TFW Banjolele Review

The TFW Banjolele is an instrument that looks like a banjo crossed with a ukulele, and that’s exactly what it is. You’ll find the incredible twang that’s customary for banjos in a sound that is more ukulele. The player of this instrument doesn’t have to know how to play either to get started. It’s a fun, little instrument that’s bold and a bit old-timey, which is what most banjo players want in their instrument. It’s a fun sound and play, and that’s what ukulele players want. It’s the best of both worlds!

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  • Rosewood bridge and fretboard
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • Total length 24 inches
  • Ukulele-sized banjo
  • Remo head

First Impressions

The banjolele has a drum like a banjo but has a sound like a ukulele. At the same time, you’ll hear the difference between a banjo, banjolele and ukulele once you hear them played. This one has the twang of a banjo with the sound of a ukulele. It’s a unique instrument that’s really quite lovely sounding. If you want a banjo with the sound of a ukulele, this is the right instrument for you. People will be astonished when you pick up this instrument. They think they know exactly what they’ll hear, but you’ll surprise them.

Part of what gives this such a distinctive sound is the drum. While a uke looks like a tiny guitar, this instrument has a stretched material across a rim. It’s a beautiful instrument that you can order, set up, and play within a few days of receiving it. There are limited amounts of this banjolele produced each year, so they sell pretty fast, too. Keep an eye out for this instrument when it’s available and make your purchase quickly.

Required Setup

Every stringed instrument you purchase from a manufacturer and not through a music shop will have to be set up properly for play. You’ll need to tune the instrument before it’ll produce the beautiful chords that you want. If you’ve never tuned your own instrument, you can learn with a tuner and a few instructional videos on YouTube, or you can bring it to your favorite musician friend to do the tuning for you. If you plan on being a player of a stringed instrument, you should learn to tune them yourself at some point.

You’ll need to set this up as if it were a banjo from the middle down to the head. That means the bridge needs to be placed, and the head tightened. The frets and tuners are more like a ukulele, so keep that in mind. There are other adjustments that will need to be made as you learn the play the banjolele and become accustomed to how it feels in your hand. Some customers find that they need an armrest while others might need to sand down the nuts.

Instrument Materials

The back and sides of the instrument are made from a stunning mahogany. It’s rich, dark color makes it an instrument that stands out in the crowd. Some customers have reported that they would love to hang this on the wall and never take it down because it looks great, but they can’t resist playing it because it sounds even better than it looks.

The bridge and fretboard are made from rosewood. This is a common material for the fret since it produces an incredible sound.

Resonator or Open Back

There is a resonator on the back of this banjolele, and it’s a beautiful mahogany that we mentioned previously when discussing materials. The resonator is used to project sound forward towards the audience. It’ll give this instrument the twang that banjo players and their audience love to hear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a recommended case for this instrument?
It’s hard to find a case for this instrument because it’s a melding of two styles. Some customers have found that a hardshell A style mandolin case works. It’s best to measure your instrument and find a case that matches.

How much does the instrument weigh?
The banjolele is incredibly light even with the resonator. It’s 3.35 pounds. You can take this instrument anywhere with you since it’s so lightweight. That makes it incredibly portable.

Why isn’t the bridge attached to the instrument?
The bridge is a floating one that must be added after the instrument is received. If the manufacturer added a bridge before shipping, the instrument is at risk of breaking.


This TFW Banjolele is a fun instrument that produces a sound that will make the audience laugh with delight. They’ll wonder how you’re producing a sound like a ukulele from an instrument that looks like a short banjo. As a player, you get the fun of a banjo and a ukulele in one compact instrument. It’s lovely, and while you might be tempted to keep it hanging on the wall, you should bring that instrument out to play as often as possible.

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