using banjo vs new banjo

Buying a Used Banjo vs. New Banjo – Which one to choose?

So you’re interested in picking up the banjo? Then, there are a few options to consider when purchasing your first (or next) banjo, one of which is whether buying a used banjo or a new one. There are multiple types of banjos that, include electric banjos, plectrum banjos, tenor banjos, open-back banjos, 5-string banjos, bluegrass banjos, and other types that play a different types of music. 

This blog will discuss buying a used banjo against a new one. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each option.

New Banjo

buying a used banjo (vs)

A new modern banjo will have all of the latest updates and designs. It probably even comes with a warranty. If you’re not concerned about having your name on it, buying new allows you to skip the line when trying out different models at the store. New stringed instruments are also less likely to go out of tune or become worn because they haven’t been played much, if at all. Different types of music can be played on professional banjos, like Irish music, bluegrass music, country music, clawhammer style, and folk music styles.

If you want to learn about the best clawhammer banjo, click the link.

Advantages of New Banjo over Used Banjo

  • Newer models will have improved build sound quality, materials, etc.
  • You don’t need to “settle” for a certain banjo model.
  • May be able to test out multiple different models at your local music store if you want something specific.

Disadvantages of New Banjo over Used Banjo

  • More expensive banjos.
  • It may not match your playing style of music exactly. It has non-adjustable parts.

Used Banjo

buying a used banjo (vs)

There’s a certain vintage appeal to an old banjo. They have character and history, something new musical instruments don’t have. So buying used can save you a lot of cash, allowing you to get the same cool sound quality banjo at a lower price range.

Advantages of Used Banjo over New Banjo

  • You can save a lot of money on the same sound-quality instrument.
  • Vintage instrument’s appeal, history, and character.

Disadvantages of Used Banjo over New Banjo

  • There is no warranty on a used antique instrument.
  • It may need to be tuned/adjusted before being able to use it.
  • No opportunity to test out different models at local music stores.
  • It may have dings and scratches, which reduce resale value.

Which One to Choose if you are a Beginner?

buying a used banjo (vs)

As a beginner player, buying a used, affordable instrument is usually the best idea. Having said that, you should consider how much money you’re willing to spend on this purchase. If saving cash isn’t too important to you and you’ve got quite a bit of money to burn, then it’s fine to get yourself a banjo brand-new beginner banjo from the get-go.

5 Steps When Buying a Used Banjo for Beginners

  1. Research different models, prices, etc.
  2. Get an idea of what kind of instrument you’re looking for.
  3. Try out different instruments to find one that has the brighter tone/bright sound you’re after.
  4. Ensure there are no significant defects on the standard banjo before purchase (i.e., cracks, major scratches, etc.)
  5. Negotiate an affordable price range you believe is fair, and buy it!


It is hard to decide which banjo you should purchase. We have provided some analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a used banjo and new banjo, which may help you decide on your next banjo purchase. Have fun with your search, and flat-pick what suits you the best.

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