Build Quality:5 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.9 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.9 out of 5 stars

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Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo


  • Great looks
  • Mellow tone
  • Comfortable
  • Great for traveling


  • A bit expensive for beginners (but when it comes to banjos, I am a firm believer that you should invest your money in a good instrument)
  • Not as much volume

When it comes to banjos, Deering knows what it’s doing. With Deering Goodtime 5-string banjo the company offers a stunning, functional, and lightweight instrument that will not cost your liver, kidneys, and any functional organ in your body. Not only is this model one of the best beginner banjos on the market in its price range, but it is also one of the best entry models to get yourself slowly but surely into the world of music.


Whether you are a beginner with close to no understanding of banjos or have had years of experience, you probably can guess (or know) that construction and material used during construction will be the main factor determining the sound and playability of your instrument. When it comes to this model, what you get is a 22-fret rock maple neck with hardwood bow tie inlays and durable, high-quality three-ply maple rim. This low-profile neck is constructed with comfort and playability in mind, making it an amazing choice for beginners who do not feel as comfortable with the instrument yet. Open-back banjos are usually favored by beginners because they produce mellow sounds while also being extremely lightweight. The maple used on this banjo with a beautiful satin finish creates a stunning look while also allowing for the wood to vibrate and age like good, expensive wine.


When it comes to hardware, this banjo offers some top-notch quality stuff. First of all, you get geared tuning machines that are tight and hold the tune pretty well. You also get a maple/ebony Goodtime patented bridge that adds to the overall projection and is pretty easy to set up. As for the tailpiece (again, Goodtime patented), you get full control of the tone by having the ability to adjust its height. The Deering Patented Goodtime tailpiece is also chosen to fit perfectly with this banjo. The adjustable action is easy to set up (adjusted via coordinator rod) so the playability of this banjo is close to perfect.

Deering Goodtime Sound

In any instrument, the construction and attention to detail really show when you pick it up and start playing (or hear someone else play it). With Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo you really see the high-quality build, functional hardware, and expert construction really paid off. The mellow yet dynamic sound that is so characteristic of open-back banjos is really present in this model. While open-backs don’t have the same loud volume as banjos with resonators, you still can get quite a bit of volume from this model.


The open-back design, three-ply maple rim, and satin finish come together to create an epitome of quality and price. Crafted in America, Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo is an ideal banjo for traveling, for learning your first chords, and falling in love with the world of music. This might be a bit more expensive, especially for beginners but so are a lot of the quality banjos. Yes, you can definitely find something in $200 price range, but if you are a but more serious about banjos, at least in my opinion, it is better to invest in a quality instrument.

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