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Help picking a banjo please

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello Head-Fiers! It is my Dad's birthday soon (today) and "the kids" and I have been desperately trying to figure out something to get for him. He loves stringed instruments and has several high end steel string acoustics, mandolins, etc. but he does not yet have a banjo. Because of this, I think a banjo would be a perfect gift for him but I'm not sure we can find anything decent in our modest price range. We're looking to spend $400 max which I know is not very high for an instrument. However, I know next to nothing about banjos..

Can someone help me learn about some different types and if anything in particular is recommended in this price range, or what to look for? B&M availability in the Chicago area is a major plus!

Edit: not sure if we'll go with a banjo for sure, as I've read that banjos in this price aren't all that great, which could be expected..
post #2 of 4
For sub 400 most 5 string banjo's will be around the same quality. It won't be great, but he will be able to get a feel for the instrument. I would try to find something around 250 and see if he likes it. I'm sure you will be able to find something at a great price in the Chicago are. After practicing and getting use to this animal, he could decide to spring for something more or hold on to what he has.

BTW, I think this would make a great gift.

Also, get a 5 string banjo. It's the most common and is the one with the fifth string set at the fifth fret. Looks like this.
post #3 of 4
Ahah. The use of banjo leads to certain suicide! This is a common thesis I thought all knew.
post #4 of 4
What about a Banjola? Banjo+Mandolin mix.

I'd embed a video but for some reason cannot.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPJjVYimkeM
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