We’re reviewing the top 5 6-string banjos under $1000 on the market today. These are stunningly beautiful instruments that give players a sound that rivals some of the more expensive banjos out there. You don’t have to spend thousands to get an incredible instrument.
If you want to transition from a guitar to a banjo without having to learn to play a new instrument, these 6-string banjos are perfect. They are tuned like a guitar, but have that rich, twang that’s characteristic of banjos.
Martin Smith 6-String Banjo
This is a banjo that’s on the low end in the terms of price, but it’s high in quality construction. The banjo is approximately $200, which is a great price for a beginner who has never picked up an instrument before.
- Stunning mahogany construction
- Two-way truss rod
- Remo head
- Carrying case
- Extra strings
Along with a quality instrument, you’ll get a gig bag and extra strings with this affordable banjo. Martin Smith is a company that manufactures a line of banjos that are constructed with an eye towards lasting quality. This banjo has a resonator that can be removed for versatility in your instrument.
Gretsch G9460 Dixie 6 Guitar Banjo
This 6-string banjo is on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price. It’s a few hundred less than the $1000 limit of this list. It’s a vintage looking banjo that looks like a banjo from the 1950s. It’s made entirely from a beautiful blonde maple with a semi-gloss finish.
- Remo Fiberskyn head
- Dual coordinating rods
Most banjos in this price range are great instruments that look very similar. You’re getting good construction with a white drum and some possible inlays on the fret for those instruments. On this Gretsch, you’re getting the Remo Fiberskyn on this head that looks like the calfskin musicians used on old-time banjos back in the day.
Gold Tone AC-6+ 6-String Banjo
This is a middle-of-the-road banjo only when it comes to price. It’s about $500 for this banjo with the incredibly beautiful finish. It has a resonator with 24 brackets. It comes with a magnetic pickup and a gig case, so when you’re ready to take your music on the road, this banjo can be a part of that.
- Two-way adjustable truss rod
- Geared tuners
- Magnetic pickup
- Maple neck
- Gig bag
This 6-string banjo is made of a variety of woods including a maple bridge and neck, a lovely rosewood fretboard, and composite for the resonator. The wood is finished with a smooth satin that brings out the grain of each piece of wood.
Jameson 6-String Banjo Guitar
This is another banjo that is a good choice for beginners. It’s easy to learn because it’s tuned like a guitar, and it’s reasonably priced around $200. If you’re looking for a true beginner instrument that is easy to play, this is a good choice. It’s from a company that makes a wide range of instruments for all level of player.
- Diecast enclosed tuners
- Maple, rosewood and mahogany construction
- 24 brackets and adjustable hinged tailpiece
This banjo is tuned like a guitar, so you can easily transition between the banjo and the guitar without a huge learning curve. The banjo itself is quite gorgeous with a finish that allows the beauty of the wood to shine through.
Dean Guitars Backwood 6-String Banjo with Pickup
While others on this list are a traditional style and color, this one is sleek and almost dangerous looking. It’s a black chrome with pearl inlays and a matte-finish resonator that is unlike other banjos that your friends may have. This banjo is around the mid-way point in terms of price. It’s approximately $400.
- Mahogany neck
- Rosewood Fingerboard
- Pearl dot inlays
- Die-cast tuners
This guitar-tuned banjo has a 25 1/2” scale length, an 11” Remo head, and die-cast tuners. This banjo is pretty lightweight, too. You’ll be able to take this banjo with you anywhere you want to practice or play for family and friends. It doesn’t come with a case, but it’s easy to purchase one if you want to take this banjo on the road.
The 6-string banjos on this list are under $1000, which is a terrific price for a beginner banjo, but it’s also a good price for a banjo that can carry you into professional amateur musician status. You don’t have to toss any of these banjos aside for a more expensive one anytime in the near future.
There are some beautiful banjos on this list that will help you transition from guitar to banjo quite easily. Especially if you want to play some songs that lend themselves to the banjo, but you don’t want to spend months learning a new instrument.