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User reviews on Banjo products

Extremely bad. (Dean Guitars - Backwoods 6 Banjo)

By heads on fire, 03/03/2012
This is a six string banjo which is tuned E A D G B E, like a standard guitar. It is designed for guitar players who like the sound of a banjo but don't want to go through learning how to play in the different tuning. This banjo has a mahogany neck with 25 inch scale, a mahogany body, an 11 inch head, 22 frets, and Grover tuners.


I wish I had good things to say about this "guitanjo", but I just don't. It was a nice idea on paper - after all, the guitar and banjo are two fretted, stringed instruments, right? How different can they be? Well, any guitarist who has tried to pick a banjo (or vice versa) has discovered right away that the answer is "extremely different".

So getting the banjo sound into a guitar configuration is a good idea, but this Backwoods Banjo is just poorly made, all around. The neck had a huge bow in it, the fret edges were sharp, and the nut slots were improperly carved. All these problems mean that the guitar was just not fun to play or tune.


It sounds fairly banjo-like. But the sound is of a cheap banjo. I am by no means a good banjo player, but I do teach in a store with one of the world's top banjo players, and I hear his instrument, and his many student's instruments, and I can tell a great difference in their tonal qualities. This Dean was on the low end of the ladder in sound quality, unfortunately.


Bottom line - this is just not a good instrument. If the craftsmanship had more attention to detail, and the woods were made of a higher quality, I'm sure the story I'd be telling right now would be different. But this is about as good as an abused pawn shop special that's been sitting in the shop for years - that is to say, bad! This instrument is so terrible that I am actually recommending anyone to check it out, just to have a gauge on the lower end of the scale.

Dean Backwoods 6 (Dean Guitars - Backwoods 6 Banjo)

By MGR/F. D. Simpson, 01/09/2010
I'm 62, been playing on and off for about 46 yrs. Not as good as I should be. R and R, Blues, Folk, and bluegrass.

Bought on E-Bay for $120.00. I used to own a Gibson Mastertone which frustrated me to death. I didn't want the learning curve.

I really like the fact that when my fingers get sore I can pick this up and keep playing because the action is so light and I get a different noise while I'm working on guitar things. The tone is excellent for this price range of Banjo. I am constantly amazed at guitar songs that sound great on this instrument. I find that it sounds like a 5 string when flatpicked and a tenor banjo when strummed especially using bar chords up the neck. It takes at least an hour or so of playing it to get the hang of it, but once you do you start experimenting with different things that will translate to the guitar. Other things that you stumble upon may not translate to the guitar very well. It has expanded my knowledge and ability and it is fun.

Some Simon and Garfunkle songs do not sound good on this instrument. The lower bass notes are weak in the first 3 frets.

The construction, fit, and finish are excellent for this price range.

Getting bored just playing the same old stuff on your acoustic guitar? Get one of these, it will open up another route of expression without the learning curve.

This review was originally published on

Dean Backwoods 6 (Dean Guitars - Backwoods 6 Banjo)

By MGR/Billy, 08/01/2011
This is the Dean Backwoods 6. Call it an acoustic guitar that sounds like a banjo, call it a banjo tuned like a guitar, maybe even a hybrid name like Banjotar? Guitjo?

Either way it rocks. I keep one of these in my studio arsenal just in case a track needs a little banjo. When I'm not recording with it, it makes one heck of a conversation piece. Everyone wants to check it out.

I saw it in my local Guitar Center. It was used. Normally they run around $250, I paid $175 on the used market. I play it with regular medium/light gauge guitar strings.

You don't have to think! It sounds very close to a banjo but plays with the same left hand fingers as a guitar. The string tension and spacing that you are already used to helps out a great deal as well.

Nothing at all.

Well built. This is a closed back design which gives it that extra twang that a banjo should have. It came stock with a Remo head and Grover brand tuners.

Get one now and call your friends over for a hoedown later! All your guitar licks transfer right over to the Backwoods. A brilliant build by Dean.

This review was originally published on

News Banjo

[NAMM] Gretsch Roots Collection mandolin & banjos

Published on 01/20/14
Gretsch expands its Roots Collection with two new banjos and one mandolin.

Recording King RK-R36

Published on 08/27/12

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Deering Goodtime 5-String Banjo

$599 Reverb classified ad