What are a banjo ukuleles?
Well as you might expect, it’s a cross between the two instruments. Like a ukulele, it’s a four-string instrument, but with construction, tone, and projection more similar to a banjo. They achieved peak popularity in the 1920s and 1930s when vaudeville actors needed an instrument with the ease of playability of a ukulele with the sound projection of a banjo.
The body is a small banjo while the neck is a fretted ukulele neck. Currently, we are carrying one banjo uke, the Deering Goodtime Concert Scale Banjo Ukulele.
After years of customer requests, we are proud to offer the new Goodtime banjo ukulele! If you are searching for an instrument that is fun and easy to play in literally any setting, then the Goodtime banjo ukulele might be just what you are looking for!
What is a banjo ukulele?
Well as you might expect, it’s a cross between the two instruments. Like a ukulele, it’s a four string instrument, but with construction, tone, and projection more similar to a banjo. They achieved peak popularity in the 1920’s and 1930’s when vaudeville actors needed an instrument with the ease of playability of a ukulele with the sound projection of a banjo.
The body is a small banjo while the neck is a fretted ukulele neck. Our most popular models are the Deering Goodtime Concert Scale Banjo Ukulele and the Deering Goodtime Tenor Scale Banjo Ukulele.
Quick history of banjos and ukuleles
The ukulele is a Hawaiian instrument that dates all the way back to the 1800’s. They have a hollow body like a guitar and produce sound when nylon strings pulled tight over a fretted neck are strummed. You’ll typically see these in four sizes, from smallest to largest, soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. It’s believed to be an adaptation of a Portuguese instrument, the cavaquinho. King Kalakaua was very fond of the instrument which is a big reason it is synonymous with Hawaiian culture.
The banjo on the other hand, is based on a traditional African instrument and made its way into the United States in the early 1800s and took off in popularity. The banjo typically has 4 or 5 strings stretched over a drum and sound is produced when strings are picked (sometimes strummed). Today it’s associated with Americana or old-time music in America despite it being adapted to play many different styles of music.
The banjo ukulele didn’t appear until the early 20th century, possibly in California, and is sometimes called a banjolele. They can be openback or include a resonator, just like banjos.
What is the difference between the Deering Goodtime Concert Scale Banjo Ukulele and the Deering Goodtime Tenor Scale Banjo Ukulele?
These two banjos are tuned the same but are actually quite different. The Goodtime Concert Scale Banjo Ukulele is 14 ¾ inches long with an 11” 3-ply maple rim while the Goodtime Tenor Scale Banjo Ukulele is 11” with a larger 12” 3-ply maple rim.
Like the Goodtime Americana, the 12” rim will produce a deeper sound compared to the more vibrant sounding 11” rim. The concert scale length will also have tighter strings producing a “popping sharpness” when compared to the tenor scale. Some players will find the concert scale length more comfortable because the frets are closer together.
Yes, these are two different instruments and we don’t have a favorite. Deering Banjo Company has a blog post with even more detail comparing these two instruments. Check out the video we posted below.
The Best Price on Banjo Ukuleles
Like all of our banjos, you’ll find the lowest advertised price here. We include free express shipping to the continental United States and we professionally set up, inspect, and carefully pack your banjo ukulele before shipping. Start playing the moment your instrument arrives at your door.
Protect your investment
Don’t forget to add the padded gig bag to your order to protect your banjo ukulele from damage. You’ll want to take this with you on vacation or over to a friend’s house for a jam session.
Buy with confidence
We’ve been around since 2003 because we put our customers first! We were Deering’s first Master Dealer and were selected in 2019 at their #1 Dealer in the World. If there are any issues with your order we have an easy exchange policy including refunding your order. Still not sure, check out these 5-star testimonials.