Any banjo players out there?

Recently, I’ve developed an interest in playing the banjo. Now, my friends are telling me that I’ve gone too far this time. Let’s say that maybe, just maybe, I wanna pursue this. What companies make good beginner’s banjos, and where can I find them? I found Deering’s site; what others are there?
Secondly, as a trombonist, I’ve never done too much playing of stringed instruments-- perhaps just the occasional strumming of a friend’s guitar. I’m pretty sure the local music store doesn’t offer banjo lessons. Is it even worth trying to learn some stuff alone, or should I just wait until I go to college next year and see if I can find someone in that area?
Lastly, and this isn’t even too important right now, but what’s with the fifth string on some banjos? Why does it end in the middle of the neck, and how is it tuned?
Anything you crazy kids wanna throw out at me is appreciated, whether through email or here. Websites are good too.


My Thread About Banjos

I started out playing five-string banjo, then switched to tenor, then to guitar. I still noodle around on a five-string though.

Figure out what style you want to play, and find a teacher who does it. I wanted to learn bluegrass, but ended up with a teacher who did clawhammer.

Although I love the banjo, I found it limiting compared with the guitar. You can do a lot more with a guitar with much less expertise. To make a five-string banjo sound good you really need to get good. It’s a challenging instrument.

I worked with a great bluegrass banjo player when I was performing for a living. I accompanied him on guitar, and I thought we sounded good. It was great fun to do all the bluegrass standards.

Good God… I’ve now admitted to a propensity for anal sex and banjo playing in the same day. Better get my picture taken off the People Pages. :slight_smile: