This is a review of the Trinity River Drifter-Series 5-String Banjo. Parlor banjos can also be called travel banjos. They’re characterized by their shorter scale and slimmer frame, which makes it easier for players to cart them around to various venues. They were actually called parlor banjos back in the day because they were played in people’s houses or parlors versus the longer ones that were played in public. These are great banjos for when children are learning to play because they’re manageable in their small hands.
- 19 frets
- Remo head
- Deluxe gig bag
- Rosewood fretboard
- 5-string banjo
First Impressions of the Trinity River Drifter-Series 5-String Banjo
The Trinity River Drifter is a ¾ size banjo with the traditional 5 strings seen in the most common banjos. It’s a great banjo for those who want to travel with it from their home to another spot for jam sessions or practice. You might want to bring this banjo to your instructor’s house while you’re learning the banjo. It’s the right size for people who are learning that have never played a stringed instrument before, too.
The Drifter is a beautiful instrument with a shorter scale, which is also helpful for new players. The construction is lovely with the right tone woods for the instrument. We recommend this banjo for beginners and those who need a slimmer instrument while they’re practicing at home. It has a soft tone, which is great for some who want to practice without their neighbors hating them.
Frets and Offset Dots
This 5-string banjo has 19 frets instead of the standard 22 frets. It’s easier for children to reach the frets while they play. It’s tough to learn an instrument when it’s often bigger than them. This is just the right size for kids. The offset dots make finger placement easier on the fretboard, too. When you’re learning, anything that makes the process less complicated and confusing is always a plus.
Every instrument needs to be set up out of the box. Many beginners don’t seem to realize this, which is completely understandable. The strings will need to be tuned, the bridge might need to be placed under the strings, and the lugs could need tightening. If you don’t know how to do any of the set up for the instrument, there are music shops that are willing to help. The person might even teach you how to tune the instrument, so you can do it later yourself.
Resonator or Open Back
The Drifter, which not only has a cool name, has a resonator. This resonator can be removed easily to give you two options for your banjo. A banjo with an open back sounds softer and more mellow than one with a resonator. You can purchase this banjo, and it’s like having two for the price of one.
Banjo Materials for the Drifter
The resonator and neck are made of Nato wood while the fingerboard is rosewood. These are materials known as tone wood. Tone wood produces a richer tone because they transmit notes and chords through the instrument itself. Other woods will deaden the sound, which is not what you want in a stringed instrument.
Deluxe Gig Bag Included
It’s great when there are accessories included with the banjo. In this case, the Trinity River Drifter-Series 5-String Banjo comes with a deluxe gig bag that is padded to protect the instrument. You don’t want to leave the house with the banjo slung over your shoulder. It’ll get banged up, the bridge could fall out, or the strings will be struck out of tune. When you get to your destination, you’ll spend time fixing your banjo before you can even play.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the overall length of the banjo?
The ¾ banjo is 33 inches overall. There are also less frets to learn on this banjo, too.
What kind of 5th peg is on the banjo?
The banjo has a geared 5th string tuner, which makes it easier to tune than it would be with another kind of peg.
How much setup is needed out of the box?
You’ll definitely have to spend some time tuning the banjo and making minor adjustments. If this banjo is for your child and you’re a player yourself, you can easily make this a playable instrument quickly. If you don’t have any experience, professionals are more than happy to help for a fee.
The Trinity River Drifter-Series 5-String Banjo is a great starter banjo of a small stature for children or those who want a manageable alternative to the standard size ones available. It’ll give you the feeling of playing a banjo like the ones played in parlors across the country in the early days before radio and other electronic entertainment.