The Best Banjo Ukuleles For Beginners

Do you love country, blue grass, or folk music? Have you been thinking about learning to play the banjo ukulele? A banjo ukulele, also known as a banjolele, has a body similar to a small banjo with a fretted neck like you'd find on a ukulele.

To help you select the best banjo ukulele, we have put together reviews for five of the best options on the market. Take a few minutes to read through our reviews, and you'll have all the information you need to select an instrument and start playing.

Top 5: Banjo Ukuleles For Beginners Review

Recommendation #4

9.4

The Luna Banjolele will help you produce great-sound music while playing in style. This option features a maple back with a unique, etched designed that pay tribute to traditional Hawaiian quilt designs. This design is sure to make your banjolele stand out and attract a lot of compliments from other players or your audience.

This product has a 15.5-inch soprano scale. It features a mahogany neck with a black walnut fingerboard. This instrument features an attractive and vibrant tobacco burst finish.

You can tune this instrument the same way you tune a concert ukulele. Once you get your banjo ukulele tuned, you'll be impressed with the music you're able to create with it.

Pros

  • This model features a very unique design.
  • It gets tuned the same way a concert ukulele gets tuned.
  • The burst tobacco finish adds a nice touch to the overall look of this instrument.

Cons

  • You will need to purchase a protective case or bag separately.

If you're looking for a quality banjo ukulele that includes most of the accessories you'll need, you should consider the Kmise 23-Inch Concert Size Banjo Ukulele. This option is designed with a polyester drum head, designed to provide a quick response every time you play. It has Italian Aquila Strings and closed gear tuners to provide the highest quality.

If you are a beginner, you'll find that this is a good instrument to learn on. You won't need to press as hard to play chords as you would with some other models. The banjolele also includes a truss rod inside its neck that can be adjusted with a wrench to let you control the action.

Another nice feature of this instrument, for both beginners and experienced players, are the neat fret wires and smooth fretboard. You'll find that playing this model is comfortable and that your hands won't get scratched like they do with other banjoleles.

This product can be played in an open back style or a traditional resonator style. If you choose to play in an open back style, the banjolele will produce a bright and vibrant sound. If you choose to play in the more traditional resonator style, it'll product a mellower sound.

In addition to the banjolele, you'll also receive a carrying case, picks, a tuner, an adjustable strap, and other accessories. The strap can be adjusted between 45.6 inches and 66.1 inches and will let you release the pressure of the banjolele.

Pros

  • This is a good model for beginners to learn on.
  • You can play it with an open back style or resonator style.
  • A carrying case, adjustable strap, and other accessories are included with your purchase.

Cons

  • You will likely need to re-tune this instrument frequently.

The Gold Tone Little Gem Diamond Banjo Ukulele is another great option for you to consider. This model features a folkternative design and has a 15-inch concert scale.

Other features that make this model stand out include the maple neck, maple bridge with ebony cap, and maple fretboard. The maple woods have a vintage brown gloss finish that helps to give this instrument a clean a sophisticated look.

Before being shipped, Gold Tone instruments are set up for you. This means you'll have minimal additional set-up and tuning to do once your product arrives. You will need to install the bridge, since it cannot be shipped safely preinstalled, but you'll receive helpful instructions from Gold Tone to make this task simple.

Your purchase of this banjolele includes three cleaning cloths and a protective gig bag.

Pros

  • This is a simple-looking, yet attractive option.
  • The maple neck, bridge, and fretboard provide the banjolele with a very cohesive look.
  • Minimal set up will be required once your product is delivered.

Cons

  • This is one of the more expensive options on our list.

The Kmise JT-1401 Maple Banjo Ukulele is a concert size banjolele with four strings. It uses the standard tuning of ukuleles of G, C, E, and A.

This model features a polyester drum head designed with great elasticity that will give you a good response every time you play. The instrument also has quality Italian Aquila Strings and closed geared turners.

You can choose to play this option as an open back banjolele or a resonator style banjolele depending on the type of sound you're looking to produce and music you're playing. If you prefer a richer and brighter sound, you will want to choose the open back style, and if you prefer a softer and mellower sound, you should choose the resonator style option.

With the smooth fretboard design and neat fret wires, you won't have to press as hard on the strings to play music. This makes this a good option for beginners to consider.

You'll also be impressed with the design of this model. It features a maple finish with an attractive spider design on the drum. A carrying case and tuner are also included with your purchase.

Pros

  • It is designed with a polyester drum head to ensure a great response every time.
  • You can play it as an open back style banjolele or a resonator style banjolele.
  • This model features a cool spider and spider web design.

Cons

  • You may find that the banjolele needs to be re-tuned regularly.

