with a guitar pick.


Banjos come in two designs; in an open-back or resonator-equipped design. A resonator-equipped banjo features a plate that’s fastened to the back of the body. This design helps the sound to get protected, which allows the banjo to have more “punch” and volume. But, an open-back banjo is mellower and comes with a less complex construction.  These banjos are comparatively low in weight and come with five strings.

Most of the banjos feature a circular wood rim and a tension head made from some sort of synthetic material, which resembles a drumhead.  However, you can find older banjos made from an animal skin or membrane. Banjos use metal strings; the fourth string comes wrapped in an alloy.  Higher quality banjos use maple, mahogany or birch.

You can find some beginners’ banjo kits that come with the strap, case, strings and picks. If you purchase the banjo from a music shop then they will string and tune the musical instrument and will not charge a penny.

Most of the manufacturers provide a limited warranty on banjos that varies from one year to lifetime. You should check all the documents before purchasing one for you.

How much does a banjo cost?

Typically, a banjo can cost you less than $50 to over $3000; you can purchase used ones in the cheapest price, while the high-end five-stringed banjos are really very costly.  However, you can purchase banjos from online website like at $100 to $250, while you can expect to spend over $3,000 for a hand crafted banjo as it features higher quality material.

For example, a special banjo such as the Deering Goodtime Special Banjo can cost you somewhere around $700 to $950. This banjo is brand new and comes with five strings. 

However, you can expect to spend $150 to $300 for a beginner’s kit with lower-end model.

If you want to customize your own banjo, you can plan to spend $500 to $2,000 depending on what you want in your banjo.

The extra costs:

If you have a banjo and you want to tune your banjo at a music store, then expect them to charge you $25 to $50 for one time tuning. Tuners may cost you $10-$25.

You can find cases in a beginner’s banjo kit, while other high-end banjos do not come with a protective case. The case protects your costly musical instrument from air, dust, dents, and scratches. If you are planning to buy a case for your banjo, you have to pay extra $40 to $200 for the same, depending on the quality and material. 

If you are planning to hire professional music instructor to learn banjo, you may expect to spend around $40 to $100, depending on the popularity and experience of the tutor.

If you are playing banjo in a standing position then you may require a strap, which may cost you another $10-$30.

You can also add capo to clamp the fingerboard to raise the pitch, which may cost $10-$25.

If you want to repair your strings or buy new ones for your banjo then you have to pay $5-$15 for strings depending on the brand.

The repairmen charges may add to extra costs that you can expect around $50-$150 depending on the type of repair.

Factors Affecting Cost of A Banjo:

The cost of a banjo depends on a few factors, such as the number of strings used in your banjo, type of material, and the manufacturing brands.

Material Used

The material of the banjo also determines the cost of a banjo. Banjos often use wood for proper augmentation of the specific sound. The best quality banjos feature birch, maple, and mahogany wood, which makes them durable and helps produce better sound.

Some banjos also use a little bit of metal in their constructions. If you are going for a metal one, we will recommend you to purchase a banjo featuring a high-quality bell-brass or bronze or steel. If you buy cheap quality material then expect the similar outcome as well.

Strings Used

A High-quality banjo should be capable of easy-playing. If you are recently looking for banjos then we recommend you to check the strings first. Check if the strings are tight at both sides or not. Do not push too hard on the strings as they may cut your fingers.

Secondly, check the sound by lightly plucking the string.  A good quality string should produce a clear and consistent sound. The number of strings used also determines the quality and price of the banjo. A high quality 5 stringed banjo will cost more, but it will guarantee you a good quality sound.

Top Manufacturing brands

The top brands that manufacture banjos are as follows:

  • Deering
  • Fender
  • Gibson
  • Washburn

The Most Popular Queries

Can I purchase a Professional Banjo?

Ans: As a beginner, we recommend you not to purchase a professional banjo; it will be harder for a beginner to learn with a high-end professional instrument. Professional banjos are very expensive. So, if you cannot learn with this instrument or if you lose interest in this music instrument then you will regret losing your hard-earned money as well.  A simple banjo may produce little different sound but they are cost effective.

Is a Used Banjo good to purchase?

Ans: If you are a beginner or if you do not want to spend too much on a brand new banjo, you can go for the ‘used’ option. The first-time banjo players can buy a used banjo at low cost, which is also a good idea. But always make sure to check if the banjo can be played by a beginner or a professional player. Choose according to your level. Sometimes used banjos come in really good condition. So, you may be little lucky if you can find such a product for you.

Is an expensive Banjo the best one to buy?

Ans: Well, this depends on the type of banjo and the level of the player. Sometimes a $1000 banjo is more useful than a $3000 one. However, there is a difference between the quality of a $100 banjo and $700 ones. If you are willing to spend a little more, you can notice a big difference in the quality and the materials that are used. But there is no justified reason to purchase the most expensive banjo available in the market.


If you are planning to start playing a banjo then we recommend you purchasing a used banjo or an inexpensive one. In the beginner’s stage, you can go for inexpensive ones instead of spending your hard-earned bucks on a musical instrument that you are uncertain to continue with. You can purchase from online websites like to save few more bucks. You can consider buying a high-end instrument if you find it really interesting or if you are sure you will continue playing a banjo. You should also purchase other parts like case, picks etc, at low cost. Moreover, you can purchase used parts to save a few bucks. The choice is completely yours.

Consider purchasing all equipment secondhand such as the case, picks, and others.  This can easily help you save 50% on your overall purchase.

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