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Best Value Banjos: 10 Affordable Picks

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.*

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If you’re on the hunt for new gear, don’t worry – today we’re going to find the best banjo for the money! In fact, we’re going to have a look at 10 great banjos suitable for both beginner and intermediate musicians. Although we focus mainly on guitars on my blog, I thought it’d be good to highlight banjos too.

A lot of musicians tend to believe that a good banjo has to cost a lot of money, but it’s not necessarily true. To be honest, there’s quite a few solid and cheap models out there that will be more than enough for all enthusiasts of this beautiful instrument. Trust me – you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for a new gear.

That’s why I created a list of 10 best banjos available on the market right now. Feel free to check out the list below – in the next section, we’re going to have a deeper look on each of these models. There will be a few sound samples and video reviews included as well, so make sure to check them out to find the right fit for you.

10 Best Banjos For The Money – List

1.Gold Tone AC-1See On Amazon
2.Ibanez B200See On Amazon
3.Ashthorope BanjoSee On Amazon
4.Ibanez B50See On Amazon
5.Deering Goodtime 2See On Amazon
6.Washburn Americana B9See On Amazon
7.Oscar Schmidt OB5See On Amazon
8.Morgan Monroe RT-B01See On Amazon
9.Luna BanjoleleSee On Amazon
10.Stagg BJW24See On Amazon

1. Gold Tone AC-1

gold tone ac-1 - best banjo for the money

A popular and great sounding banjo that won’t break your budget. In fact, it’s one of the top recommended entry-level banjos suitable for beginners. Still, I have a feeling that even more advanced players are going to love it as well.

It’s very lightweight, loud and comfortable to play. The manufacturer included a gig bag as well, but bear in mind that it’s not the best – it’s pretty thin and it won’t be good enough to protect your banjo.

2. Ibanez B200

ibanez ab200 - best banjo for the money

Many of you may be aware that Ibanez is one of the most popular companies among the community of guitarists. Still, not many people know that this Japanese manufacturer makes great and affordable banjos as well.

I think that the B200 model will be ideal for both amateur and more advanced banjo players. It has everything you need to grow as a musician – a comfortable mahogany neck, a unique look with a cool design on the fretboard and most importantly, a really good tone. I highly recommend checking it out!

3. Ashthorpe Banjo

ashthorpe banjo - best for the money

If you’re not familiar with Ashtorpe, it’s a brand focused on manufacturing cheap guitars, ukuleles, banjos and accessories. You may think that cheap instruments suck, but the truth is that they are not that bad.

This bundle comes with everything you need to start your banjo journey. I think that it’ll also be a perfect gift for anyone who thinks about learning playing on this instrument. Perhaps it’s not the most amazing banjo on the planet, but it should be more than enough for a beginner.

4. Ibanez B50

ibanez b50 - best banjo for the money

Another really cool and even more affordable banjo by Ibanez. Is it the best available banjo for the money in 2022? Well, it definitely deserves to be on today’s list! The manufacturer did an amazing job and managed to create a high quality product at a reasonable price.

It sounds great, stays in tune and it’s pretty cheap – who needs anything else? I think that the number of positive reviews of that banjo is the best proof that it deserves a lot of attention.

Check out the demo below.

5. Deering Goodtime 2

deering goodtime 2 - best banjo for the money

For those who don’t know, Deering Banjo Company is one of the leaders in the industry when it comes to banjos. The company has been manufacturing these instruments for almost fifty years now and they have a really high reputation.

Many professional banjo players (such as Winston Marshal from Mumford & Sons) use their gear on a daily basis. The Goodtime 2 model may not be cheap but it’s one of the best banjos out there. If you’re a passionate player, this banjo is definitely for you!

Here’s a quick demo.

6. Washburn Americana B9

washburn americana - best banjo for the money

Washburn is another example of a brand that manufactures awesome guitars and banjos. Not many people know that they were actually founded in the 19th century! Of course, they definitely know how to create great instruments.

This five-string banjo comes with a mahogany resonator and aluminium rim. It may not be the cheapest banjo on today’s list, but it’s definitely a solid piece that will last you for years to come. In my opinion, this is a perfect banjo to play live with. Well done, Washburn!

7. Oscar Schmidt OB5

oscar schmidt ob5 - best banjo for the money

Another great deal for amateur and advanced banjo players. For those who aren’t familiar with this brand, you should know that Oscar Schmidt is a company that manufactures relatively cheap guitars and banjos.

Again, many people expect that less expensive pieces of gear aren’t worth it, but the OB5 model proves that it’s not true. If you’re looking for the best banjo for the money, this is the way to go. The popularity of Oscar Schmidt increases every year and in my opinion, this is going to be one of the leading musical brands in the next few years.

8. Morgan Monroe RT-B01

morgan monroe

One of the cheapest banjos on today’s list. In my opinion, this model by Morgan Monroe is one of the best banjos for beginners.

It’s comfortable, it sounds good and it’s made from durable materials (maple and rosewood). Who needs anything else? I highly recommend this model for all amateurs out there who want to dive in into the world of banjos.

9. Luna Banjolele

luna banjolele

It’s time for something really interesting! This instrument is a mix of a banjo and a ukulele – that’s why it’s called a banjolele. In my opinion, it will be great for people who are tired of regular banjos and they’re looking for something really cool.

The Luna Banjolele features a really comfortable and smooth neck and a compact 15.5″ soprano scale. Of course, it will never replace a real banjo, but it’s a really cool and affordable alternative if you want to try something new.

10. Stagg BJW24

stagg bjw24

In terms of appearance, it’s probably one of the prettiest banjos on today’s list. For those who aren’t familiar with Stagg, it’s a Belgian manufacturer of string instruments and accessories.

Of course, similarly as all other banjos mentioned above, this is the best banjo for the money. It doesn’t cost a fortune, it sounds good and it’s really durable. I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you’re a beginner!

Can you teach yourself banjo?
can you teach yourself

Of course! It’s totally possible to become a self-taught banjo player. There are a lot of free resources available online that you can choose in order to expand your skillset. Whether you want to use video lessons or tabs, you can definitely do it on your own.

Here’s a great YouTube channel that covers all basics of banjo. In addition, it doesn’t cost anything at all. I guarantee that you will learn a lot during these ’30 Days Of Banjo’.

Still, you have to remember that the success never comes overnight. It takes a while to become a good player, but the more you play and practice, the closer you are to that goal. Just remember to stick to your routine and in a few months you’ll definitely be a better banjo player than you are today!

Is banjo easier to learn than guitar?

Generally, it’s easier to learn the basics of a banjo than guitar. Banjos usually have smaller necks and less strings – and that makes a massive difference for amateurs. Still, the process of becoming a master banjo player also take a lot of time and practice.

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter which instrument is easier. Don’t look at the difficulty – just pick the instrument that you like and makes more sense to you. When you practice regularly, even the most difficult instruments become much easier. It’s all about patience!


As you can see, there are a lot of great and affordable banjos out there. I guarantee that if you pick one of the models mentioned above, you’ll definitely be satisfied and ready to either start or carry on with your musical journey.

Which one would I choose? Well, I think that all of them are worth it. If I had to choose just one, I’d probably choose Deering Goodtime 2 or Ibanez B50 – both of these models deserve ‘The Best Banjo For The Money In 2022’ award.

What do you think about banjos? Do you think they are better than guitars? Let me know in the comments section below!

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