Review of Basic Banjo Kit (Excerpts)

Reviewer Bill Syke

Banjo Newsletter, October 2006, Pages 33-34


The banjo is a real instrument, not a toy, even though the scale is 3 shorter than standard. It has what I like to call an authentic back porch sound. Remembering that may of the early banjos were made of materials that were at hand like cans and gourds, the Backyard Banjo, with its mailing tube hoop, falls right in line with tradition. Its tone is gentle so therefore most appropriate for intimated settings like small circles, living rooms and porches. Unlike many lower cost banjos, volume is not lost on hammer-ons and pull-offs. . .


I love these little banjos! Ive made six, all with different strings finishes, bridges and set ups for the equivalent of the tailpiece. I catch myself playing them more often than my expensive banjos. The response is clear and natural. It does not come with a case, but I find it fits perfectly into a laundry bag and it seems quite happy in there.



Comments volunteered by other customers:


I love to play this little banjo!  It fits comfortably in your lap, has a nice, short scale length, so it's easy to play.  It holds its tuning well, and has a really neat sound. I took it on our last car trip and worked out some new tunes for two hours or so while my husband drove.  That was the first time I ever played banjo in the car, but it won't be the last. 


I would definitely recommend a banjo kit for anyone who thinks they might be interested in learning to play, and may not be ready to invest in a more expensive instrument.  It would also lend itself very nicely to young students who would have difficulty holding and reaching up the neck of a full sized instrument.  

--Susan Trump, New York


I got one of these just to see what it was like. I was impressed. Good sound, easy to play. I sat around watching TV and playing. My 11 year-old son saw me. I showed him hot to frail and suddenly I no longer had a little banjo. It vanished into his roomand I hear Cripple Creek under the door. Great banjo.

--Mike Anderson, Jacksonville IL


I''m not very handy, so I bought one already made . And I got the custom made job at $130 because I thought it looked neat. Well, it's even neater in my hands than in the on line picture. I love it. Great way for me to go fretless and not spend a lot of money. My old time banjo teacher says he''s going to get one.

--Rick, Maine


Building these banjos is intuitive and easy. It is a very intelligent design. Requires a tiny bit of elbow greese, sandpaper, screwdriver, small hammer, maybe a metal file, glue & rubber bands. The banjo itself sounds really nice! Intonation is decent, tone is sweet, action is easy. Works especially well for claw-hammer style. Perfect for camping trips! I use mine in my elementary school classroom all the time. I have given beginner claw-hammer instruction courses to adults using these banjos and they work like a dream - you won''t find a better beginner banjo, or a more beautiful instrument in general for those times when sweet & subtle are the desired aesthetic.

-- Jeff, CT


I found the quality of this Kit to be very good . It was easy and fun to build. It has an oldtime look and sound and is fun to play.

-- Joe, Hillsboro, MO