A reader writes:
Hi Paul: I just stumbled on your site looking for info on Banjos. I'm interested in learning to play and by chance there's a place I go to and they have several Bob Rock Banjos up for sale and I'm thinking of buying one. They are plectrum models. Would you recomend these for a Bluegrass beginer? Theres one with a Native American ,a Country Scene and a Plain Back. I believe one is a 5 String and the others are 4 String. Any help would be appreciated.
Bob Rock banjos tend to go for a lot of money. You definitely need a 5 string. I'm not sure you need a very expensive banjo.
You can learn Bluegrass picking styles on ANY 5- string that is set up properly. So don't feel like you have to dump $1500-2500 into your first banjo. If you do want to play Bluegrass on stage with other folks, you may want a banjo that's suited specifically for Bluegrass. Those are described in this article: https://creekdontrise.com/acoustic/banj ... _banjo.htm
Here's one of the best starter banjos ever made. Yes, I know it's a ways from you:https://newhaven.craigslist.org/msg/d/o ... 79329.html
Here's another, though it has a bigger rim so it will have a deeper tone, but it should still be VERY easy to learn on:https://newhaven.craigslist.org/msg/d/n ... 57807.html
Do you get the idea that I'm stuck on Deering? Here's another:https://newhaven.craigslist.org/msg/d/w ... 03548.html
Deering Goodtimes may not look fancy and they aren't as loud as $1500-$2500 banjos, but their action is professional - meaning you won't find a banjo that is easier to learn on unless you approach the $1500 range.
If you want to spend "real" money, I own one just like this and it is a BEAST. And yes, it is a professional Bluegrass banjo. https://worcester.craigslist.org/msg/d/ ... 69995.html
But you don't need that to get started.
Best of luck,