Banjo prices can give you quite the sticker shock if you are not familiar with how much banjos cost. Some models can quickly go over $1,000. However, you do not have to pay that much.
The average price for a good banjo is around $500. But depending on your skill level, you can go below or above that. Beginner kits should cost about $300. If you are an expert, then you could spend over $1,000. Besides the level of skill of a banjo player, the price of banjos can also differ according to their type.
In this guide, I will tell you all you need to know about the cost and the factors that affect the price of banjos.
How Much Do Banjos Cost
(The price of a banjo depends on many factors. But I will dive deeper into the factors affecting the price later.)
The average cost of new banjos is around the $500 mark. However, it can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. If you are thrifty, you will find plenty of options below $300. Be careful of meager prices, though. They might sound enticing. But you might end up with a horrible quality product. That is why you should aim to get a good value.
A good value does not necessarily mean cheap. It means what you get in return for every dollar you spend. A poor-quality banjo might not be as durable. They are sure to break down after a couple of months. Moreover, the tune could be terrible as well. Therefore, very cheap banjos are not a good value at all.
Types of Banjos and Their Costs
Banjo costs vary depending on the type as well. Hence, you can avoid overpaying if you know the different types and their general price ranges. Here are the major banjo types, along with their costs.
|Type of Banjo||Price Range ($)|
|Bluegrass Banjo||$400 to over $1,000|
|Claw Hammer Banjo||$300 to over $1,000|
|Country Music Banjo||$200 to over $1,000|
|Folk Music Banjo||$400 to over $1,000|
Depending on the kind of music you want to play or what your style is, you might need to pay different prices. Banjos for country music typically start at a lower price point. However, all of them can go over $1,000 at the high end.
The Perfect Way to Decide on How Much to Spend
Deciding how much to spend on a banjo can be daunting. If you are buying your first banjo, it might be exciting to get a good one. On the other hand, you want to be cautious and not overspend.
Surely, a complete beginner does not need a banjo that costs over $1,000. So, how can you decide on how much to spend? Regardless of your budget, it is smarter to choose based on your skill level.
How Much to Pay as a Beginner Player
If you are a complete beginner or have played the banjo a bit before, do not spend over $300. Now, this $300 is for the whole kit, not just the banjo. A beginner’s banjo kit will have essential things like an instructional booklet, picks, straps, a tuner, a booklet, and a case.
How Much to Pay as an Intermediate Player
An intermediate player who has been playing for a couple of years should spend between $400 and $1,000. That is quite an extensive range. But the price can depend on many things.
If you are an intermediate-level player, you probably have everything, like tuners, picks, music booklets, bags, etc. Therefore, you can focus all the money on getting a quality banjo.
When buying a good banjo in that price range, there are a couple of things to look for. You should check out how it sounds first and foremost. Banjo neck, strings, and frets come into play as well.
How Much to Pay as an Expert Player
If you are making it with your banjo, congratulations! You are a professional banjo player. This is the time when you can see your banjo as an investment. And you can splurge a little bit.
The price range can vary significantly in the high-end and professional banjo markets. You can go for something that is over $1,000. Furthermore, some custom-made banjos can cost between $2,000 and $3,000.
The beauty of going custom-made is that you can have one made exactly to match your requirements. Moreover, you could also shop for an electric banjo.
Essential Factors That Go into Banjos Costs
If you have never shopped for a banjo, you might be surprised at how expensive some are. Do not worry, though. You do not need to shoot for the high-end to get a quality one.
Most beginners to intermediate players will do just fine with a banjo that costs between $300 to $500. If you are not making money from playing but want to splurge a bit, I would not recommend going over $1,000.
The material and workmanship are the two major factors deciding the price. Both of these ensure you get a quality banjo that will last long. Not only that, but a high-quality banjo will also sound better than a cheaper one. When shopping for high-end banjos, look for steel, wood, or brass materials.
Should You Consider Buying a Secondhand Banjo?
People usually buy expensive banjos when they want quality and durability. And, of course, great sound is a big part of the purchase decision. However, buying secondhand is a viable option if you are a beginner.
Secondhand banjos will be much cheaper. So, after buying a secondhand banjo, if you play the banjo for a month or two and decide it is not for you, you will not sulk since you did not pay that much for it. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying banjos secondhand:
- Inspect the head and body for damage.
- Always buy from a site or seller with good reviews.
- Go for one that has a wide neck.
The secondhand market will save you money. But you will not get any kind of warranty. Keep that in mind before you pull the trigger.
To wrap up, if you are wondering how much do banjos cost, they can range from $300 to $1,000. But an excellent average price to shop in is the $500 price mark. However, you should spend money depending on your skill level. That way, you will not waste money. Lastly, I hope you will take into account all of the factors discussed in this article when selecting a banjo.