I was surprised how reasonably you can get a good enough beginner open back banjo from Amazon. A friend of mine bought one like this and played it for years and it held it’s tune great and was a perfect starter banjo, with a great price. Check it out by clicking the link below. Good luck playing!
Here’s another real nice looking open back with a gig bag:
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Banjo strings. I prefer D’Addario but there’s lots of others. These are medium:
D’Addario EJ55 Phosphor Bronze 5-String Banjo Strings, Medium, 10-23
I have also used Ernie Ball Earthwood 5-string Banjo 80/20 Bronze Loop End Frailing Set, .010 – .024
I do use Nylagut strings on a lot of my banjos too. They all make different sounds..
Aquila New Nylgut AQ-1B Banjo Medium Tension DBGDG-Set of 5 (4th Red Series String)
ON my short neck banjos it’s not unusual to use compensated bridges for third string better tuning.
Grover 5/8 Compensated Banjo Bridge (77)
You can get it in all sizes, or just sand one down from the bottom to fit.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Amazon now offers a good selection of banjo heads too.
• Remo P-190 WeatherKing Standard Banjo Head – 11-inch
Remo Banjo Head, Fiberskyn, 11-inch Diameter, Low Colla