Deering Goodtime 4-String Tenor Banjo Review

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The Deering Goodtime 4-String Tenor Banjo is a beautiful instrument made entirely of maple with nickel-plated accents. It has 17 frets, 4 strings, and geared tuners. The Deering company is one that’s been a trusted brand for many banjo players both new and seasoned. It’s tuned for playing Jazz, Celtic, or Irish music.

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Deering Goodtime 17-Fret Tenor Banjo

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  • 17 fret tenor
  • Maple construction
  • Lightweight
  • Geared tuners
  • Nickel plated

Deering Goodtime Company

The Deering Company believes in providing banjos for every level of player. They don’t think that a beginner banjo player deserves an inferior banjo just because they’re new to the instrument. The company has over 40 years of experience creating banjos, and the entire staff is dedicated to crafting quality instruments. The company makes their banjos in the US, and provides their combined years of experience to each banjo made by specialists.

Required Setup

If you’re planning to purchase your first banjo, it helps to understand that the banjo will not be ready to play out of the box. Many first-time players are disappointed to find that they have to have it tuned. Imagine a tightly-wound, tense instrument being bounced around inside its packing box during delivery. You’ll end up with broken strings and cracked pieces. The banjo is assembled, but it’s not tightened or finished, so that you don’t end up with a broken mess.

Unfortunately, that means a few minutes of setup before you can begin your music career. You can download an app to your phone that makes tuning much easier, bring it to a friend who knows how to tune stringed instruments, or visit your local music shop where a professional can help. It’ll take a few minutes to setup the instrument, then you’ll be ready to play.

Banjo Materials

This particular banjo is created with quality materials. The rim is a three-ply maple, the resonator is maple and so is the neck. Maple is considered an incredible tonewood, which means that it has tonal properties of stiff, light woods for instruments. Maple is often used for stringed instruments like the banjo, violin, and guitar.

Tenor 4-String

There are two tunings when it comes to a 4-string banjo. There’s the tenor or the plectrum tuning. The tenor is commonly used for Irish music. It can be tuned to C, G, D, A or G, D, A, E. This can be confusing for those who have never played a banjo and especially the tenor banjo. This is where it’s best to bring the banjo to a professional for tuning. Jazz tenor is used frequently with the tenor instrument. Tenor isn’t a tone or sound like you would get from a tenor singer. It’s the name given to the instrument’s tuning with no real reason that concerns the tone. The standard tenor tuning of C, G, D, A is also used for playing Jazz, too.

Resonator or Open Back

The banjo, whether it’s 4, 5, or 6 string, will have a resonator or an open back. The type of sound you want coming out of your instrument will be influenced by the fact that it has a resonator or not. While you might expect the resonator to dull the sound coming out of the instrument, it actually projects the sound forward towards the audience, which makes it louder. The open back is a softer sound that kind of fades before it hits the audience. You’ll need to keep it in mind when choosing a resonator or open back.

This particular 4-string banjo has a resonator on the back. If you want to purchase a resonator banjo and change to a different type later, you can buy a resonator banjo and have the back removed quite easily. There’s only a few brackets or a screw holding the resonator on the banjo.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the banjo weigh?
The shipping weight of the instrument is 10.3 pounds, but the banjo itself is 3.8 pounds. This makes it a great travel banjo for performances or playing with friends.

Does the banjo have 17 or 19 frets?
This is a 17-fret banjo.

Is there a gig bag included?
There is no bag included, but it’s simple to purchase a bag when you’re ready to head out into the world with your banjo.


The Deering Goodtime 4-String Tenor Banjo is made by a company that musicians trust for their banjo needs. If you’re a beginner, you can’t go wrong with a banjo made by this company. This banjo is a lightweight, quality banjo with maple construction and nickel-plated accents. It’s great for beginners as well as more seasoned players who want to play a tenor 4-string for Irish or Jazz music. It’s light enough to take on the road, camping, fishing, or to the beach. Your friends will be impressed with the sounds you’ll be able to produce on this 4-string banjo.

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