What’s great about banjo for kids as an instrument? Well, many things; it’s extremely fun to play, exciting to learn and it has a beautiful, unique sound which is often associated with grassroots, folk, bluegrass and sometimes country music.
Having your kid learn the banjo will promote hand dexterity, coordination, enthusiasm for music and will open musical doors for them in the future.
With that said, here we will review some of the best banjos for kids, go over some of the technical aspects and provide you the essential info, so you know exactly what to avoid – whatever your level of expertise may be.
Best Kids Banjo Reviews
Plan Toys Banjo for Kids
While being the furthest away from a working banjo out of the selection available, it’s a great way to get a young child under 5 years of age interested in musical instruments. Despite not having any kind of fingerboard, the strings can still be pressed to produce different notes when plucked or strummed.
It’s certainly a cute and well-built toy with four tuneable nylon strings, but the sound it produces is not the best as you would expect from a toy. However, kids still find it a heap of fun and the high ratings of this product are examples of that.
It’s also available on amazon prime, so for those of you who do have an amazon prime subscription can get a free faster delivery and the product at a reduced price! This makes it a great value toy given its charming design and quality materials.
PlanToys Banjolele Music Set
This is another kid’s banjo from PlanToys which is somewhat more like the instrument than the previous. It would be great for a child around 5 years old because it’s not only playable and features a fingerboard but it has an attractive look, urging the child to give it a go and start being creative.
The ‘pot assembly’ part of this toy is made from a fabric material and the strings are nylon, which you are able to tune even though they do have a habit of easily coming loose. This causes the sound it produces to be quite dull but it is only a toy after all and still a good option for younger players.
Savannah SB-060 Travel Banjo for Children
Now it’s time for your kid to get some real hands-on experience with a musical instrument; the Savannah travel banjo being an excellent low stakes choice. The instrument itself looks beautiful; it has a rosewood fretboard (fingerboard) and five strings which is what you would expect to see from a banjo.
What’s great about this product is its value; you not only get the instrument but also a carry case. This protects the banjo from external damage and stops it from being coated in dust when it’s not being played.
Gold Tone BG-Mini Bluegrass Mini Banjo
For a banjo that is like no other, this unique instrument by Gold Tone is the best “mini” banjo that you will be able to get your hands on. Its child’s size but many adults will still purchase it for its compact, perfect for travel design.
It’s a great looking banjo and produces a resonant well-rounded sound, with a top quality build making it well worth the asking price. It owes it quality to a mostly maple wood construction, and it also features a neck that has a similar width to full-sized banjo’s making it easier to get to grips with than other small banjo varieties; perfect for a beginner.
Gold Tone CC-Mini Cripple Creek Banjo (Five String, Maple)
Gold Tone also offer another mini banjo which is every bit as good and high quality as the previous banjo. It’s designed in such a way in which the banjo does not suffer any penalties from string tension or tuning from being on a smaller scale.
It’s a great starter banjo for kids, it’s also incredibly stylish and gives off an amazing sound that is higher pitched than a regularly sized banjo but still vibrant, pleasant and packs a lot of punch for its size.
Overall it’s a really nice and highly rated mini banjo that’s perfect for travel and beginners, it’s especially great for kids that are starting out their lesson but due to the cost, it may be wiser to let an older kid have this who will be more responsible and look after it.
Banjo for Kids Overview Table
|Plan Toys Banjo for Kids||Small Child Friendly Design
Made From Recycled Materials
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|PlanToys Banjolele Music Set||Solid Wood Base
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|Savannah SB-060 Travel Banjo for Children||Maple Rim
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|Gold Tone BG-Mini Bluegrass Mini Banjo||Mini Banjo Design
Made From Rosewood, Maple & Brass
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|Gold Tone CC-Mini Cripple Creek Banjo||Light & Portable
Guitar-Style Geared Tuners
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How Can a Banjo for Kids be of Benefit?
Some of you might be stuck deciding whether or not it’s actually worth getting a banjo for a kid, whether they are ready to learn or maybe you are torn between other instruments?
To put some of your questions into perspective we would give similar reasons for a kid to learn a banjo as other instruments including the piano, ukulele, guitar, and drums; the choice of instrument is really a matter of preference.
What’s important is the learning of new skills and the development of a new passion which can lead on to learning music theory in more depth and open the doors to being able to pick up other instruments easier.
The skills they can learn with one instrument such as holding a rhythm, playing to a beat, as well as improvements to coordination and hand dexterity, can be transferred between instruments.
With that said, I am certain a child who learned early on can only be grateful for this head start, especially if they were looking to develop themselves into a musician in the future.
What Constitutes a Banjo?
Before you get into shopping for a banjo for your kid, it’s a good idea to get somewhat familiar with the general anatomy of the instrument yourself.
You can then gauge the quality of the instrument by its components and can decide whether the instrument is worth the asking price according to your needs.
Starting from the top, you have the peghead which contains the tuning pegs.
From here the banjo strings are attached to the nuts which are operated via the tuning pegs on the back of the head.
They tighten the strings accordingly so that you can ensure they are the right notes.
On the front side of the neck you have the fingerboard which is where you will press your fingers within the fret inlays.
Plucking the string which you have fretted will then play the corresponding note.
This is the main body of the banjo and is composed of many parts that contribute to producing the sound of the banjo like the rim, the head, the flange, the tone ring and the tension hood.
The components work together to give the banjo its unique sound.
The resonator is the back part of the pot assembly. Its job is to project and amplify the sound in a forward direction.
Considering the Right Banjo for a Child
The banjo you buy for a child will completely depend on their age and their capabilities. For most kids, a full-size banjo would not be ideal as they would most probably have difficulty reaching the top of the fingerboard and the peghead.
Kids Toy Banjo
For children who are really young, who may not have developed the dexterity for writing the best banjo for them would be toy banjos as it will give them some time to get used to the concept of the instrument as offers entertainment for them that can also produce sound.
For most children older than the age of 6 years would probably find that banjoleles are a great kid’s banjo option. A banjolele in case you haven’t guessed is a cross between a banjo and a ukulele.
They’re small, amusing and great sounding instruments that are a great size for a kid but it’s hard to recommend as a banjo for kids as you play them like a ukulele rather than a banjo.
Travel Banjo for Kids
There’s also the option OF travel-sized banjos which are the best banjos for kids. They’re the real deal when it comes to being a genuine banjo, but are downsized for travel.
Most of the options are not going to sound quite the same as a full sized banjo and will have a higher pitched tone but they still sound great and are fantastic for starting out with the instrument.
Kids Banjo Lessons
Actually sitting down and teaching your kid the banjo might be quite difficult. If you are already a banjo player you should find it quite easy with a bit of patience but for those of you who can’t play, you might want to learn alongside your child.
The video below is the first of a series of awesome and straightforward beginner banjo lessons that you can use to learn the banjo and relay what you have learned onto your child.