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If you are looking to get into the world of banjo music, learning a new instrument or you simply want to switch from another instrument to the banjo, you will find that there are a lot of options out there.

Not only are there a lot of types of banjos but there are different manufacturers each of whom have various features that make them stand out.

If you’re looking for a good Deering banjo review to explore your options, we’ve compiled this article to help you weigh your options.

In order to help you better understand when different banjos are best suited to your needs, this article will highlight some of the key types out there, what construction matters in which situations, and what additional factors you should take into consideration when deciding to invest in a certain design.

Needs of beginner vs. intermediate vs. advanced Players

Your skill level will influence the type of banjo you need. There are multiple components involved in the construction of a banjo much the same as any other acoustic instrument which impact the sound you are able to produce subtly.

Things like the number of strings, the type of strings, the type of wood for the construction of the body, the different materials for other components in the body will all change the tonal qualities and the volume produced by your instrument.

As a beginner these changes are less likely to be noticed and in fact many of the additional components are features that would be well-suited to a professional won’t apply to your situation when you are first starting.

A 5 string design, for example, is the classic banjo design and one that is best for someone who already plays the guitar and is trying to switch to a banjo.

The different quality of wood used for things like the bridge and the fretboard matter more as you become an intermediate or advanced player.

You should also consider the style you plan to use for playing.

For example, clawhammer technique requires five strings but if you are using a two finger or a 3 finger picking technique you might prefer four strings or six strings.

If you don’t know what technique you want to use because you’re brand-new, sticking with the basic design for a beginner with 5 strings will be best.

About Deering

The mission of this company is to inspire creativity in music by providing the best quality banjos that are easily used no matter your skill level. That mission has been accomplished.

This company has a full range of American made banjos that are hand built by the team of specialists out of a single facility in California.

The Deering company works hard to provide banjos that are applicable to all skill levels, each of which are made on the factory floor by the highly qualified staff.

It’s a family-run business and yet in spite of what would otherwise be a small name, the Deering company is well-regarded for its special attention to craftsmanship and it’s passion for creating high-quality instruments something you will feel as soon as you play the banjo.

This company has made over 100,000 banjos and they continue to build different options for various skill levels and custom designs for those in need of more advanced instruments.

Deering Banjo Review: A look at your options

Now that you understand a little bit about what your skill level has to say about the type of instrument you should play, and what the Deering company is known for its important to evaluate the different products that they have.

With the space below, we will look at a few of their top designs and explain in which situations they are best suited and when you might consider a different model.

It’s important to always consult an industry professional before using any new product or instrument.

Deering Goodtime Special 5 String Banjo with Resonator of Blonde Maple and 22 Pressed In Nickel Silver Frets – Banjo Kit with Finger & Thumb Picks Banjo and Banjo Tuner with 6 Year Warranty

If you are looking for a classic parlor design as a beginning player, this is the quintessential 5-string banjo.

It is a smaller banjo that is 4 inches shorter than most but is tuned in G the same as you would get with a 22 fret banjo only this one has 19 frets.

This is designed to be the ideal kit for a beginner or an intermediate player and it includes things like some picks, finger picks, and a tuner so you have everything you need.

This design is simple, small, and well suited for children or adults who simply want a smaller design that is very easy to carry around.

It is lightweight and very easy to play which is perfect for beginners who might struggle under an advanced instrument that’s quite heavy.

The Deering Goodtime Banjo is one with an open-back design which produces sparkling, sweet tones.

The neck is crafted from blonde slender maple. It has a satin finish with a rem crafted from violin grade maple.

The bridge is made of maple wood and ebony.

The tailpiece is constructed from steel.

This is an open back design just like the other so you have the clarity of note separation with each tone being round and full-bodied but you might need some sort of amplification if you are performing.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for you.

Pros:

  • Easy to play
  • Easy to adjust
  • Durable
  • Suited for beginners
  • Maple neck
  • Comes with a kit, picks and tuners
  • Weighs 4 pounds
  • 33 ½ inches in total length

Cons:

  • Shorter neck, which not everyone likes

Deering Artisan Goodtime 5-String Openback Banjo

If you are an intermediate level player, the Artisan goodtime design is worth further review.

This model is an Artisan model designed by one of the owners, Greg Deering, and is the embodiment of the company goal to create the best value in Banjo design, with the best look, sound, and playability.

Bear in mind that it is an open back design which means it doesn’t have the resonator on the back of the instrument so you might need something else if you need extra projection or volume during a performance.

This model is made with improved tooling designs and takes a step away from the classic good time model by providing something that is much more stunning and its aesthetic.

When you look at it you will see it has a rich, dark brown finish on the exterior with planetary tuning pegs.

This design comes with additional spikes at 7, 9, and 10 so that you have alternate tuning options.

The banjo is still very lightweight, crafted from Maple, and will exceed the features needed for beginners, even intermediate players.

The rim on this model is made from violin grade maple so it’s the same would that the company uses for the professional models of banjos and because of this you get a rich, full and round sound in each of the notes you play and they are each very distinct.

Being an open-back design it is lightweight enough to travel easily.

It is ergonomically friendly and will be very comfortable in terms of the neck and the Frets to practice for hours on end.

You not only get a beautiful look but you get a high-quality instrument that will withstand hours upon hours of practice and performance.

This company has become a world specialist in high-quality banjos and is in fact the largest manufacturer for American crafted banjos in the world.

Since 1975 they continue to innovate and expound upon previous iterations of the banjo and this artisan model is one such example.

View at Amazon for more information on how this banjo might work for you.

Pros:

  • Artisan model
  • Crafted in the U.S.A.
  • Maple rim that is violin grade wood
  • Extra spikes on the tuning pegs
  • Lightweight 

Cons:

  • Open back design which not everyone needs

Deering Goodtime Midnight Special 5-String Banjo – New Model 2016

As an advanced player, this is the banjo to consider. This is an enhanced version of another model produced by Deering called the special banjo.

This Midnight Special banjo has the Deering shaped peghead with a rich black stain that is quite elegant.

It comes with planetary tuners and it has capoing spikes situated at 7, 9 and 10.

The rim is constructed from 3-ply Maple with nickel plated metal components and a thick tone ring suitable for bluegrass music.

Unlike the other Deering banjo options this has the resonator on the back so it will resonate the sound outward instead of inward toward your body.

With the resonator it is a big heavier than other models, weighing in at 8 pounds.

You will find the tone is very bright and clear with great projection. It has very competitive Clarity thanks to the violin grade maple rim and neck. The fingerboard is crafted from Midnight Maple.

It has vintage Artesian inlays with elaborate Engravings on the peghead. It comes with planetary tuners, a 5th string tuner, and an adjustable tailpiece. 

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product could potentially work for you.

Pros:

  • Rich, black finish, hence the name “midnight”
  • New maple fingerboard
  • Fingerboard inlay improvements
  • Elaborate peg head carvings
  • Nickel plated steel tone ring
  • Adjustable tailpiece
  • 3 ply violin grade maple rim
  • Weighs 8 pounds

Cons:

  • Suited for advanced players, not beginners or intermediates

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com