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Best Electric Banjo 2022: These Electric Banjos Are SO Worth It!

Are electric banjos a thing? Yep... here's 6 + some bonus budget alternatives!

SPOILER: The best electric banjos aren’t always easy to track down.

In fact, when it comes to choosing an electric banjo, you find that your choice is a bit, well – slim. See, while electric banjos have been around for quite a while (they’re most definitely ‘a thing’), they’re very much a niche instrument to say the least. But that’s not to say that electric banjos aren’t popular – they are.

And that’s because going electric with your banjo opens up SO much more options in terms of sound. As frequent strummers will know, the extra electric kick allows you to tap into a far more diverse tonal palate, similar to that you’ll find with an electric guitar. So if you’re looking to work in more feel & depth to your banjo pieces, then going electric may actually be a wise idea. Question is though, as good as it is to play, is an electric banjo worth it? Read on to find out.

Curious as to why electric banjos are even a thing? Or just intrigued as to what’s are the best electric banjo for sale today? Use the menu below to find all the info you need in record time…

The best electric banjos @ a glance…

7 of the best electric banjos you can buy in 2022…

While with electric banjos the choice can be quite limited, that’s not to say that it’s easy.

Reason? No 2 electric banjos are the same. Really look at it & each one couldn’t be more different in terms of aesthetics, quality & overall sound. So really to put your £$€ behind the first one you see, is a bit like buying a classic car that’s under a cloth. A major schoolboy error!

So to avoid this from happening, we’ve reviewed & picked apart 6 of the best electric banjos for sale today + give you some alternatives should they not meet your needs… you can thank us later.

1: Clearwater Electro Acoustic banjo (6 string)

2: Goldtone Electric banjo

3: Ozark Electric Banjo

4: Ortega Guitars Electro-Acoutic Banjolele

5: Dean Guitars Electric Banjo

6: Ortega Banjo Raven Series (6-String)

7: Vangoa VBJ-4E Electric banjo kit

2 Cheaper acoustic alternatives to an electric banjo (around £200)

Not everyone has the budget for a high end electric banjo.

So in the case you’ve got a bit less to spend, but still want to get your hands on that classic banjo sound, then you could just go acoustic, be that a sole instrument or a starter kit. Which you opt for purely depends on your ability.

If this is you, then here’s a couple of affordable acoustic banjos that may just tickle your fancy…

8: Barnes & Mullins BJ300 5 String Banjo

9: AKLOT 5 String Banjo

Which electric banjo is best? Our editor’s choice

Tracking down the best electric banjo isn’t actually as easy as you’d think.

See, while this is quite the rare breed of banjo, there’s still a lot of factors to consider. And what with there being lots of empty gaps in the market, it’s more a case of finding the best all-rounder than the quote-on-quote “perfect” electric banjo.

So after much consideration of all our top picks, we’ve decided to make our verdict slightly more geared towards musicians on the road. The type that want the flexibility of an electric banjo, without all the hassle (& expense) that comes with buying a full-size instrument. Exactly why our pick for the best electric banjo is actually the…

Latest Price!

Kind of an usual choice, we know – but hear us out.

Because while a full-fat electric banjo like the GoldTone or Clearwater does pack a punch, as an overall package, we think the Ortega packs that bit more. Aside from being electro-acoutsic (opposed to a pure electric), meaning that it functions both acoustically & with an amp, it’s also a great deal more portable too.

What’s more, despite the obvious size difference, the variation in tone is all that noticeable. Blindfold us & we’d struggle to tell the difference between this & a fully-fledged electric. But arguably the biggest surprise for us was the build quality.

Considering that this is a Banjolele & not technically speaking a fully-fledged banjo, we expected Ortega to have cut a few corners to make up for this banjo’s rather attractive cost – but no. To hold, the banjo feels really solid & robust, well weighted too. And considering the size, it manages to avoid the trap that a lot of compact instruments fall into – it doesn’t feel like a dumbed-down children’s toy!

Somehow it manages to retain its professionalism. And for that alone, we have utmost respect for this instrument. It’s balanced in every sense of the word.

Enjoy this review of the best electric banjos and eager for more? Don’t miss out on all our latest Percussion Instrument Reviews, as well as the lowdown on all things Musical Instruments. Recently, we also published write ups on the Best Baritone Ukes + another on the Best Greek Lyres, which may also be a good read.

Or, if you’ve still got as burning question about electric banjos, keep reading to discover even more about why they’re worth their weight in gold…

The lowdown on everything electric banjos

Guitarists STOP – you don’t hold a banjo the way you think!

You see, there’ a certain knack to holding an electric banjo. Firstly, unless you have a banjo strap, sit down. Take a seat on a comfy chair that preferably doesn’t have armrests. However, if you plan to be a serious player, we’d assume you would have this banjo accessory, so that’s what we’re going to base this tutorial on.

So to begin, place the rounded part of the banjo over your mid region/ upper thighs, taking the neck of the banjo with your left hand. If you’re right-handed, it’ll be the same process just in reverse. So now hold of the banjo, be sure to let the neck rest in the webbed space in-between your thumb & first finger. Then simply proceed to curl your fingers around the neck & voila – you’re all set.

All that’s left to do now, is get your left hand acquainted with holding down the strings on the fretboard & your right with strumming the banjo. Typically you strum at the rounded part of the banjo – i.e. the rim/ pot.

Want to learn how in a more visual way? Check out this video tutorial…

YouTube video

The price of a 5 string banjo really all depends on what type of player you are, & also what breed of banjo you’re after.

Those after the cheapest 5 string will likely be best opting for an acoustic banjo. Perhaps one that comes a part of a starter kit. And while these are not typically the best quality banjos out there, they do a great job if you’re just a casual player, or looking to get a feel for a banjo. Instruments like this usually retail anywhere from £80 – £200.

However, in the case of a professional player, the best option would likely be something electric. Be that a fully-fledged electric or an electro-acoustic. As both not only offer more flexibility in terms of play, but also allow you to drastically expand your tonal palate. Something that any pro is likely to be after.

Build quality also tends to be better with these types of banjos too, although it does come at a price. Professional level Banjos usually retail anywhere from £300 – £600.

Indeed – there certainly is such thing as an electric banjo. There has been since 1960!!

It was then that Charles Wilburn Trent, Harold Shot Jackson & David Jackson developed the first ever electric banjo. An instrument that since then has grown in popularity across different parts of the world, especially since the 2000s & the dawn of the internet.

You can find electric banjos being used by some of the most famous musicians & performers, including Taylor Swift, Will Champlin & Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons. And while some stick to a full electric & other electro-acoustic, they’re both essentially used for the same reason. LOUDNESS!

Any performer in need of a banjo sound which they can magnify, will more than likely make an electric banjo an essential part of their tour gear.

While acoustic banjos put up a good fight, there’s no getting over the extra tones & feel you can inject into a song using an electric banjos.

Most of the best banjos are electric for this very reason. Because of the loudness you get with electric banjos, you can also achieve a lot more variance in tone. Something that’s a LOT harder to do with an acoustic. What’s more, this extra control over sound also makes electric banjos great for live performances, as well as great instruments to sample as part of music production. 

As for which electric banjo sounds best, that’s really up for debate. Sound is subjective in itself, so really we’d say that’s for you to decide.