Finally, take a close look at the Kmise 4-Sting Concert Type Banjo Ukulele. This model is designed to be a good option for both beginners and experienced players. It has a more comfortable design that will make it easier to new players to learn without having to press too hard on the strings.

The banjolele also comes preset with a truss rod inside its neck. You can easily use a wrench to adjust the action and obtain the sounds you are looking for.

This model can be played as an open back style banjolele, which will produce a bright sound. You can also choose to play it as a resonator style banjolele, which will produce a more subdued sound.

A 90-day warranty and lifetime string replacement guarantee are included with your purchase.

Pros

  • This banjo ukulele is pre-strung with high-quality Italian Aquila Strings.
  • Both beginners and experienced players will enjoy this instrument.
  • The truss rod in the neck can be adjusted using a wrench to let you control the action.

Cons

  • No accessories come with this model.

Buying Guide

A banjolele can be a nice addition when playing bluegrass, Dixieland jazz, and a variety of other music genres. Before you order a new banjo ukulele, read through our short buying guide below. We've included a few tips and suggestions to help you select the instrument that will best meet your needs.

The first thing you'll want to decide is what type of banjolele you'd like to play. You can choose from a soprano, concert, tenor, or baritone banjolele. Each instrument type has a different scale length and produces different sounds.

The type of banjo ukulele you choose will also impact the way it is tuned. The cords and scale shapes for the different types of banjoleles will also be different. If you are already familiar with a particular type of instrument, you may want to stick with that type, unless you're looking to expand your skills and learn something new.

Next, consider the materials used to make each instrument you are looking at. Look for high-quality materials that are durable, yet still able to produce the sounds you'll want to hear.

Another thing you should look for is whether a protective case or any other accessories are included with your purchase. Choosing a product that includes some accessories could save you time and money trying to look for a purchase the accessories separately. However, if you are more drawn to a product that is not sold with any accessories, just keep this in mind and start looking for the other accessories you'll want to add on to your purchase.

Next, consider the design and overall appearance of each product you are considering. Are you looking for something plainer, or would you prefer a banjo ukulele with a more intricate or attractive?

Finally, keep your budget in mind before making a purchase. When possible, try to find a banjolele that offers all of the features you'd like to see that is within your price range.

Top Pick

After compiling our reviews, we have concluded that the Luna Banjolele with Ulu Design in Tobacco Burst is our top pick. This is a very attractive instrument that will allow you to create amazing music.

The Luna Banjolele features a tobacco burst finish on the head. This bright brown color paired with the mahogany neck and walnut fretboard create a striking contrast.

In addition to the contrast and style produced by these different types of wood, this model also features an original etched design on the back of the maple head. The design was inspired by designed found on traditional Hawaiian quilts, making the banjolele even more impressive-looking.

Not only does this instrument look nice, it plays very nice as well. Once you have tuned your banjo ukulele, you'll be able to start producing amazing sounds, regardless of your skill level.

Luna Guitars, the maker of this instrument, is a well-established company you can trust. They aim to make quality instruments with unique designs to match the personality of the artists who play them. The company offers excellent customer service and will be available if you have any questions or concerns about your purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between a Banjo and a Banjo Ukulele?

Banjo ukuleles are a cross between banjos and ukuleles. They have a banjo-style head paired with a fretted four-string neck that you would find on a ukulele. The neck of a banjo ukulele is shorter than the neck on a standard banjo.

Can You Play the Same Chords on a Banjo Ukulele as a Traditional Ukulele?

Although the way you play a banjo ukulele is different from the way you play traditional ukuleles, both instruments have the same chords and strum patterns.

Are There Any Other Accessories I'll Need When Playing the Banjo Ukulele?

Yes, there are a few other accessories you may want to add to aid in your playing and help you take good care of your banjo ukulele. These include a strap to help you play while standing up and replacement strings to have on hand when yours stop sounding right. You will also want to purchase a protective bag or case for storing and transporting your instrument as well as a tuner to help you keep your banjolele in tune.

How Much Does a Banjo Ukulele Cost?

As with most other instruments, you'll likely see a wide range of prices when looking for a banjo ukulele. The quality of the instrument, materials used to make it, and included accessories will impact the cost of each option you're looking at. You should be able to find numerous options that cost less than $200, as well as some more expensive choices.

Final Verdict

You'll be impressed by the Luna 8" Banjolele with Ulu Design in a Tobacco Burst finish. Why not place your order today so your new instrument will arrive soon!

REFERENCE & RESOURCES


Official Top 5 Review Team
Official Top 5 Review Team

The Official Top 5 Review team is dedicated to testing and researching the top products available for many different industries. We do the research and testing so that you don't have to! We welcome you to provide your feedback on your experiences with any products that you have experience with.

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